Published in Folk Features
Grace Ridge is behind genderless and inclusive clothing and accessory brand, Fall From Grace. Here, they explain how the aim of the eco-friendly and sustainable brand is to help people feel seen, accepted and valued.
I come from a single parent family and sort of struggled a bit in school. In upper school my mum got diagnosed with cancer so that really affected me. Thankfully she’s fine now! I was determined to go to uni so I did and got a 2:1 degree in criminology and sociology – I’m extremely proud of that. Especially since I’ve always struggled with generalised anxiety and depression. I think it’s important to remember how privileged you are. The “downs” in my life have made me who I am today. I’ve always had a roof over my head and food on the table and I think it’s important to remember that not everyone has that and I’m extremely lucky I do. I’m proud of how far I’ve come and the person I am today.
At the start of the pandemic, I was working in a retail job and, due to the pandemic, we had to shut for a time. As much as the pandemic was horrible it sparked the beginning of Fall From Grace. I had a lot of time on my hands and so began the business. A lot has happened since. Fall From Grace has changed and evolved, and last year I managed to get a business loan to help get the business off the ground. I also took part in the innovation scheme by Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council which helps small businesses get a market stall. This has been great for me. I now do regular markets and I love it!
The idea for Fall From Grace has sort of always been there. I always have wanted to start a business I just never really knew what I wanted to do. I actually started with art prints and stickers before I did clothes and a few people said I should put some of my art on clothing. I always felt like I never fit in to the stereotypical norms and wanted to find clothes that made me feel comfortable and thought well why don’t I just make them? So, I did a few T-shirts to begin with. I wanted to convey a message with my clothing though and that’s sort of where I began. Genderless clothing with a positive message.
I wanted to create a brand with an important message: raise awareness for mental health and remind people that we are human, and we all share this planet. The aims of Fall From Grace are to spread awareness and positivity; to help people feel seen, accepted and valued.