Chowdy was founded by William Parkinson, who saw the need for a company that encouraged people to seek the mental health benefits of an active, enthusiastic and balanced life. His vision for Chowdy was to help people with mental illness and to reduce the stigma associated with it. He wanted Chowdy to be a company that hired and provided work flexibility to those who suffered from mental illness, as he himself worried about his ability to hold a job with his condition.
William, or Willy P as his friends called him, lived with Bipolar Disorder which he fought valiantly to overcome. He named his attempts to manage the ups and downs of the disease: Chowdy, combining the words chill and rowdy. He sought balance between the polar opposites by doing the things he loved, his personal Chowdies. He called it Getting Chowdy!
Willy P found his Chowdy by chilling with his family and friends, playing the ukulele and guitar, climbing mountains, attending music festivals, rapping Eminem songs, surfing, reading, skateboarding, kiteboarding, and playing with his dog. He was also a bit of a rascal who could occasionally get rowdy.
Given Willy P.’s fondness for colorful clothes, he decided he would start off by selling colorful hats and then expand into other types of colorful clothing and possibly other lines of business. His goal was to build Chowdy into a large, sustainable company that would contribute significant resources to helping those with mental illness, while at the same time reducing the stigma associated with the disease.
Today, Chowdy continues William's legacy by:
- Selling personalized products and hosting events that promote a Chowdy lifestyle.
- Encouraging in-person conversations and interactions.
- Employing people with mental illness with a flexible work schedule.
- Contributing 10% of every sale and all profits to organizations supporting mental health.
Our Core Values
- Life Balance: Mental & Physical Health
- Respect, Dignity & Compassion for All
- Doing What’s Right
- Fun & Teamwork
- Cost Conscious & Sustainable