Born Anxious is a homegrown clothing label set up by Kellie Barker, mother of Oscar, an autistic child living in Herne Bay, Kent.
Kellie set up the clothing label in 2018 with two main objectives, which were to make the clothes as comfortable as possible, while also remaining planet-friendly and to hold important information that will aim to help not only the child but also the caregivers.
At 18 months old, Oscar was given the diagnosis of autism, global delay, and childhood absence epilepsy. Now five, Oscar faces many difficulties, one of which is wearing clothes with uncomfortable labels sewn into the seams, which causes discomfort and also itching.
Following Oscar’s diagnosis, Kellie grew more familiar with children and adults who have disabilities and autism and noticed they all have their very own traits and needs, just like Oscar. This gave her the inspiration to set up Born Anxious and what she could do for children, parents, and caregivers to make life just a little bit easier.
Oscar is also pre-verbal and can display unpredictable behaviours and reactions to the world surrounding him, which becomes difficult within a community that may not understand that he needs a wider birth than others.
Kellie’s clothing ranges come with messages printed on the clothing such as: ‘Bee kind, I have autism’, ‘I’m anxious’, ‘My Mum’s winging it’, ‘I don’t like loud noise’.
Bespoke messages, personal to the parent and child can also be printed on the clothing and accessory range.
Kellie Barker said: ‘As an autism mum myself I have tried to be as generic as possible in design and cover the whole spectrum, while remaining gender neutral, I carefully thought about what would work for my own son and decided to remove all labels by hand.
‘Born Anxious is a brand which raises awareness of autism and invisible disabilities in two ways – it can be worn to inform, or it can be worn in support. All Born Anxious clothing have the inside labels removed, to make the items more comfortable to wear.’
As well as supporting autism and special needs, Born Anxious is pleased and proud to be official supporters of Kent Portage Service, The Kent Autistic Trust and SNAAP, Kent-based charities supporting people with special needs and their families.
Since Born Anxious began in September 2018, owner Kellie Barker has appeared in numerous media including print, broadcast and online. These include: live interview on KMTV, KMFM, live radio interview with Eammon Holmes on Talk Radio, BBC South East News, Sun Online, The Metro, News Hook India, Uber Euro podcast. Pick Me Up Magazine, and a double-page feature on Born Anxious.
Dr Anna Kennedy OBE, founder of the Anna Kennedy Online charity, has joined Born Anxious as an ambassador. Anna is dedicated to promoting the inclusion and equality of children and adults with an autism spectrum disorder throughout society. Anna has also established two schools, a college, a respite home and set up Autism’s Got Talent. This is an exciting new relationship and Born Anxious will be providing t-shirts for the Autism’s Got Talent event in September.
Kellie has also formed relationships with:
- The Umbrella Cafe – Born Anxious provide t-shirts
- 24 Hour Autism, an online group for adults with autism (they work closely with National Autistic Society) – Born Anxious provide t-shirts
- ABC Pre-Schools, which offers special nursery care for mainstream and special needs staff – Born Anxious provide t-shirts
- Smokin Mavericks – Born Anxious provide their on stage t-shirts
- St Nicholas Special School Canterbury – Born Anxious are a uniform provider for sensory wear