ellie mae
Photograph courtesy of Instagram/@EllieMaeStudios

Canadian Fashion Brand Ellie Mae Raises $30,000 for Kids Help Line

The money comes at a critical time for the company whose services have doubled in light of COVID-19.

In some good news for your Thursday, Canadian fashion brand Ellie Mae has raised $30,000 for Kids Help Phone.

In late February, Ellie Mae Waters, the brand’s creative director and founder, designed a limited-edition accessories collection using Liberty of London’s iconic floral fabric – from which all sales proceeds are being directly donated to Kids Help Phone. The collection – which is still available to shop online – includes scrunchies, pocket squares and ties. The hope is that these accessories will also “spark a conversation” about mental health, too.

Speaking with FASHION about why she wanted to help this organization in particular, Waters said the services it offers to Canadians resonate with her own personal journey. “Being a creative person and trying to understand/accept all my creative processes isn’t very easy for me. I’m my biggest critic and not always my biggest fan. Add everyday life stresses to the mix and I’ve found myself in some pretty overwhelming head spaces. During those hard times I’ve always found talking to my friends, family or significant other makes me feel less alone and less overwhelmed. And knowing that so many people feel this way (or worse), I take huge comfort in knowing there is a service like Kids Help Phone that anyone can call to chat about anything they are going through.”

It’s a critical service, particularly in light of recent events with COVID-19 leaving many people, children included, without easy access to people to talk to. “My thoughts are with kids who are struggling at home right now with no one to talk to or friends that they can find some escape with,” says the designer. “Kids Help Phone is experiencing a thousand more calls PER DAY during this pandemic. It’s important that we’re here for them, so they can continue to be there for the kids.”

Katherine Hay, the president and CEO of Kids Help Phone, said in a release, “We have seen direct impact with COVID-19 and young people reaching out to Kids Help Phone with our service doubling in a week. Many kids and teens are struggling with the anxiety it brings, and this new world of staying at home. Ellie Mae’s donation will allow Kids Help Phone to continue to be there for the young people of Canada 24/7.”

As for her own business, Waters says recent events have forced her and her team to “be more creative with how we approach things.” As a boss her primary objective, she tells us, “is making sure that everyone at Ellie Mae is healthy and taken care of.” As for how people can support small businesses like hers right now, the designer says it doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary. “People can support small business by sharing them with their friends! You don’t necessarily have to purchase right now to show your support. Every little bit counts – from likes and follows to sharing products from our online store – bringing more awareness can have such a positive impact on our brand.”

For more mental health support, see our round-up of mental health support services across Canada.