Having always loved cars since an early age. Endlessly naming the different brands as they drove past on the motorway, playing with hot wheels, designing my own supercars in school books, and then endlessly playing racing games on the play station. I couldn't wait to have a car of my own.
When I finally got my first car, A bright orange 1998 Mini Mayfair, I found was that the car was not only my source of freedom, but also my escape from issues, a way of making friends, and more than just a tool to get from A to B. This community has helped me through tough times, and given me some of my best memories.
Having then spent a few years working within psychiatric hospitals and seeing just how poor mental health can affect lives first hand. Coupling that experience with the epidemic of depression within men continuously growing, with statistics such as the most common cause of death in men aged between 20 and 49 being suicide, and 1 in 6 people will have suffered with mental health issues in the last week, I decided it was time to help.
The Takona name comes from the imaginary car company I created when I was a child, I had a dream to be a car designer as many young boys do, and so I decided that the cars I would design would be for my car company, Takona. This name was scrawled underneath every text book car drawing, and so it only seemed appropriate to name my car themed business after my childhood dream.
I want to tackle the issue that men don't talk about when they are struggling, and being from the car world which is predominantly male dominated, where better to start than the community that's given me so much.
The goal of Takona is to help combat the growing epidemic of men's mental health by getting the automotive community engaged and involved with one another. The biggest problem facing men today is themselves, and the biggest creator of this issue is the stigma that men can't talk to one another. I want to change that.
The design ethos is to have automotive themes running throughout, to act as a talking point for anyone interested in cars. The more people talk, the more they engage, the more likely they are to feel comfortable in sharing their problems, and the less likely they are to suffer.
Eventually I want to host events, put together road trips, raise money for charity, and create a positive culture within the automotive community surrounding mental health. If the brand can grow in the community to by synonymous with positive mental health, then the community itself can grow to be more positively focused as a whole.