At Stand Up Speak Up we love to “burst the bubble”, but what does it actually mean and what do we expect people to take away from it?

Those familiar with Stand Up Speak Up already understand that we’re about changing society for the better by holding a mirror up to it. Our aim is to spread awareness of issues that blight the lives of people and communities by offering individuals a platform to share their stories and experiences that can help others. These stories connect with people who have had similar experiences, but they also move others to acknowledge the inequality that prevails. By bursting the bubble we’re spreading knowledge and sparking debate to stimulate positive change.

Our founder, Karla Stephens-Tolstoy, understands what it means to look beyond the comfortable edges of our own world to see the unfortunate circumstances of others. Karla had always thought that she was aware of the terrible things that happen to others, and she was. However, she hadn’t made it part of her world and, as far as she was concerned, the bad stuff remained outside her front door. As long as she and her family were safe and well, the pain and suffering of the world was theoretical, something she saw on the news but didn’t touch. Then one day something happened which would change Karla’s attitude forever.

With her son, Zach, Karla created Stand Up Speak Up to raise awareness of the troubles that other people go through after some of that trouble was tracked inside her front door.

Having always had a keen interest in local community Karla took up the invitation to become involved with a local organization. In working with this organization Karla came into contact with truly vulnerable people who showed her that there is a wider world beyond what we know and see in our everyday lives. The people who inhabit it are often out of sight, but that doesn’t mean that they should be out of mind too. This is what Karla learned as she came into contact with those who started life with nothing and no one, those who started out with something and lost everything, those who wanted to do the right thing but circumstances dictated they repeat the same cycle of generations before them.

Generally, when we use the phrase Burst the bubble, we mean to say that we’re shattering an illusion by exposing the reality that we have concealed from ourselves, and this perfectly encapsulates what Stand Up Speak Up is all about. There are so many issues that we are aware of but that we choose to ignore, we choose to live behind the veil, inside our little bubbles. At Stand Up Speak Up we choose to look reality square in the eye. And we don’t blink.

We’re inviting you to burst your bubble and join us in bringing positivity into society by seeing the lives and experiences of others who have led lives and had things happen to them that we cannot imagine for ourselves. While events from their lives may be outside of our life experiences their basic feelings and emotions aren’t. We can all understand pain, loss, guilt, failure and we can all root for redemption, strength and happiness. These are the elements that have always made Stand Up Speak Up podcasts so captivating, as they are the foundations to the stories that give us insights into lives beyond our own.

If you are prepared to burst your bubble it means that you are prepared to challenge your own views and perceptions and brave enough to arrive at different conclusions. Life is about adapting to fit different circumstances in an ever-changing world, this means that we also need to remain open to change. This is a sentiment that we always incorporate in our clothing collections as each item contains a message, direct or otherwise, that encourages everyone to be a little more open-minded about others. In our own subtle way the Stand Up Speak Up collections ask everyone to burst their bubbles and be prepared to look up and see the pain and suffering, as well as the joy and beauty, of the world so we can all bring some positive change.


As you probably know we’re pursuing Burst The Bubble as one of our key themes. We’re encouraging people to burst their bubbles by looking beyond their already formed perceptions to judge whether they can come to any alternative conclusions. There is so much injustice and sadness that people endure around the world, but a lot of the time we choose to turn a blind eye. Instead let’s burst our bubbles and choose to see beyond what we’re told. Let’s see the people behind the figures. Speaking of figures, take our quiz to challenge your perceptions and burst the bubble.

About The Author

Related Posts