In the fall of 2017, I started a business that would impact the world in a way I could've never imagined. Splendid Rain Co, a political clothing brand, was founded when i was just 19 years old. Before I knew it, I was being featured on websites like Dazed, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Teen Vogue, Blavity, Afropunk, and even in an international magazine. I was so proud of my success, but it came with an almost infeasible amount of responsibility. The high demand caused me to withdraw from college right before finals, damaging my GPA. Running a business with no start-up funds that had already accumulated over a thousand orders put me into the negative. I spent countless nights sleeping in a unheated small office space throughout December, struggling to manage a business with very little practical experience. Trial and error is a necessary part of being an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, with the pressure of both the backlash from bigots who did not appreciate my pro-black messages and the amount of attention Splendid Rain Co had collected, I felt as though every error set me back farther than where I had started. The business has always been two large steps ahead of me, and took a very serious toll on my mental and physical health.
As a sufferer from anxiety and depression since childhood, I've always struggled with my mental stability. Dealing with an intense amount of vile racism and misogynoir as a young black woman entrepreneur coupled with the flipside of such a large and shocking amount of support led me to develop Impostor's Syndrome. This disorder caused me to believe I was not worthy of any of my success, that it was a mistake. That while so many of you supported the idea of me, the actuality of me could never deserve the amount of love and support you so graciously afforded me. I became stuck in a cycle of being too anxious to even touch my laptop and work, then feeling so disappointed in myself and unworthy of the experiences this business and it's supporters has afforded me that I fell into a depression. Woefully, when it rains it pours, and during the most dire moments in my wrestle with my mental health I suffered from the loss of a childhood friend, the financial theft of $1,300 from my ex-best friend, and lost my car in a car wreck with a drunk driver.
At my wit's end, and feeling more alone than ever, I temporarily lost the battle with my mental illness and ended up voluntarily hospitalized. My anxiety began to manifest physically. I was not eating, sleeping, developed migraines and amenorrhea. I was held in a psychiatric facility and finally prescribed medication to assist my mental stability. I'm now feeling stronger, having used that time to rest and work on my emotional responses to stress. While I'm so grateful for my time in treatment, the time I spent away from work and the financial burden of the medical billing have put me right back in that tough place that resulted in my hospitalization. I have been faced with losing my housing, which doubles as my workplace from where I operate Splendid Rain Co. I only have one month remaining to find a place where I can rebuild my life from the ground up. It's just myself and my dog, Cherry, who's been my partner in healing through this tumultuous time. Cherry is currently classified as an "aggressive breed" and past most of the weight requirements for apartments. I can't imagine giving him back up to the shelter, where he spent two of his years before I adopted him. At this point in time, my best bet is to move out of New Jersey to a place that is friendly towards me as a black woman and that does not discriminate against my dog. The funds I am asking for will go towards transportation, rent and deposit, and the reconstruction of my life and eventually my brand.
Thank you so much! I appreciate anything you can give. I could not be more thankful for all of your support. Without you, I could not have made it this far.
Splendid Rain Co