Can running a fashion business help with depression?

Creative activities which are often prescribed by medical practitioners, to help treat Depression, include:

  • Painting
  • Sketching
  • Journalling
  • Beading
  • Woodwork
  • Cleaning/Organising drawers, cupboards and rooms in your home
  • Colouring in
  • Playing with Lego
  • Building a jigsaw puzzle
  • Playing an instrument

There are lots more options and outdoor activities that can be prescribed, but the key question is: why?

Why is creativity considered therapeutic?

Simply put: creativity gives us a break from the day-to-day routines and monotony of our lives. Depression is a complex medical condition and there are a lot of possible causes for it, from medicinal side effects to ineffective weight management. Creative activities redirect the mind from focussing on depressive and implosive thoughts, to concentrating on a challenge that has no rules in terms of how it can be solved. 

For example, when you’re learning to play an instrument, you need to concentrate on the instrument itself, how it works, the chords and keys and notes you’ve got to play in a sequence. You focus your mind intentionally on these things and less conscious space is occupied by depressive thoughts. It doesn’t mean that it’s a permanent solution, but creativity is certainly a large part of the ongoing treatment process for Depression and related medical conditions.

Creativity vs business management in fashion:

With any business, there are opportunities to be creative and to be analytical and systematic. Most times, these thing will overlap, but what is it about fashion businesses that draw people in: the creativity or the chance to build an empire? What if it’s both?

Creativity in a fashion business:

It’s the most obvious aspect and often the one which draws people into the fashion industry. Movies that romanticise the idea of starting a fashion business make it look like creativity alone is enough. While this is far from reality, creativity is a must when you’re going into any fashion business.

Fashion business management

When you’re not drawing designs, playing with colour palettes, textures or accessories, your fashion business needs you to be a business manager. This means that the commercial side of the business needs to be managed: sales, finance, administration. It all matters just as much as your creativity.

Is Depression common among fashion business owners?

Depression is becoming commonplace around the world. This is partly due to the rising costs of living, fast-paced consumerist culture and change in lifestyle. People no longer have or make time to explore creativity within themselves, or break away from the pressure of needing to spend every waking moment earning money.

Does running a fashion business help with Depression?

Yes and no. To an extent, the creative side of design and playing with ideas will assist with confronting symptoms of Depression, but a fashion business is just as demanding as any other commercial business. It needs both driven business energy as well as the creative side. 

What if you really enjoy design?

You can keep designing clothes without actually taking on the challenge of running an entire business. Established labels will sometimes buy designs from independent artists, and commercial teams are always looking for inspiration. If it’s the creativity that’s therapeutic for you, choose a path on which you can nurture that. That’s going to be the key to helping yourself process and treat Depression.

Is fashion business the answer to your Depression?

Answering this is a process. You need to speak to your doctor if you even slightly suspect that you might have Depression. The diagnosis involves several steps that must be supervised by qualified medical practitioners. Further to this, entrepreneurship is another gauntlet and you need to remember that it takes a lot more than just artistic skill and creativity to achieve success as a fashion business.

Does CAFB help people with Depression?

Creative Angels Fashion Benefit is not a medical programme or formal treatment. We recognise Depression as a serious medical condition, and we offer a safe space for every one of our trainees and programme members to explore their identity without backlash. We have a code of conduct and a philosophy that we live by, where anyone joining us has the right to envision any dream that doesn’t hurt or harm another person, or stop someone else from achieving what he/she wants. 

Our diverse team takes mental health seriously. Some of us have first-hand experience with Burnout, Depression and Anxiety themselves. This makes it easier for us to create an inviting space and to provide authentic support through our programmes, to help you discover the best version of yourself.

Does CAFB help you decide if a fashion business is for you?

Absolutely. Since 2012 we have developed and refined our fashion business programmes to help you decide if you’re ready to take the next step, no matter where you are in your fashion business journey. Our aim is to help you explore and nurture your creative talents, learn how to experience a happier life by doing so, and help you achieve your fashion business goals if you decide that this is the best direction for you to head in.

Have other fashion business owners dealt with depression?

Kate Spade is one of the most recent fashion business owners to succumb to the likes of Depression. Her story is proof that creativity is not the one-size-fits-all solution for mental health challenges. In a tragic way, Kate’s story also shows that owning a successful fashion business is also not an automatic cure for someone’s inner challenges.

Without pitching too much, we want you to know that our programmes understand how sensitive this kind of situation is. If you want to get professional help but you don’t know where to start, we recommend starting with a simple conversation with your family doctor. There are also anonymous services like Lifeline, for you to call in emergency situations when you feel overwhelmed or stuck.

You may be battling through mental or emotional health issues now, or you may be wondering if a fashion business is right for you. Why not take advantage of our free email programmes to see if you can find some answers – no strings attached… 

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