Julie McNamara

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Anxiety Society

INSTRUCTOR: Bryan Satalino

Anxiety Society is a design-centric business I created for an entrepreneurial project where my goal was to develop a brand and series of products that help people with anxiety cope through humor as well as create a community, or society, where people feel more open to speak about their Anxiety. The brand does so by creating and selling stickers, pins, and apparel that showcase the brand’s quirky faces and quotes.

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A lot of my humor stems from a mental illness I have struggled with my whole life: Anxiety. I use humor as a coping mechanism, and it allows me to connect with people who also struggle with it. I began writing down some quotes and jokes of mine that made people laugh. I quickly noticed a trend of people laughing and relating the most to my self-deprecating jokes. 



I committed to generating a new piece of design every week. Consistency was the point, and eventually my products took shape. After creating a list of quotes and comments I began sketching a bunch of shapes and objects with the same happy expression. The smiling faces paired with the dark, self-deprecating copy created a relatable set of statements that resonated with my audience.


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Bringing my sketches into the computer allowed me to imbue them with vibrant pops of color. After generating enough artwork, I began uploading and selling them on Redbubble, a global online marketplace for print-on-demand products based on user-submitted artwork. I wanted to put my work into the world in a low risk way and Redbubble allowed me to do so.



I then put my brand to the test by selling pins at a local art market. The market took place in October so I created a batch of Halloween themed pins. I had a lot of fun being creative with the punny copy for this collection. They were a hit at the market and I sold out nearly all of my pins.



Months later as Valentines day was approaching and I was painfully single, I revisited the holiday theme and created the Love Sucks collection.


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As Anxiety Society continued to grow, I decided to create an ecommerce site where I could really expand on my brand and sell more merchandise. I created pins, stickers and other wearables. My idea is that a percentage of each purchase would go towards ADAA, an international nonprofit dedicated to the prevention, treatment, & cure of anxiety, depression and co-occurring disorders. My goal for this brand is to fight anxiety by ending the stigma and creating an accepting community fueled by laughter.