BLACK HISTORY: ArkLaTex woman uses fashion designs to bring awareness to mental health

Mon Amie’s Designs and Apparel was inspired by Dr. Frederick Ogunyemi
Local woman designs shirts to bring awareness to mental health
Local woman designs shirts to bring awareness to mental health(Amy Ogunyemi)
Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 12:07 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - A local business was born out of the pain of losing a loved one too soon.

Amy Ogunyemi says her father-in-law, the late Dr. Frederick Ogunyemi, used to call her ‘mon amie’ which means my friend in French. The words are the inspiration behind the name of her business that she runs with her husband — Mon Amie’s Designs and Apparel.

Her fashion line includes fashions and accessories that display catchy phrases that have meaning behind them.

“We actually choose to use fashion to send those messages in the same capacity as we do with our advocacy work. Sometimes when you see it on a t-shirt it is unexplainable when you look at a t-shirt that says ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup.’”

Amy added that she and her husband love using fashion to spread that message.

In 2018, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Amy says that was the height of her struggle with anxiety and depression although being diagnosed in 2013.

“I was working a lot of hours, (in a) highly toxic work environment, high stress,” she said. “I am a mother of three children and at that time they were all very young, I was working about 60-70 hours a week and just the burden of carrying that load on top of being a professional, it was a lot to carry.”

She uses fashion and accessories to speak on the behalf of those who suffer from anxiety and depression. She added many people who live with anxiety and depression can be exhausting especially when trying to convince others that your illness is real.

“We all hear those words like weak or crazy or unstable and because people are afraid of those labels they choose to suffer in silence. If you would have met me five, six years ago I was a different person.”

Amy penned the Christian self-help book, Hopeless Surrender. The book was written for anyone who suffers from anxiety or depression.

In addition, Amy also manages an online support community, Mon Amie’s Anxiety and Depression Alliance on Facebook. There are about 300 people in the community and it allows people to talk with others in a safe space with others who understand anxiety and depression.

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