Who is Vegan Wild Child?
DEMETRIA ATKINSON: OWNER & CREATIVE OFFICER
Hi! My name is Demetria Atkinson. I'm the owner and creative officer of Redefine Your Mind. I have always been a lover of fashion, and considered myself a 'fashionista' even before I knew there was such a coined word. Clothing has been my way of conveying to others my innermost thoughts and feeling about the way I view myself and the world.
I began learning about veganism as a lifestyle in 2015. I had connected with a childhood friend who was already adhering to vegan principles; as well as running his own t-shirt business called - you guessed it - Redefine Your Mind, where he would attend vegan festivals as a vendor to sell his apparel. I agreed to come aboard as his assistant out of both the curiosity about plant-based living, as well as my draw to textiles.
Soon, I was enjoying vegan alternatives to my favorite foods and dishes. Over time, and continued education, I learned of the horrors of factory farming, animal abuse, and how my choices were adding to the problem. So I took a vow to never again eat or cause another living being pain, suffering, and death, for my needless pleasure.
At the same time, Redefine Your Mind's founder and original owner, Derrick "Doomie" Bey, had reached the conclusion that the business wasn't what he wanted to do, and was planning to shut down by the end of the year to pursue other interests. I immediately saw this as my passion meeting opportunity! But not knowing enough about the *business* of fashion, I wanted to immerse myself in studies.
It was during this portion of my life journey that I realized that there was far more to veganism, fashion production, animal cruelty, and even harm to the environment than can be seen on the surface. I then decided to shift the mission of the business to what inspired me: animal cruelty, and health and wellness; but, also, environmental and social justice issues. And this was all a part of veganism.
Redefine Your Mind was relaunched in 2016, with the intent to shift from a mere t-shirt line, to a fashion brand. We will someday become a fashion house. Our textiles were changed from random fabrics, to more thoughtful textiles: Hemp & Organic Cotton. And the motivation isn't to simply sell tees; rather, to promote a message that would be beneficial to those willing to undergo their own mind shifts.
Further, as a survivor of sexual manipulation and victimization, followed by years of self-harming choices and unhealthy living, I wanted to be sure to reach out to those I believe were not being reached: Youth. But not just the age demographic. In particular, those who are deemed incorrigible and high risk, being held in juvenile detention facilities and placement group homes.
To that end, I have started a vegan living program for incarcerated youth called Redefine Your Mind PROJECT in the Washington, DC, and Maryland region [please visit the tab entitled: Giving Back - Redefine Your Mind PROJECT for more information].
Which brings me to my new name: Vegan Wild Child
It is the embodiment of who I am. If 'bad' can also be 'good', then why can't 'wild'? I have learned to embrace my playful, energetic, and at times outrageous personality. I have learned that one can have fun without harming others. Enjoy life, without it coming at the expense of others emotional well being. And I strive to capture those 'traits' in our design concepts. I hope you'll appreciate the effort, and support with love.