MHA Offers Custom Socks from Upscale Socks
Entrepreneur Lenny Underwood Partners for Mental Health Awareness Month
MHA is taking a step forward—while wearing some really cool socks—to spread the word about Mental Health Awareness Month. Working with Lenny Underwood, a locally-based entrepreneur and founder of Upscale Socks (www.upscalesocks.com), MHA is offering two different sock designs with mental health themes that tie into the observance of Mental Health Awareness Month during May.
“These socks are a fashion-forward opportunity to bring more awareness to the importance of talking about emotions and feelings,” said Kimberley A. Lee, VP Resource Development & Branding for MHA. “Talking is the important first step to take toward feeling better, and these special Upscale Socks for MHA are a colorful, vibrant and fun way to get that message across.”
“I’m honored to be part of this project that is creating awareness for something affecting so many different people, especially now,” said Underwood. “Being a young entrepreneur, I think it’s important to target millennials, like I am, and also African Americans, like I am. Mental health is a topic that doesn’t get discussed enough, especially in the Black community, so if I can do my part to dispel myths and remove the stigma, I am happy to help.”
Where did the idea of socks to promote mental health awareness come from? “A while back I saw an ad for a local event and one of the panelists was Lenny Underwood, founder of Upscale Socks,” said Lee. “I like fashion so I checked out the Upscale Socks website and wow, was impressed! It made me wonder if there was an opportunity to engage Lenny around MHA’s annual Wellness Classic Golf Tournament. When I reached out, Lenny was on board right away and the “Sock It To Me Sponsorship” quickly moved from concept to reality. And when I asked if he’d help us create socks as a tie-in with Mental Health Awareness Month, he said yes, absolutely.”
“Kim Lee and I brainstormed, and that morphed into conversations including the team at Darby O’Brien Advertising. Now we’re working to bring two designs to life in Upscale Socks that anyone can buy to support mental wellness while expressing their own sense of style through Upscale Socks. The designs are fun and the idea of supporting people from various walks of life is showcased in our sock designs.”
Underwood, who has been a photographer for all of his adult life, said the idea for Upscale Socks literally came to him in a dream. “I had a dream one night that I owned a sock line, and a year later I launched Upscale Socks,” said Underwood. “This is year five in business and it’s been fun seeing it grow. We have 75 styles and later this month we’re adding 10 more. This year we have a national campaign for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Upscale Socks is now bigger than me and I’m just beginning to scratch the surface.”