In April 2017, when I was a junior in high school, a tragedy hit our community. A classmate had lost their battle with mental illness, and something needed to be done. I decided, “Enough is enough, no person should battle their mental struggles alone.” And with that thought in my head, I created Happiness Project.
I wanted to create a clothing brand that spreads positivity, while uplifting spirits and destroying the stigma of mental illness. I’m proud to say that Happiness Project donates 15% of profits to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
I've always had a mind for business and philanthropy, and I'm so happy I was able to put them together to make dreams come true while helping others. Faith is very important to me and I work at this with all my heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. It is the Lord Christ I am serving, nobody else (Colossians 3:23). I am excited to see where this project takes us in the future, my main goal is to be much more than a clothing brand; a community.
I’ve known Jake for more than six years, but we grew closer when we started working retail a few years back. I took notice when he started the Happiness Project, and loved everything it stood for. I let Jake know how much I believed in the idea, and how much I thought I could help him. Jake was hesitant at first, but when I shared a list with my aspirations and ideas for this company, he finally caved.
I’ve dealt with mental health issues my entire life, and hope to use this platform to help others with similar experiences. We’ve always talked about how we don’t want to be known as a clothing company, but rather a community where you can freely talk about your feelings. We are so excited for the future, and to elevate happiness throughout the world.
I had just completed my senior year at Miami University this May, when Joey approached me about joining the team. I had been around the project for a couple years, being best friends with Joey. However, I never imagined working on it. Studying computer science and business systems, I had always anticipated myself working at a desk job in some city coding or what not. I originally thought that this was just going to be some sort of side-gig or 'project', but in the time I've been with the team, I've realized that this is way more than that.
Mental illness is something I've experienced first-hand at college. It's something that is rarely touched upon, especially in the culture many students partake in. I want to help end the stigma behind mental illness and let people know that it's okay to not be okay.