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How Alicia Nolan Turned Personal Devastation into Compassionate Purpose

How Alicia Nolan Turned Personal Devastation into Compassionate Purpose
Photo Courtesy: Alicia Nolan

By: Choose to Live – Alicia Nolan

Alicia Nolan understands the pain that comes when mental health struggles turn deadly. After losing her beloved wife tragically to suicide in 2022, Alicia was ravaged by grief and the sudden absence of the person she planned to build an entire life with. In her darkest moments, she struggled intensely to find meaning without the laughter and partnership of her closest confidante. 

“After losing my wife, I felt a calling to turn my pain into purpose,” shares Alicia. Though starting a clothing line seemed unlikely given her background, she could not shake the realization that apparel could powerfully promote mental health awareness. An entrepreneurial spark lit inside her, imagining shirts and accessories as walking conversations challenging the stigma around suicide.

With a new sense of urgency and mission rising within despite no experience in design, Alicia fervently taught herself every aspect of bringing a cut-and-sew brand to life. Locked in determination fueled by loss, she steadily mastered logo creation, screen printing, sublimation, laser engraving – driven by a vision to facilitate compassion and save lives. What emerged through long hours learning everything was Choose to L;VE, LLC Apparel – a budding clothing and accessories brand aimed both at raising funds for suicide prevention as well as sparking compassionate conversation around struggling with suicidal thoughts.

How Alicia Nolan Turned Personal Devastation into Compassionate Purpose

Photo Courtesy: Alicia Nolan

Driving L;VE is a clear social mission woven into its logo and aspirations from day one. The semicolon incorporated in its name and branding dates back to Project Semicolon, founded in 2013 as a symbol of someone choosing to push forward through their story rather than end it prematurely by suicide. True to that concept, L;VE donates 10% of sales revenue directly to the local Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention Partnership organization, giving Alicia’s vision monetary impact to fund life-saving initiatives in her grieving community.

“I wanted to help other people and start tackling that stigma surrounding mental health,” Alicia explains of her brand’s founding ethos. Outside sales events continue reinforcing the painful reality that suicide affects people from all age groups and backgrounds – Alicia recalls one particularly jolting encounter with a 9 year boy already contemplating ending his life. 

What buoys her through the demanding startup process are the authentic, vulnerable connections L;VE merchandising enables about a topic still socially sidelined. Rather than stay isolated in sorrow over her wife’s death, Alicia discovered renewed purpose in promoting systemic change around mental healthcare access. She envisions a future where the L;VE logo becomes ubiquitous, proudly presented at concerts or major sporting gatherings as the brand sparking intrigue and dismantling stigma around suicide awareness. 

Remaining humble while boldly pursuing such an ambitious vision, Alicia embraces critique as an opportunity to fine tune her voice and offerings to better serve her cause. While incredibly proud of L;VE’s promising growth in less than a year’s time, she considers recent milestones as merely the first chapter in a monumental movement promoting compassion and saving lives. 

As Alicia reflects, “In a single four-letter word and semicolon symbol is contained so much potential impact and meaning. The simplicity carries so much weight for me. My goal for L;VE is that through our apparel and mission, people start to feel that impact themselves – it opens their eyes, sparks action around mental health. Out of my deepest personal pain, I want beauty and change to come for others.

L;VE represents the bittersweet alchemy of grief transformed into selfless purpose.  By turning the story of her devastation outward, she advances healing, connection and advocacy with every shirt printed. Purpose thus persists even amidst irreparable personal loss.

To learn more about L;VE’s mission or shop the mental health advocacy collection, visit www.choosetolive.org


Published By: Aize Perez

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