Cassidy from Savage, Minnesota watched her
brother, Aaron, struggle with a late-diagnosed case of bipolar disorder.
She was a successful businesswoman in the salon business, when she
took a Self-expression and Leadership course and was told to create
a campaign that reflected her passions. One was the beauty business,
and the other was her desire to fund research in the field of bipolar
disorder. She wanted to help other children like Aaron.
Julie and her older brother, Steve Johanns, sought
out the help of the design firm Last Call Studios. Its co-founders,
Trey Fortner (creative director), and John Vipond (creative writer),
got very excited about the project, read books about bipolar children,
and began to create the Bipolar Beautiful Campaign. We were very moved
by Julie’s letter which described the presentation of the brand
that Trey and John developed:
“I will never
forget the day we met at Starbucks to review the final draft. I
watched Trey pull the posters out of his briefcase and immediately
began to sob. This was exactly what I was hoping for.”
The Marketing Tools of Bipolar Beautiful
The Bipolar Beautiful team developed a brand image,
marketing, and fundraising tools to empower companies and organizations
to raise money. The initial fundraising event held a few months
ago was hosted by salons throughout the Twin Cities area. Inside
salons, there was information about the disorder and about JBRF,
the posters, a raffle, and a “Color for a Cure” event.
The leading sponsor was Kids Hair, the foremost children’s
salon in Minnesota with 12 locations today and growing.In all of
Julie’s press kits, there is a page that begins with:
Inspiration Behind Bipolar Beautiful
Bipolar Beautiful as an idea and an inspiration began in December
2003 by Julie Cassidy, a successful businesswoman in the salon industry.
Bipolar Beautiful was inspired by Julie’s brother, Aaron Johanns.
As a child Aaron was misdiagnosed with ADHD and medicated. As a
teenager, he developed into an All-American Athlete and by age 16
and was sought after by colleges throughout the United States. He
was one of only three athletes in the state of Iowa to sign as a
sophomore in high school. The other two players went on to have
successful college careers and one is now a star in the NBA, Ricky
Davis. In his junior year, Aaron’s world came apart as he
began to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, losing his scholarship
opportunity and spiraling down and then up with major mood swings.
At age 19 he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. By age 24, Aaron
had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals and drug treatment
centers numerous times. At age 26, Aaron continues to battle bipolar
disorder with courage and dedication. His game now is the game of
life.The game of Bipolar Beautiful is simple….Raise Awareness…
Raise Money…Fund Research… Save children.
The Beau Monde Salon introduces clients to childhood-onset
Julie told us that she is already working on developing a campaign
for a chain of 87 salons in the Midwest. She would be excited about
helping other people in the beauty industry join the Bipolar Beautiful
team and she can be emailed at email@example.com.
We at JBRF are so very grateful to Julie, Steve, Trey, John, Earl
Molerud of Kids Hair, Linda
Peterson of the Beau Monde Salon, and all the people who are making
these events happen and are funding our mission.
from left to right Trey Fortner, Steve Johanns, and John Vipond
Seated in the center, naturally, is Julie Cassidy
As Bipolar Beautiful says:
Recognize the problem. Maximize the potential.
Next > Other Ways to Help
Make a Donation
Why Become a Research Sponsor
Other Ways to Help
Matching Gifts Program