Behind the mask
This business is the culmination of two women coming together with their powerful stories and equally powerful desires to make a difference:
Lynn Headley, the designer of these masks, has over thirty-five years experience in the design industry across many disciplines. Lynn won Top Designer at the Brooks College of Design each year of her attendance in the early 80s. As a young designer, she continued to excel, designing technical skiwear and sportswear for an official Olympic sponsor. Lynn was a part of the design team that outfitted Laurie Skreslet, the first Canadian to summit Mt. Everest in 1982.
Eventually she pioneered her own brand of technical athletic gear in Alberta, Canada. Her first design collaboration was with then armature cyclist Steve Bauer. Steve gained notoriety as a silver medalist in the 1982 summer Olympic games and later as the first North American professional cyclist to wear the coveted yellow jersey in the Tour De France. His efforts eventually helped propel his teammate Greg LeMond on to victory of the tour.
As the lead designer for the Domini label, during the 1988 winter Olympics in Calgary, Lynn designed racing uniforms for the Jamaican Bobsled Team. Jam-Bob and her competitive suits were the hit of the games and later depicted in the movie “Cool Runnings”.
Lynn has been, and continues to be, an innovator and pursuer of excellence in quality and functionality with a subtle sense of fashion forward flare.
Our KD Mercantile masks breathe new life into providing protection with a passion!
Lesley, the heart of the company, walked with her daughter Kelsey for 12 years as she fought a systemic autoimmune, and ultimately life ending, disease. Kelsey was always a voice for the voiceless, and even from her hospital bed, she maintained her advocacy for those with health issues that kept them secluded and feeling forgotten. . Kelsey was determined to eliminate the social stigma attached to chronic illness and she always encouraged others in her community to refuse to be marginalized or victimized to the point of total isolation. Kelsey lived life to the fullest. When she walked into a room, love always walked in with her. Her heart was to see the sick healed and those who care for them, comforted.
As Lesley walked alongside her daughter’s suffering, she gained an awareness of someone who was immuno-compromised. With this came a greater understanding of their world; of the need to feel protected while out doing chores, while visiting friends, or even while lying in a hospital bed. Together with Kelsey came the dream of creating an array of supports for those who live in this unseen fabric of our society, those whose normal will never match the common perception of normality. Tragically, Kelsey succumbed to the disease that ravaged her body, but her dream of being a support to those compromised amongst us remains. In the memory of her daughter, Lesley has, in partnership with Lynn and others, begun this business for sake of those like Kelsey.