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news from jen!

Email sent: May 1, 2018 2:08 pm

Is this your brand on Milled? You can claim it.

so youve probably noticed weve started talking about mental health and mental illness over the past few months and i felt now, with may being mental health month, id give you some context for how we got here. for many years i have been very emphatic about not just picking a philanthropy for ban.do out of thin air merely to be able to say, as a brand and business, hey, look at us! we have a philanthropy! we do everything here with such intention and integrity, that i felt this very important decision should be no different.

ok, so heres the context: last december i had an idea to create two necklaces, one anxiety and one depression, merely to take a small action to help people open up conversations about mental health, work to reduce the stigmas around mental illness, and donate money to a cause we believed in. i had seen a positive response to the personal stories i was sharing on my instagram and felt like it was time to do more. this was a passion project for me and a small group here. it was something we always expected to be a quick in and out, but hours after the necklaces went live, and subsequently sold out, we realized we had happened upon something that could grow to be much more meaningful to our team, our brand, and our community.

oh, and actually the context wouldnt be complete without knowing my personal history with mental illness. i plan to share a lot more of this with you during may, but wanted to kick it off here. i have struggled with mental illness since i was very young, and although i didnt have a name or even words to describe what was happening until i was in my early 20s, i knew something wasnt right. at 23, i was diagnosed with depression (which was a misdiagnosisi actually had bipolarbut it was a start). after the diagnosis i wasnt ashamed of the label, in fact i was thrilled! finally a term to describe how i was feeling for as long as i could remember. ive never approached it as a stigma or even a handicap, but just something that makes me, me. i have spent the last 20+ years educating myself on my illness, learning to ask for help, and developing a passion to help others who also suffer. so essentially because of my mental health conditions, i have developed empathy, compassion, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence, and for that i am really proud.

its so interesting at 46 to continue to find new meaning and purpose in your life and i am so excited to pursue this passion not just in my personal endeavors, but through ban.do as well. our initiative is to raise awareness about mental illness, remove stigmas, help build the emotional intelligence of our community and overall just to enforce good mental health through optimism, self-care, and of course FUN. im also so excited for you to share in the journey with us. we are just getting started, so please be patient as we navigate the complex waters of these very difficult topics. when you decide what you want to do, what you really, really want to do, you just want to run at it full speed, but we also understand the inherent responsibility here. it might not be perfect every step of the way, but we are committed to do our best and learn from any mistakes that i am sure we will make.

lastly, weve set up a new area of the site fittingly named JEN GOTCH WANTS YOU TO FEEL BETTER. there you will find a link to some frequently asked questions in regards to this initiative, some stories from our community about their mental health journey, a link to the iconery necklaces (100% of the net proceeds go to bring change to minda non-profit organization that is dedicated to ending the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness), and lots more coming to the section throughout this month and beyond, so keep checking back.

jen gotch signature

JEN GOTCH
founder & chief creative officer

p.s. were donating an additional 1% of sales from bando.com for the month of may (one of our biggest months of the year due to a little thing called PLANNER MADNESS!) to bring change to mind.

p.p.s. as always, id love to hear from you. send any thoughts or questions to heyjen@bando.com to bring change to mind. to share your personal mental health story, visit the letters to jen page.

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