Beauty By Mental Health

Ridding mental health stigma one bracelet at a time, two passionate sisters are on a mission to normalize mental illness

Over the past handful of years, there has been a dramatic increase in brand partnerships via the fashion industry and mental health space. I’m sure you’ve noticed the “Being Kind is Cool” coffee mugs and “Mental Health Matters” sweatshirts blowing up your Instagram feed and covering the shelves of your favorite shops —perhaps you even have one.

While positive mental health awareness is obviously a good thing, the larger point can get lost when blanket statements like “Therapy is for Everyone” and the ones mentioned above are thrown around flippantly or used out of context.

Thankfully, there is a slew of companies and influential individuals who are doing it right (read: thoughtfully), including the founders of a new jewelry brand that I’m confident you will love.

A Brand With Meaning

Presently is a modern jewelry brand and online educational platform that strives to help others discover real, effective ways to feel less overwhelmed and removed from the present moment.

Founded and run by NYC-based sisters, Emily and Lindsay Stetzer, Presently is making a positive impact on both the mental health and beauty spaces, normalizing mental health issues like OCD and anxiety, instead of shaming them.

With Emily's desire to close the gap in the market, and Lindsay's passion for speaking out about her personal experience with OCD, Presently became a reality.

Wanting to utilize the skills they mastered in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as a means to help others, the pair came up with the idea of having helpful phrases that would sum up what they needed to do to get out of their heads and into the present moment.

“We thought, okay, let’s wear it on a bracelet so it’s always within arms’ reach, especially when our therapists aren’t around,” they said.

During their research, they discovered a gap in the “inspirational” jewelry space. “There were tons of brands that had jewelry with phrases or mantras on them, but none of the phrases they offered would have been approved by our therapists,” they said.

Toxic Positivity versus Helpful Mantras

While phrases like “Good vibes only” and “Happiness is a choice” may seem helpful on the surface, oftentimes they have the opposite intended effect because they simply aren’t realistic, and are teaching people to bury their negative or anxious feelings instead of sitting with them and letting them pass.

“On the surface, these phrases seem harmless and motivational,” they explained. “But they are classic examples of toxic positivity. In therapy, we’re taught cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness techniques, which helps us acknowledge and identify unhelpful thought patterns that lead to unhelpful behaviors.”

The Stetzer sisters explained if you are constantly trying to override your intrusive thoughts with “positive” thoughts, all you’re really doing is running away from the problem instead of solving it.

The Perfect Gift

Offering mindfulness bracelets with phrases like “Brave the uncomfortable” and “Embrace uncertainty,” Presently is making a positive impact in their customers’ daily lives with relatable messaging. They also give back to mental health organizations, donating $5 of every bracelet sold to mental health nonprofits.

Currently selling gold bracelets made of 14k gold-plated brass, silver bracelets made of sterling silver-plated brass, and beaded bracelets handmade by Emily and Lindsay themselves, the materials are carefully chosen as the founders want each item to last through everyday wear, while also being affordable.

In 2023, the pair hopes to expand their product offerings, exploring the idea of creating more bracelet styles and incorporating rings into the collection.

“We hope to reach more and more people who might be silently struggling with anxiety or OCD. Entering the mainstream market would mean more people could learn about and understand the benefits of CBT therapy,” the founders said.

IG: @thinkpresently


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