Mental health is a tough subject for
anyone to admit that they’ve been depressed or they’ve struggled that they’ve
you know, had severe anxiety or they’ve just had really, really tough days or
they didn’t want to get out of bed it’s not easy. It’s not easy. My name is Ben
Miller and I co-founded WIRTH Hats to honor my friends and bring more
awareness to mental health. I met Jakob when I travelled abroad to
do my master’s program. One day we had a break from our class; came up to me he’s
like man I’ve had this idea and I haven’t really told anyone before and
then he just blurted out, he’s like “a hat company, man, I want to start a hat company”
I didn’t know Jake was struggling and I don’t think anyone really knew but I got
that message that no one wants to receive. “I hate to be the one that
informs you of this Ben but a Jakob Wirth is no longer with us.” You started to
question a lot of things but the one thing I never questioned was his dream
to have his hat company. WIRTH Hats was just meant to be a one-off
it was meant to be for Jake to have his dream for 25 hats to be created. I went
back to Copenhagen for my second semester of school and I travelled to
Austria to where his family was I just have wanted his closest 25— I wanted the hats to go
to them. Each hat came with a tag round Jakob’s dream and a reminder that you
know we’re never as alone as we sometimes think we are and that we all need
to be willing to be a little more vulnerable and open with each other.
For me I had my hats later that year I, I moved back to Vancouver. I of course would think back to Jakob and
WIRTH Hats from time to time but slowly got more removed from WIRTh Hats and you
know, went on to creating a career for myself. One of my best friends
Philipp he was in the program with Jakob and I and you know friends with Jakob
and one day it was on a Tuesday we’d always have our call. l got in the call and
I’m like, “Hey man how you doing?” “Yeah I’m not, not doing not doing that great.” and
and I’m like, “What do you mean?” and he’s like, “Aww you know don’t worry about it
it’s it’s fine, it’s— it’s all good.” Never, ever my wildest dreams,
in any dream I could have imagined that I would be receiving that….ah, same
message again. You start to question a lot when someone who’s so talented, just such
a beautiful in being that that can happen to and you obviously if that can
happen to that person it could, of course, to happen to anyone.
“Have a great day bye-bye buddy.” I remember I went for a walk and I— I just
decided it we’re gonna put WIRTH Hats in the world again, I’m gonna fulfill the
promise to my friend of making the best hat company I ever can and my friend
Philipp who’s someone who desperately wished and wanted to communicate freely
with the world and was unable to do it himself at times. Who here knows what WIRTH Hats is, first
off? You? Everyone? With every hat sale 100% goes to mental health initiatives.
It goes to the work we do at WIRTH Hats and supporting counseling and therapy.
One of the things that we want to do with WIRTH Hats and the revenues that
we generate is to provide counseling to people who could otherwise not afford it.
But we are looking to partner up with some of the big online platforms for mental
health and for therapy. We have a goal of paying for a thousand
sessions of counseling and therapy we can touch and reach people wherever they
are in the world we can help them get the help that they need
and we can help people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.
If WIRTH Hats is to be successful it can’t just be sad and hard stories
sometimes it’s gonna be hard and then things are gonna be serious cuz that’s
life that’s you know being human and sometimes it’s gonna be fun, playful,
exciting, joyful, smiles all that because that’s human too. I think WIRTH Hats
this much more than hats we are a hat company but we are a hat company that cares
about mental health. When we get that dialogue going I think that a lot of
stories won’t end as sad as Jakob’s. Neither Jakob or Philipp went and saw a
counselor, neither of them liked to talk about it. If I can change and help one
person, one person, then it will be all worthwhile.