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The Merch Story

Healing through Design: How I turned pain into profit by embracing healing, confidence and culture 

It all started after February 16, 2018.

This was the release day of Black Panther and I had tickets. I had the perfect outfit – an African print top, black pants with flat over-knee-boots. THOSE boots will turn out to be a bad decision.

The weather was great. I felt awesome and was ready for the day. I tracked my train and headed out with a smile on my face. The snow had melted, I could almost skip down the walkway. And I almost did just that until BOOM … I slipped. Yes, I slipped. THOSE flat over-knee-boots that I scored on black Friday were not the best decision. They were comfortable and cute but provided no match for the patch of ice I found at the end of the walkway.

My right foot slipped and my first thought was, “Brandi, the drivers going by can see you, so REMAIN VERTICAL!” I did not hear the break but I KNEW it was bad.  The level of pain that rippled through my body was uncontrollable.  I couldn’t move.

I was cold, and alone, but I managed to call 9-1-1. With the help of a few good Samaritans their prayers, I was able to remain calm while I waited for paramedics. 

After tests, I needed surgery to repair FOUR fractures – one in my tibia and three in my ankle. Yes, three!

As you can imagine, the next few months were very challenging.  I was in pain. I was ANGRY. Not just with my situation but with God.   How could he allow this to happen? Everyone kept saying, “He needed you to slow down to get your attention.”   I thought, “WELL, SIR, YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION NOW. WHAT DO YOU NEED FROM ME?!”

Design. That is what I heard. You need to design.

Design is my passion. I’ve been a graphic + web designer for over 20 years. So, I started to design.I used my background as art therapy to get out of my depression.

The apparel line started with the cornerstone concept that is truly a reflection of how I turned my brokenness into something beautiful by transforming my black and white leg x-ray into a bold, colorful and inspirational graphic that highlights my recovery motto, BROKEN, HEALED, STRONGER BETTER! 

While my process hasn’t been easy, I’ve been transformed from tragedy to triumph. Have the returns been great financially, some? But the spiritual, physical and emotional gain has been priceless.  It is my hope that others will find strength and inspiration from my story so they will know that they too can WIN!

The Merch Story

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