Saskatoon, Canada, native Amanda Sanderson knew she had to do something after her daughter struggled with thoughts of suicide. This first time entrepreneur decided the apparel industry would provide a platform from which she could increase suicide awareness, uplift spirits and provide hope to youth, men and women who suffer from depression — including those families who have lost a loved one to suicide. Now she’s got plans to host rallies, workshops and conferences to spread the message even further.

Sanderson’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:

My inspiration for my business is my daughter who struggled to find that desire for life. She suffered and struggled with suicide for a few years. She overcame this devastating time in her life and blossomed into a beautiful young woman with confidence and self worth. While trying to launch SHB Apparel my younger daughter reached out to me telling me she no longer wanted to live. She is getting the help she needs and is getting stronger everyday. She is my inspiration to keep SHB Apparel going. My daughters give me the strength to help our youth, women and men who suffer with thoughts of suicide and for those that have lost a loved one. SHB Apparel will be that voice that will raise awareness about suicide. My goals are to host rallies, workshops and conferences.

My definition of success involves all the beautiful individuals who reach out to me when they do not have the support they need. It means a lot that people are reaching out to me. If I can help save one person or more, that means the world to me. Telling my daughters’ story and my story as a mother is success because I want to raise suicide awareness.

My biggest success was launching my crowdfunding campaign. Also SHB Apparel is hosting our first annual suicide awareness rally called Mental Health Matters in Saskatoon. My goals for SHB Apparel are to host rallies, workshops and conferences. We need more suicide awareness, we need to reach to those that may not have someone. If you get a chance to help someone who is struggling with suicide: 1) Listen 2) Don’t judge 3) Don’t interrupt 4) Let that person know you are so proud of them for reaching out to you. 5) Hug them.

“If I can help save one person or more, that means the world to me.”

– Amanda Sanderson, Founder of S.H.B Apparel

My biggest challenges have been starting up because of what my daughter was going through. I put SHB Apparel on the side to help my daughter see life as a beautiful thing again. It is a daily struggle but she is getting stronger everyday. We have our faith and with our loved ones, prayers. She will be ok.
I also find sales and marketing challenging, because I am a new Mompreneur and I am still learning the do’s and don’ts of running my own business.

While trying to launch my business, my younger daughter reached out to me telling me she no longer wanted to live. This broke my heart into a millions pieces! As a mom this is the last thing you want to hear from your babies and then it is a blessing too because she trusts me enough to help her. When one of your children reaches out to you that means she wants the help so I see it as a blessing. I am truly blessed to have four beautiful babies.

My mom and my dad are my role models. They are the most amazing parents who both run their own businesses. My dad is a hard worker and still to this day works outside running his business. My mom is a residential school survivor and she is strong and brave with what she went through. My parents are the most strong and brave people I know. No matter what obstacles lie in their path, they always come out stronger. I love my parents so much, they are my #1 supporters and the ones I always go to for advice.

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