After meeting Danai Mushayandebvu, founder of Forward Ever. Backward Never. (FEBN) back in June, we couldn't wait to get started on this collaboration.
If you're unfamiliar with FEBN, let's fill you in! FEBN is a small initiative with a big mission to destigmatize and change behaviours around mental health.
We worked with Danai on this super purple candle that features FEBN's mascot Febnian, a very cute, very kind, verrrry purple, hug-loving, friendly monster.
We are so happy to have brought Danai's vision to life and thrilled that this candle supports The Centre for Addition and Mental Health, CAMH, Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital.
$5 from every candle sold is donated directly to the CAMH Foundation. Click here to get yours.
We asked Danai a few questions about herself and FEBN :)
First off, tell us about yourself and what inspired you to start FEBN?
My name is Danai Mushayandebvu, I live in Guelph Ontario but called Toronto home for a long time before moving here - I still got big love for the T Dot. I am a brand marketer and creative writer, and all my professional experiences have lended well to starting my own thing. I love new experiences with meeting people, and learning the world around me, and philanthropy and social service work has always been a huge part of my life from a very young age. I always had a goal to start some thing in the community support space, so as a brand marketer who is socially-minded, it made total sense to blend the two worlds I knew the most to create something truly from the heart.
What is FEBN all about?
Forward ever, backward never. is a small initiative with a big mission to destigmatize and change behaviours around mental health.
I was inspired to start this initiative because of my own experience with mental health, and because of how it has affected my family over a number of years.
The more conversations I have, the more I realize that there is still a stigma about what it means to live with a mental illness, and the challenges associated with navigating every day life with a mental illness.
It's my mission to support those greatly affected by mental illness, by creating a safe space for people to share freely about the things they may be going through, and to also provide financial resources for The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) so that they can continue to help people with their amazing programs and services.
What does the future look like for FEBN?
I loooove collaborating and it is my hope that as FEBN continues to grow that I will continue to connect with like-minded individuals - like Kat and Vic - who value the importance of being socially-minded while creating beautiful and sustainable products, all while raising awareness and making a meaningful contribution to disenfranchised and marginalized communities.
If there was one thing we could do on a regular basis to help those struggling with mental illness, what would it be?
Do you remember the golden rule? As kids we learn that we should do onto others as we would like them to do on to us. That simple principle should be the guiding light through which we should operate in our daily lives. We may never understand the inner workings of someone else’s mind, but when we operate from a place of empathy and compassion, and meet people exactly where they are, there is always an opportunity for healing and understanding.
How to you like to self-care?
Music is my ultimate escape. I can get lost in it with the click of a button, so I turn on some tunes, become one with nature (a walk, sitting on some grass, being near water) and decompress. In the evenings I’d typically light a candle, read a book or get lost in reality TV.
What's the last adventure you went on?
*triggered cuz she misses travel so much* I travel very often, at least three times a year, usually somewhere new, but the more recent significant adventure I went on before lockdown was to Sedona, Arizona, hiking through what they call the spiritual vortex. It was magical, and I cannot waaaaait to go back.
Do you have a favourite LOHN scent?
LATO! I could sniff it all day. Fun fact: the Forward Ever, Backward Never candle is based on this scent, so LATO lovers, you are in for a treat!