Welcome to BiHapi Studio!
My name is Tasha, creator of BiHapi Studio.
I served in the United States Navy for 6 years. I got out of the Navy in 2013 and I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 2.
Before that, I was diagnosed with depression and that was the first time I was on antidepressants.
I have to admit that antidepressants are a necessity; I did try getting off of them and that didn't work out very well.
I had to find a way to combat my symptoms so I decided to get back into design.
I have a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in fashion design. I had wanted to be a fashion designer and when I finally did show my collection, which I was really proud of, I knew that that was it; that was all I wanted to do.
I wanted to get back to my creative roots after I got out of the Navy.
It was hard trying to get back into that groove because I had been in a military mindset for a long time.
However those desires never really go away because when I was standing the watch, I never stopped thinking about having my own business.
I remember before I got out of the Navy, I was living in San Diego and I had bought a bunch of drawing pads and I just kept drawing these initials, B & H.
I had them together so they kind of interlocked and I thought maybe I should come up with a name for it because I like the way it looked.
I went through a lot of metamorphoses but I ended up landing on BiHapi and added Studio.
The reason why I chose BiHapi is because being happy was always a challenge for me growing up.
The best years of my life was when I was in the Navy and a close second was when I was in college.
BiHapi Studio is made for people like me who have a mental illness and may also suffer in silence.
I want this to be a safe place for people to not only share their challenges and triumphs but just a safe space in general that whatever they say isn’t taboo.
Since I like being creative, I thought maybe I could also sell the creations that I enjoyed making while simultaneously giving back to the mental health community.
I used Indigo dye in my collection called, “Ain't nothing but the blues”.
I really love the way that it came out. I used cotton and linen in my collection and it takes the dye very well.
But since I didn't want to do clothes anymore I thought I'd do something more simple so that I wouldn't experience burn out.
Before creating the throw pillows I had in mind, I had to make sure handmade throw pillows was something people were still buying.
After researching handmade throw pillows online, it turns out they still are.
After a couple tries and making about a hundred dollars, I had abandoned my throw pillow business and went after another market that I thought would make money faster so that I could afford the resources for making my pillows.
It was also during this time that I was still making deliveries with Instacart and UberEats when the pandemic started and Gov. Newsom issues the Shelter in Place.
I had no idea what I was going to do to earn money; the benefits I was receiving from the Navy was not enough after all my expenses.
Thankfully, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance helped me get back on my feet.
However, in hindsight, I wish I had used the money for my throw pillow business and not for affiliate marketing.
I tried so hard to believe that what I was doing was for the best, but I invested a lot of money in a niche that was not rewarding.
To this day, I still get angry at myself for giving up on a project that would have helped a lot of people.
It’s a challenge to live with bipolar and trying to push through the pain while trying to make a living.
I am thankful to my family, friends, and my boyfriend for being support system.
If you read through this so far, thank you. I’m sure you experienced a lot more than I have and I truly hope you have a support system in place as well. It’s so important not to fight this thing alone.
Lastly, I wanted to introduce you to Ella, a throw pillow character I created that also has bipolar. She and her friends are named after the throw pillows in my shop. They share how to combat their symptoms that I hope will help others.
Thank you for dropping by my shop and I hope I can be an additional beacon of light to you.