Washington mental health brand celebrate success after founder turns 'darkest days' into positive business encouraging others to 'just talk'
and live on Freeview channel 276
Unsubtle Skulls started trading in March 2020, during the UK’s national Covid lockdown, after founder Graeme Alexandra decided to turn his “darkest days” into something positive.
Graeme, 33 founded the brand alongside owner Gordon Crockett, 39 after being diagnosed with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the death of a friend.
The 33-year-old tragically found his friend after he had taken his own life and struggled with flashbacks of the incident.
Graeme, who lives in Glasgow, was diagnosed with PTSD after night terrors and flashbacks became a constant occurrence.
He said: “I just started getting flashbacks out of the blue and it started to get too much, I had a flashback when I was at work and I screamed aloud and it was then that I realised I needed to talk to someone.”
The founder, who works as a gas engineer, was later sectioned under the mental health act after he attempted to take his own life.
Now, working alongside business partner Gordon, from Washington, the company, based in Swan Road, hopes to encourage others to talk about mental health.
Graeme added: “After being in psychiatric care, I realised that if I had just spoken to someone then things might not have got so bad, so now I wanted to open up a conversation and break the ice on a difficult topic.”
The brand takes graphic designs which carry an underlying message about mental health, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD and autism, and prints them on to garments and accessories in the hope of starting conversations and raising awareness.
Owner Gordon said: “We want people to be able to speak about mental health so our products start that conversation – it’s completely down to individual choice about whether people want to wear mental health associated clothing but it gives people the opportunity.”
Unsubtle Skulls positive message includes their mascot ‘the baby skull’, which represents the skull as the mind and the baby as the brain and is featured on their products.
The company also donates a portion of their profits to charities such as MIND and the Samaritans and live streams advice and support on TikTok from mental health specialist Richie Paxton for people struggling with their mental health.
Graeme said: “Lockdown has been hard on everyone and it has caused mental health to suffer so this brand is about giving back and helping people to ‘just talk' and the response has been amazing, it’s really overwhelming at times because the success stories we hear are so rewarding.”
Covering a range of different topics, the company has products dedicated to several issues, including knife crime, addiction and bipolar awareness.
Gordon said: “We have tried to cover lots of topics that effect people each and every day and we want to deliver an educational journey by creating awareness as well as a positive message.”
The Unsubtle Minds website can be found via this link www.unsubtleskulls.com