Why Bow Ties?
"How do you expect bow ties to help raise awareness for mental illness and prevent suicide?"
"It's great that Wik Brothers is donating 20% to these causes, but are we really solving the problem?"
We have no doubt that these questions have been asked by more than a few and we are glad that people are speaking up and voicing their concerns--to go along with something and not know exactly why or how the goal will be achieved is wasting the power that each of us has. So we are here to explain exactly how we plan on taking the next big steps towards a future where: suicide in teens is not the second leading cause of death in the United States; children plagued with cancer do not need to be told by their doctor that "unfortunately there is nothing else we can do"; and where people don't feel judged for having mental illnesses that are out of their control. You see, people don't wake up one morning and say, "I think I'm going to have depression" or "I think I'm going to excessively worry about insignificant things that will disrupt my entire day". Just like people don't wake up one day and say "I think I'm going to have cancer." There are things in this life that are out of our control--mental illness and cancer are two of those.
When the idea to make bow ties for different causes came up, we used basic observation to come up with how bow ties could be a tool for breaking the stigma associated with mental illness and for raising money for cancer research. We noticed that whenever we wore a bow tie, random people would strike up conversations or compliment us on how unique and fun they were--many of them even asked if they could have one themselves. Suddenly, the light bulb flicked on. Strangers who would probably never think about coming up to a person they had never met and striking up an in-depth conversation were doing just that. So why not use that as an opportunity to talk about mental illness awareness? Here you are wearing a fancy tie that no one has ever seen and this person asks where you bought it from or simply mentions how much they love the design. You reply with "I bought this from Wik Brothers, have you heard of them?" or for the latter, "Thank you! I wear it for..." and you finish the sentence with someone you know who is battling mental illness or cancer. You don't have to specifically use their name, but saying "I wear it for my brother" or "I wear this for my friend who suffers from mental illness" is just as good. This shows the person that you are not only comfortable enough to speak about these topics with people you do not know, but you are showing physical support to the person you care about. You will learn that when you wear a Wik Brothers bow tie, these opportunities will almost always pop up--use the power that you have to influence other people's thoughts or opinions specifically on mental illness. If you seem effortlessly willing to speak up about personal experiences or how you have been affected and you are genuine about it, chances are that person will leave with a slightly different perspective and attitude on the issue. Maybe that person opens up about their experiences or even more, maybe that person admits that they have suffered from mental illness and they thank you for your support and what you are doing.
The point is, we all have the power to instill change. Buying our bow ties is not going to solve all of the issues. But what buying our bow ties will do is two things: it will provide the necessary means to fund scientific research that aims to treat cancers using our body's own immune system; and they will give you the opportunity to make not only yourself, but others around you more comfortable speaking about mental illness. That last part is what will help prevent suicide. Too many people hide their issues and problems in fear of being judged or even worse, left to fend for themselves because people don't want to be held responsible if they end up taking their life or making impulsive decisions. We can no longer live in a society like that because mental illnesses are far too common and we guarantee that you would be surprised if you knew everyone around you that is suffering behind the wall that they put up. It's time to take the next big steps; there are lives depending on it.