This post was originally published on February 16, 2015.
Hallmark doesn’t exactly have a section in their store titled “For Recovering Addicts.” Sure there are cool stores that cater to the sober and fabulous but how about a clothing and jewelry line that even your non-sober friends would covet?
Search No More
As luck would have it, a few incredibly cool (and yes, sober) women have launched 24Ave, the latest line you’re going to want to get on your person ASAP. Rest assured it’s not just jewelry (including necklaces that can be personalized with sober dates, chokers, bracelets and leather cuffs) and clothes (t-shirts, scarves and hats with expressions like “24 Just for Today” proudly proclaimed across them) they’ve got. Oh, hell to the no. There’s also stuff for your house (candles, pillows, et. al), cards and journals. So you can call off the search for the perfect sponsor or sponsee gift; get ‘em a HALT (Hungry Angry Lonely Tired for the uninitiated) greeting card, a leather credit card case and call it a day.
“I want 24Ave to be a place where sobriety lives—24 hours a day, one day at a time,” says designer and co-founder Kerri K, who got sober in May of 2002. “The goal is to redefine recovery for the 21st century.”
Kerri first conceived of the company when she was looking for a gift for a sober friend in 2013 and realized that nothing she saw was remotely right. A chance encounter led her to Lori B., a fellow designer who created the sober gift of Kerri’s dreams (a custom tray with recovery phrases on it). A business partnership was formed.
Finding positive and yet chic gifts and products promoting recovery isn’t always easy. Face it: the urban-dwelling addict probably doesn’t long for a Let Go and Let God plastic box. Sure, there’s the generic bouquet of flowers and a sweet handwritten card, but come on, your sober sister (or brother—there’s dude stuff here too) deserves better than that.
24Ave runs in a way that’s probably familiar to those in recovery: with one addict helping another. Not only do Kerri’s sober friends help out “out of the kindness of their hearts and hopes that they’re making a difference” but that’s also how Kerri’s sponsee Francine A., a social media guru, became a business partner. “It’s my duty as a sponsor to teach this person everything,” Kerri says. “You’re not supposed to mix friends but this works great.”
How it Works
The 24Ave mission (Ave, by the way, refers to the recovery journey) is to shed the stigma placed on addiction and even recovery, providing a way for sober addicts to be as out and proud as they want. (Those who want to wear the bling but not necessarily scream, “Hey, I’m sober!” could easily don a key necklace—no one out there’s going to know that PNP stands for Progress not Perfection or that it even has anything to do with sobriety.) As Kerri says, “No one has to know what it means.”
24Ave works to not only promote the good in sobriety, but also in the world. They’re in the process of figuring out a certain percentage of their profits that they’ll be donating to charity and are switching t-shirt manufacturers to a place that hires autistic young adults. “Having a place to help other people helps me and helps my sober sisters,” says Kerri.
Photo Courtesy of 24Ave