Bonded in Humor and strength found through hardship, we are here to empower honest conversations, growth, laughter and most importantly, community for all.
Founder, Unabashed Human, Dork, Advocate, Storyteller
Kate Speer is a mental health advocate, storyteller, the teammate of Waffle, her psychiatric service dog and the CEO of The Dogist. A skilled writer, speaker and marketing professional, she specializes in digital storytelling, social media marketing and social impact e-commerce. Kate is determined to use business for good and currently spearheads the team at The Dogist as they scale into a full e-commerce business and media site. Solidarity Stories was born out of her 8 year psychosis-inducing misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder and a fifteen year battle with mental illness. Her hope for this project is that it provides the solidarity and community that she so desperately craved in her youth. Kate currently splits time between New York City and her home in Vermont with her husband, Dave.
Chief Technology Officer, Web Specialist, Data Nerd, Meme Expert, Moral Support Hero
Taylor graduated from Dartmouth College and met Kate through The Dogist. Kate and Taylor quickly bonded over not only dogs, but also mental health struggles and triumphs as well as their hard work ethics. Taylor manages all technical aspects of the site and specializes in hustle, mastering anything and everything through youtube and selecting the best memes found on the internet. She currently resides in New York and besides working for Solidarity Stories and The Dogist, she also models and has a husky named Stoli.
Chief Snuggle Officer, Psychiatric Service Dog
Wafflenugget is Kate Speer’s Psychiatric Service Dog. Largely responsible for Kate’s recovery from an 8-year misdiagnosis and weighing in at 95 pounds, her presence in Kate's life is impossible to miss. Known for her PTSD alerts that maintain Kate’s wellness and insatiable appetite, she is the proud professional cookie taster of all things edible and well, inedible. Wafflenugget - commonly known as Waffle, Waffy and Bunny to Kate and her husband, Dave - was born on December 11, 2014, in New Hampshire. For those curious, her breeder is no longer breeding and we encourage you to check the AKC’s website for an accredited breeder if you are looking for a Bernese Mountain Dog at this time or better yet, to rescue one.
Chief Support Officer, Professional Snack Maker, Kate's Husband
Dave is the hero behind the curtain who unconditionally supports Kate, Taylor and Waffle in their quest to build community for those struggling with mental illness. Whether he is making late night pizza to fuel Kate's writing efforts, baking scones to sustain a website glitch troubleshoot session or picking Kate up off the floor when her depression comes knocking, he is our rock. When he is not baking goodies, editing Kate's writing or giving Waffle her dose of daily snuggles, he is a professor of Environmental Science at Dartmouth College. He lives with Kate in their home in Norwich, Vermont.
Supporter of humans, Believer in Good, Warrior, Human, Enough - Always and Forever
If your mind is playing tricks on you today, you won't believe us but we are going to include you because you are of utmost importance. You are why we get up in the morning. You are why Kate survived. You are why tomorrow is going to be a brighter day. And even if you can't feel it today and everything hurts and the darkness is as thick as velvet, you are here with us and that is something we will be forever grateful for.