One of my earliest, most distinct, memories of courage was in junior high school. It was the end of day, I think a Friday. As our home group wrapped up for the day, and the bell rang, I grabbed my bag and sprinted across the school grounds. I had worked this courage up for weeks, but I could still feel an enormous lump in my throat and stomach as I skidded to a halt outside of an entirely different home group classroom.
I was there to ask out my crush. And I did, awkwardly, and in front of a gaggle of classmates.
It did not go so well. And there were witnesses.
Yet, despite the rejection and disappointment, I felt relief. I felt proud actually. Bravery tends to have that affect - it feels good, even when it doesn’t. Because most often, bravery is calling us to do big, important things. It could be the vital step of learning about love, and rejection. Or, as I experienced this past Christmas, the heart wrenching task of holding a family together through the loss of a loved one. It could be holding the hopes of your team in the final penalty shot, breaking down unjust barriers, or making a big change for the better.
This organisation has always believed in bravery. It was there at the beginning - when we launched the campaign Soften the Fck Up, a call to hearts for young to seek help in crisis and embrace vulnerability. Totally different to everything that was out there at the time - an anti-suicide campaign that was colourful and spoke in plain language. It was bold, it was risky, and not every body liked it. But a whole lot of people did. To this day, I still meet people who tell me how much this campaign meant to them.
\We were brave in tackling a global mental health project - How is the World Feeling? - with a minuscule budget, but big dreams, and we were spirited to think we could connect young and old through #OLDMATE.
The problem with taking on bold and innovative ideas did present itself pretty quickly - typically its pretty hard to secure funding. So we took a chance, with some courage, to set up a new commercial studio for social impact and gift part ownership to the non-profit. ‘We’ll fund it ourselves’, we said. More than six years later, that studio is still going and has worked with partners around the world - including establishing a new tech startup for mental wellbeing.
We have always been driven by the belief that the world can - and should - be better. But it is bravery that drives us. And, it’s time that that was front and centre - especially now, as we embark on some monumental goals.
After months of work, including with the extremely talented folks at DSR Branding, I am so excited to reveal spur:’s new identity:
It’s name that literally means ‘full of spirit and bravery’. It’s a brand identity drawn from action, informed by talking to some of the people that have known us the best and longest, and inspired by some of our most favourite brave people throughout history: NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, Arctic explorer and resistance fighter Peter Freuchen, environmentalist Wangaari Matthai, Boudica who pushed back the Roman invasion, and famed architect Haha Hadid.
Mettlesome is the start of a new chapter, for both the studio and the non-profit, and combines all of our history with where we intend to go. This includes a shift: we intend to work with fewer clients in the studio, choosing to be quite selective about who we work with and on what. This frees us up to do the work that we think we should be doing, both with partners embarking on their own big journeys for social progress, and in our own brave ventures for good.
We’re here to do important things. And we’re just getting started.
-- William Smith-Stubbs, Co-founder and CEO, Mettlesome