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The Story of the Bipolar Beautiful Campaign

Julie 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.

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The Beau Monde Salon
introduces clients to childhood-onset bipolar disorder.

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 jcassidy@mchsi.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.

The Bipolar
Beautiful Team

from left to right Trey Fortner, Steve Johanns, and John Vipond Seated in the center, naturally, is Julie Cassidy

Bipolar Team
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As Bipolar Beautiful says:

Recognize the problem. Maximize the potential.

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