Entrepreneurs with local roots continue donating portion of their product sales to help youth
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
Friends and entrepreneur duo Chelsey Greig and Gillian Mann have collectively donated over $1000 to Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre’s (SLMHC) Mental Health and Addiction Program’s (MHAP) Youth Program Fund, with their continuing initiative to donate 20 percent of the proceeds from sales of their sweaters and tees.
Greig said that with both of them having origins from Sioux Lookout, her initial thoughts “were around trying to find a place that could service anyone/ everyone from Sioux Lookout and surrounding communities. Because the design was created for mental health purposes, it made sense to donate back into a mental health program.”
SLMHC Foundation Treasurer Rita Demetzer shared, “The SLMHC Foundation appreciates all donations received, whether by an individual, or a business. We are especially grateful when that person, or business, feels they can commit to the Foundation on an ongoing basis, for whatever period of time.” She added, “People usually have personal reasons and/or beliefs when making their choice of charities, and individual areas within those charities. Having mental health and addictions counselling available for youth is a very good thing. It’s always needed and with the restrictions and isolation caused by COVID over the past 18 months, it may be that the need has grown.”
Initially introducing a range of sweaters with an uplifting message ‘One Breath at a Time,’ the two soon also introduced three different t-shirt designs including youth sizes, and are currently working on getting a line of tank tops into their online shop, shared Mann. Greig and Mann added that moving forward, they might consider the option to explore different affirmations. Their products can be purchased via their online store Bean Stuck Design at https://beanstuckdesigns.com.
While struggling with some personal mental health challenges, Greig shared that she reached out to Mann for help to create a sweater with an uplifting message that would serve her as a tool of courage. She added, “The pandemic has had such a huge impact on so many people’s mental health that this was a nice way to remind people to take days one at a time, and moments one breath at a time. This has not been an easy year and a half and it’s ok to take moments for yourself.”
Mann shared that they both worked together and bounced a lot of ideas around before coming up with a design and saying. “After working with Chelsey on this custom sweater, I had the idea to open this design up to the public and contribute some of the proceeds to mental health,” she added.
Demetzer shared, “Two examples of how the funds could be used is for staff education and training to be able to provide various methods of counselling. It could also be used to provide counsellors and clients with physical tools they might use in counselling, such as tablets with specific programming.”
“I personally am looking forward to seeing how much we can help such a deserving organization in a town that means so much to me. I am still in shock that our product has reached so many people. To date, we have sold around 200 products,” shared Mann.
Mann shared that their products continue to sell worldwide, including Europe, the USA, and across Canada. She added that the majority of their sales are in the Sioux Lookout area. “Sioux Lookout and the surrounding area have been where the majority of the products have been sold. We introduced a bulk shipping option, where every two-ish weeks Chelsey collects a large order and puts it through the shop. From there I make the products and send them to her, where she then delivers them to Sioux and it has significantly cut down on the shipping cost per order, which has allowed more people to order sweaters,” shared Mann.
Greig said that this initiative motivates people, and reminds them that they are not alone.