Hi! Welcome to Hanesie: I’m the founder, Elizabeth “Ellie” Haney.
HOW HANESIE STARTED
In March of 2020, I was finishing my senior year at University of Delaware, experiencing a very sad breakup -- and then COVID-19 happened. I’ve been dealing with mental health challenges since the beginning of college and the combination of all these stresses caused my mental health to spiral out of control. I did not feel like myself; it was the most lost, hopeless and isolated I have ever felt. I did not know how I was ever going to feel better, constantly battling a fight with my head. Natural light seemed to dull my anxiety a bit and make me feel a little less scared. Fashion and dressing up also gave me a bit of an escape and distracted me, and I realized that colors gave me these calmer feelings too.
As Covid began, I started tye-dying clothes for a distraction: The process gave me satisfaction and something to look forward to. I felt excited to wake up in the morning to see how my designs and different colors came out - and I had not felt that way in a long time.
I followed this feeling and kept creating. I started selling some of my products on Instagram and to my surprise I sold out of everything really quickly, so I decided to make this website - but it was still just a hobby.
Before I knew it, it was May 2020 and I had graduated college and had accepted a corporate job, with very long hours, leaving me with barely any time for creating clothes - and I was unhappy. I quit this job, thinking I just needed something different with shorter hours. So I accepted another job with shorter hours, less commute, and I was happier. However, the entire time I was there, I felt like I belonged somewhere else, that I was meant for something else.
I couldn’t focus on my job as my mind was racing with ways I could start my own business and I quickly opened up to my new boss: I told her how passionate I was about creating clothing and starting my own company. I apologized for telling her but, to my surprise, she was inspired by my honesty and bravery and told me she believed in me and suggested that I pursue Hanesie Clothes full time and, a few weeks later, in mid-June 2021, I did just that.
After committing fully to Hanesie, I knew I had to seize the opportunity to make this MINE. Everything in me. Because of how significant mental health is in my life, I knew I had to build it into my brand. Over the years, I’ve learned tools and tactics to pull myself out of dark places; I know what it’s like to feel hopeless - but I also know I can get myself out of that feeling, even when it’s not easy. And I know I can help other people: I’ve done it and I know it’s possible - and this is why I created HERE FOR YOU.
HERE FOR YOU
HERE FOR YOU does not have one just meaning. No matter what you are feeling, knowing someone is here for you with no judgement can be everything. Even in my darkest times when I didn’t want to have to explain anything to anybody, I always wanted the feeling of people supporting me, surrounding me, without judgement. Knowing that people are here for you can change everything: we all go through things and we all need each other; we are not meant to do this alone.
I want Hanesie to be real. We need to authentically normalize all feelings and normalize being human and growing, messing up, and failing. We all have our own struggles and we all have our own stories. Hanesie Clothes wants to normalize talking about mental health in a colorful and meaningful way. Every day, we choose the clothing we wear. Let’s choose to wear things that inspire. Let’s choose to give others a sign; one day, that might be all it takes to help someone. Let’s come together and share, so we can hope together: we know that there is always hope.
I cannot wait to continue growing Hanesie Clothes: the backbone of my business will always be spreading awareness and hope in a colorful and meaningful way. And of course, being fashionable. Certain colors on Hanesie’s clothes make me feel excited, others calm, some nostalgic: but I know this might be different for others. That’s why I’ll always offer custom colors: I want to provide people that sensation of comfort in whatever color affects them personally.
I could not do this without my family, who has always been here for me. And I’m grateful to the teammates who I have taken on recently, all of whom are mental health advocates and I’m lucky to have them working with me. Thank you to them, my friends, and my family for their endless love and support. I would not even be close to where I was without any of them.