You may have noticed a lack of social media posts, new products, responses to enquiries/messages, and a general absence of KULT’s sardonic and emotion-capturing presence recently. There’s good (not so much good, rather just plainly honest) reasoning for my step back from the business almost a year ago in September of last year, but in order to explain it fully, I first need to offer a little bit of back story to KULT and how things bloomed into existence.
KULT is the product of one mind, one pair of hands, a huge amount of sewing and screen printing, along with an intense volume of worry and perfectionism. In essence, KULT is just an extension of me: Sam. It’s a way of putting my thoughts out into the world onto a medium I profoundly love, using a personal craft that I feel I have put in great effort to continually improve. It’s my way of taking something from within myself and having people be able to enjoy that idea, without ever associating it with me or meeting me. It exists on its own; it’s its own thing.
Most of you likely don’t know who I am or what I look like, but you may have seen a piece I’ve created. Something that’s dripped out of my brain, inked its way onto a garment and found a place in the far corner of someones social media account, ‘inspiration’ board or is draped on a hanger inside their wardrobe. Being able to live in a world where I have the privilege and ability to create is truly a blessing, but to have people want to adorn their body with something that I’ve created gives me a feeling of happiness that I don’t think I could wholly sum up in words; the irony being that all I do is sum up my own emotions into words for you all.
I started KULT at 16, with nothing but pocket money. It was never a preordained career occupation for me to make clothing, but with some luck and the emotional support of my parents and friends, I was able to flourish doing something that I was burning with passion for. I truly loved my job. I didn’t ever even consider it a job, because it was “just what I do”, and I enjoyed it, even in the times I would need to stay up sewing until 4am in August heatwaves. I loved my job so much that I burnt myself out completely.
This time last year, it had been around 2 years and 3 months since I had taken a break—that had been longer than a few days—from my daily regimen of answering emails, printing, sewing, packing, shipping and then again answering emails until 3am. I rarely visited visited my family or saw my friends (even those geographically nearby to me) and constantly denied myself vacations because I feared so much that more than a few days off would completely detract from the success I was seeing, and the love for what I was creating that I felt from you all on a daily basis.
It took one exceedingly large blow from a deeply personal space that turned my world on its head, and I had to just let go of everything else until I could get my head into a space where my mind would even function at the thought of “doing work”. And while I realise this is an extremely privileged position to be in—to take time for yourself without regard to others—I simply did not have it in me to continue doing anything that wasn’t sitting around, quite literally watching time pass. Experiencing thoughts that you all would be disappointed by KULT’s absence shredded my confidence, and the longer I left it, the more time I felt I needed to work through it all, and from there it became a vicious cycle of broken promises to myself of when I would get back to “it”.
I have always been a profoundly emotional person, feeling even the slightest emotions deeply. I don’t think this is a unique trait, but it doesn’t seem exceedingly common, because none of us like to admit we are hurt by the smallest of actions from others. Nostalgia rears its head constantly in my mind, and it can be detrimental to the progress of getting my mental health where it should be again, but I am making progress and I am ready to come back. I want to come back. The dark places I have allowed myself to fall into over the last twelve months frighten me when I think about them. I have never been the person who sleeps until 4pm in the afternoon and wakes up to a hazy, grey and colourless world. I have never been someone who drank alcohol daily and used it as a coping mechanism. I’ve never been someone who would just stare aimlessly at the television, not listening, and only thinking about how much I wanted to end my life. Waking up feeling empty is soul-destroying, and I would not wish depression upon my worst enemy. It is an insidious disease that should be dealt with swiftly, and with the same gravity that physical illnesses are.
I usually stop myself from saying “it took me far too long to find the right path to recovering” from my depression, because it’s okay to take as long as is needed. There is no benchmark for these things; it will take as long as it needs to take for you to realise how to continue with your life. Do not let the fear hold you back from looking to the future. Take one step at a time and truly celebrate that progress in each moment. Your support network is imperative to your recovery and survival, without mine I would not have found the hope and strength to continue.
I will end this post with two pieces of information that have helped me the most in getting to this space. Firstly, everyone is suffering and you are not alone. Small or big, it is not for you to categorise, and they cannot dismiss your pain just as you cannot dismiss theirs. By sharing our pain with others, we lessen the burden on ourselves and gain new perspectives. It is so important to reconsider your outlook when things seem increasingly bleak. Secondly, despite everything else around you, in the end it is only your health and your happiness that matter. This might appear selfish at first, but unless you are happy, how can you ever help others? Shutter out everything that is distracting you from focusing on becoming well again and you will piece-by-piece find that thing that makes you you again.
Lastly, I would like to thank you all deeply for your considerable patience, kindness and support in what has been a difficult year. KULT will continue, and I will do all that I can to ensure you are pleased with the service I offer and are smiling from ear to ear when you receive your next KULT piece. Thank you, truly. – Sam
Any unanswered enquiries via social media or email will be responded to beginning 14th October 2019. Any orders that have not yet been dispatched but paid for, will begin to ship from 21st October 2019.
At this time, it may take longer than usual to receive a response to any new enquiries that are made.
Support links for anyone suffering with depression or suicidal ideation:
Samaritans (UK) — 116 123 • https://www.samaritans.org
NSPL (US) — 1 800 273 8255 • https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/talk-to-someone-now/