The Nashville-Based Clothing Brand Creating Positive Discussion Around Mental Wellness

Dissocialite-design-brynn-plummer

Brynn Plummer is the light and love you need in your life. She is the creator of Dissocialite Design Co. and naturally sprinkles happiness wherever she goes. The mission of her new brand gives that same energy and is a whole vibe – shining a light on mental health disorders while creating a positive community and conversation surrounding these disorders. Brynn is truly a champion for all and her community she is building really showed up and showed out during the launch of her brand. Allowing her online clothing store to sell over 250+ t-shirts/apparel in the first few days! The “Tired Black Girl Club” sweatshirt could definitely be our fall uniform. Read her story and definitely make sure to check out Dissocialite Design Co.

What inspired you to launch Dissocialite Design Co.?

I was inspired by my own experience of coming to understand my own mental health, but it was quarantine that enabled this. The anxiety and grief of the pandemic, the time alone to process. I didn’t know what to do with this anxious energy, but I knew other people were feeling it too.
At one point, I was on the phone with a friend and we were discussing a different creative project that she was asked to work on. My friend just said “Girl, I am depressed. I cannot do all of this stuff right now.” I cracked up because I knew exactly what she meant. I said, “that needs to be on a shirt or a pin so people can read it before they talk to me.” And I started sketching ideas from there.

The sayings are super real and resonate so deeply especially in this season. Was that intentional and meant to be therapeutic for your customers and you?

The sayings are very real and intentional. I love that it’s therapeutic. I love that the phrases are intentional and therapeutic while also being instructional and educational to a certain degree. The more that I’ve grown on my mental journey, I found all of this language to describe this phenomenon in my body and my head that I never really understood. I use words and phrases that pertain to mental health, like describing symptoms or types of medicine a person might take to manage symptoms of mental illness.

Dissocialite aims to broaden access to mental health knowledge and destigmatize mental illness through bright playful and irreverent design. To that end, the words and phrases borrow heavily from psychology and the full emotional range humans possess. Think words like “anxious” and “manic.” I also include some words that are deeper into the DSM-V. For example, “anhedonia” and “manic.” These are mostly words that have brought me comfort to learn – comfort because, wow, I finally have a word to describe this feeling. I can talk about this and now that I know the name, I can figure out how to look up treatment and what to expect.
Even the name of the company – Dissocialiate – speaks to mental health, can you expound?
I learned the word dissociation a few years ago, which means to lose time or be separated from reality. I experience this so often during depressive episodes and times of stress, but I’m also known as a big personality, life of a party person. There were so many times when I was my most depressed when I would be at a party or event, talking and dolled up and exchanging pleasantries, when inside I would be fully dissociated. There I was – the Dissociating Socialite.
I think that’s what resonated the most with people — being wholly seen…
I think that’s what resonated the most with people — being wholly seen, finding tools to talk about their inner lives, feeling understood and capable and some days *not*capable. I call all the brand’s supporters Dissocialites, all belonging to this universe of people doing the work to comprehend and manage their complex emotional lives.
What’s more, the community is steered by a self-proclaimed sad Black girl, so while we’re over here self-actualizing and getting help on the individual level, we’re also always going to be talking about collective care, community care, advocating for a less abusive and structurally oppressive world. We’re not going inward to turn our backs on the suffering in the world; we’re fortifying ourselves so that we can survive, resist and thrive. I think we all need that right now. Our world certainly needs it.

You are killing it on the promotional game, could you share a little around the creative process for designing and finding your tribe?

I’ve been using Instagram forever just as an individual like everybody and their mama does. I’m pretty forthcoming on IG! I’m a dang weirdo on there! But I think people appreciate that! It brings people closer to you, it feels intimate, and it really is. A lot of times I’ll share things that are hard for me to share on the internet first, as much as I hate to admit it. I can compartmentalize that way, manage reactions and take time to think about how to respond. And frankly, this platform has been a huge part of my mental and psychological learning!
I posted about the launch around 11 at night on a Friday, just uploading a photo to my grid with the announcement. When I woke up, I was blown away by the support. People had bought merchandise, they’d shared on their Instagram stories, sent emails and texts, told stories about how we met. And then when the clothing shipped out, people took photos of themselves in the designs when they arrived. Every day people post themselves in the designs, and I still freak when I see them.
So now it’s about nurturing and growing the Dissocialite community. I see Dissocialite as a holding space for a community of people who are exploring mental wellness, trying to break these intergenerational curses, and navigating the complexities of staying sane in 2020.

  

What can people expect from you next?

I just dropped the second line of designs on Bonfire, an autumn/winter collection called “Seasonal Affective Dissocialite.” It was designed with the experiences that many people have with their mental wellness through the fall and winter seasons in mind. The line explains a bit more about the disorders and what happens when we get a little less sun or a little less daylight: “anhedonia,” “dissociated,” “seasonally affected,” and “manic” sweatshirts and t-shirt designs.
In the next drop, there are plans to expand into more hard goods that anxious folks might need: drinkware for tea and coffee, journals, stickers, and prints.
The designs will continue to have that bold, colorful, and graphic look and feel, almost reminiscent of the Fauvist art movement and typefaces popular in the 60s and 70s. And I’m always open to what people want to see or think! Just hit me up on IG: @dissocialitedesignco.

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