Lauren Hackett is a recent Belmont Alum. She was a top marketing student, friend to many, and a positive influence on campus. Her personal experience and passions for mental health sprung into a startup custom embroidery sweatshirt business: Unfinished Apparel.
Lauren caught COVID in the latter part of 2020 and she fell sick for over 11 months. It was during this time that her mental health began to decline. Having dealt with other mental health issues in the past, Lauren considered seeking treatment, however many facilities were full because of the number of others who were seeking treatment at that same time.
Looking for an outlet to find joy again and spark creativity, Lauren bought an at-home embroidery machine and started embroidering thrifted items. Her new hobby turned into selling a few embroidered items on her instagram account.
Well, around Christmas time, one of her Tik Tok’s blew up and she received several requests to begin selling her products. Lauren’s passions led her to this business idea, however she wanted to give back to the mental health community.
I really wanted to find a way to give something physical to the mental health community rather than a donation. My problem with that is: Where is the money going? Is it actually going to help patients? or is it increasing the marketing budget?
The #1 complaint about treatment centers was that the clothing they were required to wear which were see-through, paper scrubs that are very convenient for hospitals, but they are not actual clothing.
We all know that we dress in a way that reflects our personalities. But there is something so much deeper to it so that when you take clothing away from someone, they feel like they have lost a piece of themselves.
And that my friends is how Unfinished apparel was born. The name comes from the belief that you should not finish your story and that you should keep writing.
Partnerships & Next Steps
Unfinished Apparel is currently partnered with three clinics. Due to COVID regulations, she has been unable to visit the clinics in person, but has plans made to visit very soon to see her hard work with her own eyes.
With sales booming, Lauren has moved into a new office space and is starting the conversation of moving into hospitals and provide comfortable clothing for patients in their clinics. She is looking at opportunities to be a supplier of clothing (rather than paper scrubs) for these large hospital treatment centers.
One of the biggest things I talk about is the name of the company is Unfinished. That is for the goal of someone to continue writing their story. The big way that we help someone continue writing their story is to talk about our own. The impact that one person’s story has on someone else’s and their want to keep writing their own is huge.
Share your story, talk about vulnerable things and don’t be afraid to let people see you through the hardships because it will impact them more than you know.
Lauren · November 18, 2022 at 9:01 pm
I have that same feeling about not just wanting to throw money at a problem. How can I create change and build community? Thanks for sharing your journey!
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