Firstly, thank you for making time to visit CAUZ Club. I'm incredibly grateful to anyone who makes the time to learn a little more about us and what we are trying to create.
In March 2017 I found myself in the centre of the chaos on Westminster bridge during the terror attack. I was literally inches from serious harm, but miraculously I was lucky enough to walk off the bridge without a scratch. I am still haunted by what I witnessed that day, and struggle daily to cope with what I saw and a feeling of guilt that my life if ok and by little girls have no idea what happened, when others were destroyed by the loss of their wives, husbands, mums and dads that day.
When something like that happens, you have a whole new perspective on life and how short it could be. I knew instantly that my life had changed forever.
I had been in London that day campaigning for awareness of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning, something I passionately campaign for to this day. I had done several TV interviews that morning and shortly after the attack I received a call from one of the producers to ask if I was ok as they knew I was in the Westminster area. When I explained I was still on the bridge I think I became a unique prospect for the news agencies. I was comfortable in front of a camera and witness to what had just happened. As you can imagine my phone suddenly went crazy with requests for media interviews. I think I was still in shock and certainly had adrenaline coursing through my veins so agreed to do several as I wanted to help. Before the day was out I had been live on news stations across the world retelling what I had witnessed. When the adrenaline finally ran out, I went into a deeper level of shock and just wanted to sleep.
The following day I completed the final radio interviews for the Carbon Monoxide campaign as I had people relying on me that I didn’t want to let down, but in reality, I just wanted to go home to my wife and little girls.
When I arrived home later that afternoon, I had to drive around the block several times to try and gather myself as I didn’t want my girls to be upset if Daddy cried. The feeling of seeing and holding them was overwhelming and tears were shed. My now 5 year-old asked if I was sad because the queen was not at home (I always say I pop in for tea with the queen when I’m in London). Instantly I felt better, safe and happy again.
The weeks and months that followed were difficult. I needed a lot of support and was showing clear signs of PTSD. During this time, I did a lot of soul searching and knew I needed to make some different life choices. Despite the risks, I decided to leave a successful career to focus on the Carbon Monoxide campaigning that I am so passionate about. I’m now lucky enough to work with some amazing businesses and charities in the sector, who are passionate about saving lives.
The joy I feel supporting and promoting the great work of these charities made me think, what if I could create something that provides long term support and funding for more charities? From that small seed of an idea, the CAUZ Club has grown.
I honestly didn't know where to start, but simply googled 'Starting a business that helps charities'. After lots of time and research I came across a book called 'Start something that matters' by Blake Mycoskie. Blake is the founder of Toms shoes who donate a pair of shoes for every pair they sell, and have provided shoes for millions of children who didn't have them. This saved them from diseases contracted from cuts on their feet, and enabled children to go to school who otherwise couldn't have without shoes. Toms really are the pioneers of businesses being built around helping others, and I'm so grateful I discovered this book.
I decided on a fashion brand, as clothes are something we all need, and will by year after year, so people could continue to support the charities. Also if our clothes were to be worn by a single celebrity, we could quickly get ourselvesin front of millions of people. The problem was I knew nothing about clothes or fashion and had not ran a business before. Since then I've had to learn so much including how to build a website, design and source clothing, graphic design, labels, packaging etc, create and manage multiple social media platforms, processing orders, customer services ..... and the list goes on and on. Some days (most days if I'm honest) I'm overwhelmed by what I've taken on, and the shear amount to do, but giving back to three wonderful charities makes all the angst and stress so worth while. Please take the time to read about the three charities Kicks Count, Rays of Sunshine, and Harambee Schools Kenya on our website, and I'll be writing blogs about each of them in the future.
I appreciate everyone’s support and hope people love the CAUZ Club clothes and brand as much as I do. We are only a year into our journey, but I have such high hopes for what we could achieve together.
Rob Lyon, Cauz Club Founder, Clothing designer, graphic designer,Web Developer, Marketing Manager, Order Packer, Accountant, Customer services etc etc etc x