The founder of Choose Your Attitude on the personal story behind his inspirational brand.
It was a tremendous loss that inspired Nicholas Strand to radically change the thinking of others. In 2017, five years after his mother died from cancer, Strand lost his wife of 10 years, Brianna, to cystic fibrosis.
Soon afterwards, he woke up one morning with facial paralysis. While it was Bell’s palsy rather than the stroke he had feared, the combined experiences convinced him to change his approach to life.
After losing his wife, Strand had one of her favourite phrases tattooed on his arm: ‘Choose your attitude, create your life’. “I realized the truth of that quote and the power of that quote… I realized that I was in control of my ability to make life what it is.” Strand began by writing a book called Loving Someone Who's Dying and started thinking about apparel that would share his powerful message.
Strand, a video engineer for the music-concert touring industry, planned to launch his book in April 2020, but the pandemic upended everything – especially his regular touring work. “I had no other choice but to lean into [this new direction], because I lost work with COVID,” he says.