#YouMatter - Mental Health Advocacy Announcement


32% of entrepreneurs struggle with two or more mental health conditions, according to Inc. Here is the story of two female entrepreneurs who decided to make a pocket poem tee together, to remind the wearer and their community that "you matter". 

In 2014, when Asset Designs was still just a hobby, Maya Chivi and Tessa Battistin first encountered each other at the annual TEDxMontrealWomen conference where Maya was speaking on gender equality. Later, in April 2017, Tessa organized a TEDxMontrealWomen Salon called “The Power of Everyday Action,” and the two crossed paths again. At the salon, Maya spoke about ‘Raising Future Change Makers’ and focused on the importance of mental health and well-being. Tessa and Maya realized their mutual interest in gender equality and mental health. The two kept in touch, and when Tessa started working on Asset Designs full-time, Maya offered her mentorship and advice.

Months later, Maya delivered her signature youth mental health speech, “You Matter,” to a standing-room-only audience at Ontario’s largest Student Leadership Conference. The stories students shared with her after the talk left Maya’s mind buzzing. She wanted to create something with a positive message that people could wear and that would last longer than the #YouMatter tattoos and pencils she’d been handing out. She reached out to Tessa to collaborate on an Asset Designs product, and together they created a Pocket Poem dedicated to mental health. 

Months in the making, from research, to design, to production, Maya and Tessa are thrilled to share their project with you!  “And then a little voice whispered, you matter” is close to both women’s hearts and, as you wear it, they hope it will be close to yours as well. It reminds the wearer and the viewers that we all matter, an important reminder on happy days, and on difficult ones. 

This tee shirt comes from the Asset Designs Spring/Summer 2018 line. Each shirt is made from 100% organic cotton, which is spun, knit, sewn, and dyed on Canadian soil. Tessa prints Maya’s words onto the pocket of each tee shirt by hand in her Mile End studio. These thoughtfully crafted tees are easy on the environment and kind to the people who’ve made them.

Maya Chivi is an author, 2x-  TEDx speaker, and advocate for mental health and gender equality. A survivor of Anorexia, Bulimia, and depression,, Maya has inspired thousands of people around the world with her story of overcoming adversity and transformation. She  holds a BA in Child Studies, with Distinction  and Dean’s Honour List, from Concordia University, and an MA in Educational Leadership, with Dean’s Honour List, from McGill University. She was the first person in the Middle East to speak on live, international TV about LGBTQ children’s rights for unconditional love. It’s one of her proudest moments! Maya has also spoken on the importance and impact of raising girls and boys with equal rights and opportunities at TEDx and during a keynote speech to the Council of Europe’s Gender Equality Commission.

Asset Designs is the brainchild of Tessa Battistin, an entrepreneur that has had her own struggles with depression and anxiety. Tessa creates high quality textile products, and uses them as a platform to advocate for slower production schedules, fair wages for garment workers, and a circular economy. In a effort to inspire more brands to commit to transparent production practices, Asset Designs publicizes its supply chain online. The brand offers free events, primary research, and online content to help customers discover where their clothes come from, how to find better buying options, and how to appropriately dispose of textile waste.

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