Love Ashlee Rose is spreading deaf awareness one tee shirt at a time
Maybe you have seen tee shirts on Instagram with hearing aids and cochlear implants on them? They are made by Ashlee Holland who began making those teeshirts and other apparel to help spread deaf awareness and give back to the deaf community.
Ashlee has been profoundly deaf since birth but was not diagnosed with her hearing loss until she was 10 months old. She wore hearing aids until she was 15-years-old but now wears cochlear implants. The experiences in her life all led up to the start of her business Love Ashlee Rose.
Building her business
Love Ashlee Rose started six months ago and sells apparel and accessories all based on cochlear implants, hearing aids and ASL. Her inspiration came from seeing children at the preschool she works at showing off their outfits daily.
“I am a teacher’s aide at a hearing impaired preschool for the oral and spoken language program. One day last Spring, I was thinking about my passion for the deaf students and their families. On a daily basis, the students often come in to show us their outfits. It just clicked,” says Ashlee.
After that everything else came together. Ashlee decided she wanted the shirts to spread awareness for deaf and hard of hearing children and to be a daily reminder of the hearing loss journey they are currently on.
When asked about her inspiration to start her business she said, “My daughter, my family, and the community at my job are my inspiration!”
Supporting the deaf community
Since the start of her business, Ashlee has been flooded with positive messages and support from customers. “I am overwhelmed with the emails and support I get from customers. I enjoy the emails from them and the stories of their personal journey on hearing loss. It was humbling,” she says.
She does more than just sell these items, she also shares the profit to get donated to a variety of deaf education programs. She is working to reach more schools around the country to benefit more summer programs.
“My mission is to create public awareness to the challenges facing the hearing impaired and their families. Encouraging language and speech development through appropriate education,” Ashlee explains.
“My mission is to create public awareness to the challenges facing the hearing impaired and their families.”
Sparking conversations about deaf awareness
Ashlee wants her tee shirts to start conversations about cochlear implants and hearing aids, leading to conversations about education.
She started giving away a portion of these sales to deaf education programs after seeing the financial burdens placed on families and schools to be able to send their children to the right program for them. It can be frustrating and difficult to fundraise, so Ashlee wanted to help.
Ashlee hopes to continue the conversation about deaf awareness through her tee shirts. She has also written a book called “Turn the Lights On, I Can’t Hear You”. She is planning on writing a memoir about her experience raising a hearing daughter as a single parent. Ashlee wants other people in the deaf and hard of hearing community to know to not give up, regardless of the challenges that may come and go.
“One of my shirts in the shop, “I can and I WILL” is my motto for the community because we go through challenges on a daily basis. Sometimes it can feel discouraging outside of our community but we don’t show others our abilities until we tell ourselves “I can and I WILL!” Ashlee says.
“One of my shirts in the shop, “I can and I WILL” is my motto for the community because we go through challenges on a daily basis.”