No matter where you come from or how you identify, you each have a story to tell. Your story, no doubt, is filled with chosen family and celebrations, as well as the inevitable obstacles you’ve faced and battles you continue to fight. These struggles are what make us human, teach us lessons about life, and help us relate to one another in authentic ways.
Only Human is a global community and platform that exists to do more good so that together we can make the world a better place. It was born out of a single story of a human who, after a childhood of bullying and feeling like a misfit, hit her rock bottom in 2016. Rather than staying there, she decided to build a ladder and climb out of it.
That human is me. A few years ago, I found myself feeling miserable due to the combination of a high-stress career, a toxic relationship, and meaningless daily routine. I was just really unhappy with my life and knew I wanted to do something I felt passionate about, so I decided to risk it all in the name of doing something bigger than myself. I was ready to take the plunge.
Without giving doubt a chance to set in, I quit my job and sold all of my belongings. I went all in on making drastic improvements to my physical and mental health and started to do the work I knew needed to happen for me to transform.
But I didn’t want to keep my story to myself. I knew that my story could inspire and change lives — and it did.
I quickly launched the first iteration of my Only Human platform online and set off on an almost year-long adventure traveling around the country in my Subaru with my dog, Mika. My intention? Find authentic human connection, swap stories with those I meet along the way, and get out of the confines that were holding me back to discover the beauty in humanity. Before long, I was receiving so many stories from other humans that I just knew Only Human was meant to become something more.
Over the last few years, alongside my best friend and now business partner Crissy Saint-Massey, Only Human has evolved into a thriving community and safe space for hundreds of thousands of people who seek authentic human connection and are eager to give back and continue their own personal growth. Humans wanting to get involved have opportunities through the organization’s unique Impact Model to become an OH Advocate, go on international give-back trips, attend numerous in-person and virtual community events, access a growing library of free resources, and more.
Through the launch of monthly cause campaigns and ethically-designed apparel, our organization is also able to spread positivity into the world. We have donated over $100,000 to various nonprofit organizations and continue to donate 10% of monthly profits to a new charitable cause each month.
It really all comes down to the ripple effect. This all started because a few years ago, I took a hard look at myself in the mirror and decided to do something to create positive changes in my body, my mind, my friendships, and the world. The amazing thing is every single human on this planet has the same potential, and I’m always thankful to be able to support humans in their worst and best of times.
Even our brand’s artistic design is inspired by humanity. I know it sounds hokey, but every single one of the garments we’ve released has stemmed from our desire to always be that brand that is relatable to humans and what they’re going through. With over 50,000 orders to-date sent out by the team, the ripple effect felt through the spreading of the positive and meaningful messages is tangible and often life-saving for humans who yearn to be seen, heard, and recognized without judgment.
Our organization has made a lifetime commitment to supporting LGBTQ+ and human rights, so we are beyond proud to partner with the Modern Military Association of America as part of a month-long “Do Ask. Do Tell.” campaign in January 2021.
Given our country’s administrative changes, the 10-year anniversary of the DADT repeal, and the anticipation of the reversal of the trans military ban, Crissy and I knew how important it was for us to show up in support of so many humans in the service who are LGBTQ. As anticipated, the response has been incredible, which just goes to show the magic that can happen when you provide a safe space and a voice for thousands of humans who have served our country in spite of it stacked up against them. No more hiding. Do ask. Do tell.
Bree Pear is the founder and co-owner of Only Human. Learn more or order apparel at OnlyHumanCo.com.