My name is Kyla, and I am the founder of Wholehearted Geek. I wanted to share a bit of my story and insight into how Wholehearted Geek came to be.
I have personally struggled with mental illness for quite some time. Issues such as depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Two years ago I was diagnosed with PTSD. Because of these issues daily life became unbearable, to the point where I was unable to function. I would frequently find myself hiding in the bathroom at work in the midst of a panic attack, totally ashamed and afraid. Thankfully through the support of my partner, friends, family and doctors, I made the choice to leave my job and attend an intensive out patient group therapy program.
So here I am, attending this intensive group therapy. I am now jobless, so much uncertainty. Randi (my Fiance and Operations Manager) and I losing our apartment, we had 4 cats, and bills to pay. It all felt like a never ending black hole.
So how Wholehearted Geek? Well, I was incredibly inspired by the brave people I met in the program. It was an honor to hear their stories and connect with them. The program definitely changed my life for the better. I saw these amazing people, who were hurting, some were talented artist, some were just super kind and insightful, and so funny! All of them brave AF.
I have always been a fan of fun & unique t-shirts and graphic design. During the program I wore my usual fun/interesting shirt. They turned out to be surprisingly great ice breakers that made people smile and were a great way to connect and start a conversation. It amazed me how something as simple as a star wars t-shirt could bring a smile to someone, create connection, and even if for a moment bring positive energy to someone battling similar issues as myself. I started Wholehearted Ink while in the program, with no Idea what direction to take it.
I finished the program and as time went on I started to get into playing dungeons and dragons table top gaming, and thanks to my fiance Randi, attending conventions! I went full on geek, and it's been fantastic. As I started to attend these conventions, I was also in the market to buy my first dice bag. The bags I were seeing though lacked character, care, and didn't fit my personality. I thought this is something I can do. I can make these, and make them awesome! I set to work with the help of my grandmother (I had no idea how to sew) and designed some bags. I wasn't sure how this fit into Wholehearted Ink and then Randi, said to me one day, "Why don't we just call the business Wholehearted Geek?!" I said to her, " Bae bae, you are genius! That's it!", and we went from there.
Wholehearted Geeks mission is to offer geeky apparel with positive, original wholehearted designs. We also hope to continue advocate for mental health awareness and spreading good vibes and inclusiveness into the world. We hope wearing one of our designs will inspire commonality, conversation, connection, or simply bring a smile to the wearers face. The idea of being wholehearted goes into everything we do, from our dice bags, to our designs. We put our passion for geekiness into what we do, we love to go to conventions and talk with our fellow geeks! We put our passion for being inclusive and positive no matter your background. By geeks for Geeks. We are Wholehearted Geek.
Thank you so much for reading, and remember to be kind to one another......and to get your geek on with Wholehearted Geek :P
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