Today, our co-founder Kyle turns 23! In the midst of press excitement, a whirlwind of a week, fulfilling orders, and just getting through another day - from one co-founder to another, I wanted to say thank-you. This week, more than others, we've had the joy of being entrusted with hundreds upon hundreds of stories from individuals across the world, opening up about their mental health, and wearing their labels. There's no better time for me to share a bit more of our story, and how we got here. Part 1, Revisited - Kayley
Wear Your Label only exists today because of an overly ambitious idea that sparked over a dinner conversation. As I reflect now, it's really quite ironic that it was food that brought us together over this concept - when I was, at the time, still in the deep grips of an eating disorder.
We met while in university, both working with a local mental health organization, tasked to create youth engagement workshops for middle school students. In such an environment, it was pretty natural for us to share our personal experiences with mental health.
And while Kyle and I tell the story of how we met, over and over - probably hundreds of times now - the part that people don't know, is what happened before, during and after that dinner conversation.
The truth is, I was at an all time low. For months I had been suffering with an eating disorder that I refused to believe existed. Not only was my weight at the lowest it had been, but so was my self-esteem, and vitality. It was never that I was unhappy with my current state - but rather, that I was unmotivated to face it for what it was, and work towards anything better.
Meeting Kyle changed that. He has always been one of those people who simply "gets it" and I could not be more grateful for meeting him when I did. After learning that I had an eating disorder, he would go out of his way to provide support. From snacking throughout the day with me, to cooking my favourite meals during late nights working on Wear Your Label... it's odd to think where I'd be if he hadn't been so willing to help, and if Wear Your Label hadn't forced me to truly take ownership over my mental health (even if I wasn't totally certain, or ready to at the time).
In your life, you come across people who you instantly connect with. Luckily, one of those people in my life soon became my best friend and business partner. Happy 23rd Birthday Kyle, your passion for positive change - and your ability to see it within a person - are what drives Wear Your Label forward. Thank-you for the never ending support.
Photography by Allie Beckwith, circa 2014.