I normally don’t cry over celebrity deaths, but yesterday when I heard that Kate Spade died by suicide in her New York apartment, I felt an overwhelming flood of sadness fill my body.
Just several months prior, I had listened to Kate and her husband Andy talk about how they built the iconic Kate Spade brand together on Guy Roz’s “How I Built This” podcast. Hearing them was so relatable because it reminded me of how Sam and I also met in college and how we also started off our business by designing bags – yoga bags in our case. How they melded career and love (not easy!) gave me so much excitement for all the things Sam and I hope to one day experience.
So, yesterday as I was getting ready to shoot some workout videos, I got a text from Sam saying “OMG. Kate Spade is dead. By suicide.” I stopped everything I was doing. I was shocked. Wait…didn’t she have a successful business, all the money she could ever need, and a happy family? When Sam came to see me, we both looked at each other like we lost someone we knew.
But the truth is…we don’t know Kate. Or Andy. Or the real situation behind the curtains. All we saw was their “success” and “happiness”. To hear that she was so hopeless – this incredibly iconic entrepreneur whose success story inspired women all over the world – that EVEN SHE could not escape the hands of depression and ultimately, suicide, it woke me up. There is no discrimination when it comes to depression.
To be completely honest with you, there have been days where I’ve laid in bed crying – the can’t breathe kind of crying, feeling like a failure, feeling like I’ve screwed up so bad, feeling like this messed-up somebody that I normally am not. But I am lucky. Because I have people like Sam and my sister Jackelyn in my life to help pull me out of that state of mind and bring me back to my normal self.
For those who do not have a healthy circle of friends or family to talk to, please please please, know that there are outlets for you. You can call this number as a place to start 1-800-273-8255, it’s the national suicide prevention hotline. Know that your feelings are temporary and you can and will get over this.
R.I.P. Kate Spade. Thank you for the beautiful things you’ve created and for inspiring me as a creative and visionary female entrepreneur.