Sympli Women That Inspire: An Employee Spotlight
It was by sheer coincidence that Kirsten joined us at Sympli, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her here! When we discovered that Kirsten also volunteers with the Looking Glass Foundation, an organization that Sympli has supported since the beginning, we felt the connection had to be fate.
Despite all the bad press out there, Sympli believes in the potential for fashion to be a positive, empowering force. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to design clothing to fit and flatter women of all shapes and sizes. This is a message that goes far deeper than the clothes we design. We are happy to be a company that reflects this love and respect in all that it does. We are an accepting and giving family, and we work every day hoping to make a difference in the lives of the people we touch. That’s why we are partners with the Looking Glass Foundation; a local, non-profit organization that provides support to young people struggling with eating disorders.
Today we are sharing Kirsten’s story, one that we are privileged to be a part of.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m an employee at Sympli, and I work in the shipping department. I am a young artist, born in Canada, although I lived in Sydney Australia for 9 years until moving back near the end of 2010. I am also a frequent volunteer for The Looking Glass Foundation, a cause that I am very passionate about. I have known what it’s like to struggle with an eating disorder, although I am happy to say that I’ve been recovered for almost 3 years.
How did you discover the Looking Glass Foundation?
The Looking Glass Foundation is an organization that has appeared often throughout my journey. I re-discovered it during my recent search to give back to a community that I stand with and support. Back in 2011 while still adjusting to the changes in my life (a new country, a new home), and simultaneously struggling with body image issues, my mother came across The Looking Glass Foundation while Googling things like “How to help my teenage daughter” and “What do I do!?” At the time, unfortunately, the Looking Glass Foundation slipped past me. It can be extremely difficult to seek help from strangers when you aren’t used to it, or when you don’t fully understand what it is that you need help for.
What do you do for the Looking Glass Foundation and why is it so important for you to be a volunteer?
After my recovery, I started thinking about how I could make a difference. I found The Looking Glass Foundation online and immediately applied to volunteer after reading about the work they’re doing. One program that they offer, Hand in Hand, immediately caught my interest.
In Hand in Hand “participants are paired with a trained Looking Glass volunteer who is deemed a good match for them based on their interests and background, and the kind of support they need. Once connected, each participant/volunteer match commits to engage in confidential, caring support through regular (usually weekly) conversations either in person, by phone, or online… The focus of Hand in Hand is to support individuals wherever they are in their unique recovery journey and to help them discover what they are capable of achieving, as they are ready.”
This program really appealed to me. I believe Hand in Hand would have been a benefit to me when I was feeling socially isolated, and in need of face-to-face time with another person. I found it difficult to open up to paid therapists and family members during my experience with an eating disorder, so the idea of acting as a casual, friendly support stuck with me like glue.
What brought you to Sympli?
I was drawn to Sympli’s atmosphere and aims for similar reasons. When I came in for a job interview almost a year ago, I learned about the company’s support for positive self-image. Sympli does this not only by making versatile clothing, but by showcasing it on diverse women and with genuine care. Sympli stands for change. I can think of countless clothing companies that do not stand behind changing the way we perceive beauty. Too many brands advertise their clothing on one body type that not all of us can identify with, so I am proud to work with Sympi, a company that celebrates diversity. Differences are not something we should be ashamed of – instead we should embrace them! We are all unique, and we are all worthy of love and care from ourselves and from our communities.