Badgie was born in a hospital corridor.
We'll explain what happened.
Hi, I’m Ollie, Co-Founder of Badgie.
I've worked in frontline healthcare, in an ambulance, for over seven years.
In July 2022, it was my first time working in an area of outer-Melbourne. We’d transported a patient to the local hospital, waiting for a bed to become available. During this downtime is when there’s lots of time to think and let my mind wander. Daydream about my weekend plans, items on my shopping list, did I forget to feed the dog. And, “am I safe?”
When I was a young boy, it wasn’t okay to be gay. I was bullied. It wasn’t safe to be me. I grew up constantly wondering, “am I safe?”. This thought pathway was paved into my mind, like a little circular concrete pathway that goes around in a loop. When I turned 18, I moved to Melbourne where being gay was more accepted. I felt safer. However, this little concrete path still exists in my mind.
On this day, in the hospital corridor, I strolled around that path a few times, and it sounded something like this.
“I haven’t been to this hospital before.”
“I don’t know this area very well.”
“I wonder if it’s okay to be gay here?
“Will my LGBTQIA+ patients be safe here?”
“Am I safe?”
In that exact moment, when I could feel my childhood fears kicking in, I saw something. That I’ll never forget.
I saw a tiny rainbow pride flag sticker. On a Nurse’s name badge. She zoomed past me, with no awareness that her little sticker had basically slapped my lil’ fears to the ground
“It’s okay. I’m safe here”.
I needed a tiny rainbow pride sticker for my badge. I tried to find one online (in between my patient entertaining me with stories about her cat's mental health problems). I couldn’t find a sticker small enough to fit on my name badge.
So, I decided to start Badgie.
I knew these stickers were powerful. I was pretty sure everyone else would, too. After posting our first TikTok which hit over two million views in the first 24 hours, I was convinced.
Fast forward to today, we have sent over 30,000 stickers to customers all over the world.
Every time an order comes through, I smile. Because I know each sticker has the potential to help someone feel safe.
We’re helping businesses and organisations all over the world create more inclusive workplaces. We invite you to join us. Everyone is welcome.
Warm regards from Melbourne,
Ollie 🏳️🌈 (he/him)