It's no secret that mental health impacts us all, regardless of who we are or where we come from. It's been a tough few years, and we've all learned that mental illness doesn't discriminate. Whether young or old, rich or poor, male or female and everything in between, mental health affects us all.
You or someone you know may be seeking answers, support or connection right now. If this is you, please believe me when I say, you are not alone.
MENTAL HEALTH IS EVERYTHING
Many people ask me why I am so passionate about mental health and creating an artisan business with a giveback component to help people look good, feel good and do good.
Well, after a lifelong battle of my Mother coping, surviving and healing from undiagnosed mental illness (a potent combination of Bi-Polar, OCD, PTSD and adult ADHD), my Mom finally got the help she so greatly deserved at the age of 52. Witnessing her journey growing up — filled with ups and downs, setbacks and victories — was incredibly scary, powerful and humbling. As you can imagine, when she finally received the help and support she so desperately needed, my life changed alongside hers.
Having experienced firsthand the trauma and manic highs and lows her mental illness caused throughout my entire childhood, I was blown away at her transformation in the years that followed her mental health diagnosis. She finally had the support and tools she needed to thrive. I was so very proud of Mom for her bravery, courage and determination to become the most inspiring version of herself.
By the time I was 33 — after many years of struggle — Mom and I had finally reached a place of mutual love, respect and understanding. It was so beautiful to see her connect with my young children in a way that never would have been possible before she prioritized her mental wellness. Mom and I grew close; she became my lifeline during an extremely challenging season of motherhood and life for me. She was the healthiest she had ever been — body, mind and soul.
Which is why the sudden and immense loss that followed nearly broke me.
Mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer on Mother’s Day 2017 and given four to six months to live. She died just 10 weeks after that heartbreaking diagnosis. Less than 10 months after saying goodbye to the love of his life, my Dad literally died from a broken heart. My dear Aunt Terry passed away shortly after. Three family deaths in less than a year? My heart was shattered.
HONOURING LOVED ONES
When I lost my parents, Marnie and Michael, in 2017, I still hadn’t come up with a name for my company. But after they passed, it became clear. I decided to name my business after my parents, so I can say their names every day. Now I get to honour them with the work we do, the stories we share, and the impact we make in the community. I think they would be proud.
OUR MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVE
MARNIE & MICHAEL's mental health giveback initiative is an ongoing journey to bring comfort and hope to those who struggle with mental health. We believe that honest conversations can help everyone feel less alone, and our shared stories, blog entries and journals create a welcoming space for everyone. Our mini-memoir meets guided journal is a special treasure, as it features excerpts from both my own journals and my Mom's heartfelt letters over the years.
We want you to know that you are not alone and that there is a community here for you. Join us in the conversation about mental health and let's inspire each other to keep growing, learning, and thriving.
HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT OUR SOCIAL MISSION
SHOP MARNIE & MICHAEL PRODUCTS: We are a Canadian-made slow fashion brand, where quality and detail go hand in hand to create stylish yet functional bags that are perfect for the on-the-go professional, the studious student or anyone looking for a high-quality accessory. We know that our customers value products that support the local economy, and that's why we're dedicated to producing each bag right here in Canada!
When you choose a bag from our line, you're not only getting a beautiful and practical accessory - you're also becoming part of a community that cares deeply about mental health and the power of sharing our experiences. So join us today and let's make a difference together. Purchase one of our handmade leather products and up to 15% of profits goes to our mental health initiative!
SHARE WITH OTHERS: With every product we create and every initiative we support, we aim to help people look good, feel good, and do good. Join us on this journey by liking, commenting and sharing our posts on social media and referring friends to our site — there's so much goodness to spread around!
COLLAB WITH US: We love collaborating with other companies that are also passionate about mental health and wellness. Whether through cross promotions, podcasts, interviews, fundraisers or wholesale and retail opportunities, we’d love to partner up with you! Reach out today to learn more.
PARTICIPATE IN COMMUNITY EVENTS: We also help raise funds for local organizations with similar purposes and missions. This Spring we will be hosting our first-ever Vendor Pop-Up Market and VIP Fashion Show Fundraiser for Mental Health! Proceeds from the event will be going to support RVH Foundation and its mental health directives, which we love. Swing by our free daytime market with the family on May 6th to show your support, or buy tickets for the VIP evening portion and participate in our Silent Auction fundraiser and Spring Fashion Show for a fun adult night out!
Thank you for helping us end the stigma around mental health and for being part of our incredible movement for change.
Founder, MARNIE & MICHAEL
To read more open and honest shared stories like this, check out our "Be Kind, Love Hard, Make Memories: A Mini Memoir Meets Guided Journal" here.
With every book, journal, bag and accessory purchased from MARNIE & MICHAEL, up to 15% of profits go toward our mental health initiative so you can LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD and DO GOOD with every purchase.