By Oliver Lees
As life in Sunbury appears ready to return to a sense of normalcy, small business owner Lizzie Frendo is hoping to start a conversation about mental health.
From November 10 to Christmas eve, Ms Frendo will be selling a collection of T-shirts, key rings, calendars and more, all designed with affirmations reminding the consumer to practice self care. All proceeds will be donated to the Black Dog Institute, which specialises in finding solutions to mental health issues.
To make the merchandise, Ms Frendo will draw on the skills she’s developed through her business Boxy’s Bright Bitz, which sells a range of tie dye items.
Ms Frendo said she started the enterprise after she lost her job working at the outset of the pandemic.
“I started off as therapy for myself, as I suffer from mental health issues. I was just trying to make the world a bit brighter with some tie dye,” Ms Frendo said.
“I lost my job of 15 years as a children’s entertainer and not long after I had my fourth child. Everything started to go downhill for me there.”
But Ms Frendo said her fortunes eventually took a turn for the better, as the popularity of her colourful brand blossomed during lockdown.
From just a handful of customers via social media, Ms Frendo has now set up a dedicated workspace in her home and is a regular fixture at the Bohemian Bulla Market.
Now with COVID-19 restrictions easing in Sunbury, Ms Frendo put a call out on social media to any businesses that might help her fundraising push.
“I’ve been completely blown away by the support,” Ms Frendo said.
“I thought maybe a couple businesses would just advertise my flyers in their store, but I’ve had people offering to donate items.
“I just want to let people know that it’s OK to talk about this stuff. For me I’m doing what I love, my tie dye, and hopefully also raising some awareness.”
Boxy’s Bright Bitz can be hired for birthday parties to teach children how to tie dye and learn other colourful skills.
To access the fundraiser and her online store, visit the Boxy’s Bright Bitz Facebook page: bit.ly/3C26YeK