In this episode of Canada's Post podcast, Founder and Head Designer at MARNIE & MICHAEL, Jennifer St. John, has been involved in art and design since her earliest days. In 2020, Jennifer launched her business, along with a mission to start a mental health initiative and began a retail shop during the peak of the pandemic, taking a risk that has paid off. With an online shop and six retail locations, Jennifer creates and hand sews her own line of high end leather bags and accessories and devotes up to 15% of all profits to mental health initiatives. She just completed her first successful mental health annual fundraiser and fashion show, with proceeds donated to RVH hospital Foundation.
Jennifer’s mom was untreated and undiagnosed with mental illness for her first fifty-two years of life. Growing up in this very unstable environment with her sisters, no one talked about mental health and everyone around her was distracted by her mom’s unhealthy coping strategies. The only constant in her life was instability and shame. The name, Marnie & Michael, is in honour of her parents and her mother’s journey – now she is determined to be a part of the conversation and space that is changing the stigma!