People who have purchased the Bully This! hoodies are showing off their support on social media. (Crone family photo/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

People who have purchased the Bully This! hoodies are showing off their support on social media. (Crone family photo/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Langley teen warms hearts with anti-bullying hoodie campaign

Raya Crone was surprised at how the campaign took off, and a second shipment has been ordered

Locally created anti-bullying hoodies are selling as fast as a local father/daughter team can get them in stock.

Raya Crone, who turns 16 this summer, came up with the idea of the pink hoodies that say Bully This!. Her father, Steve, owner of Big2 Sports apparel and equipment, jumped on board to help her create the fundraising campaign.

The first run of 100 shirts sold out with a couple of days and Half of the second order are already sold or spoken for, Steve said.

“I was hoping for a positive reaction, but I didn’t expect them to take off as much as they have so far,” Raya told the Langley Advance Times. “I’ve always wanted to make a difference and the support from everybody in my community is making it happen. All the positive feedback and growth after a single week has left me speechless.”

The R.E. Mountain Secondary student choose hoodies as a piece of clothing everyone can wear. With minimal promotion, other than buyers posting to her Instagram page Bully This!, the apparel has become a hot fashion item thanks to its message.

“I am hoping that we can continue to raise money for as long as possible,” the 15-year-old said. “As long as I can make a difference for someone, I just always want other kids to know that no one deserves to suffer alone.”

The family has faced its own bullying issues with Raya the subject of vicious gossip and a close friend having to leave the school district due to online bullying.

The proceeds from the hoodie sales will be donated to a cause that supports anti-bullying. Find out more on the Instagram page Bully This! Project.

The campaign has given her something to do during the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to taking a part-time job at a local grocery store.

“Well for me it’s tough not being able to see my friends,” she said. “The softball season that I trained for all winter is on hold.”

The global pandemic has impacted the home-based apparel company. (Steve has also been a steelworker at Russel Metals since 2004.)

“Something comes along that shuts ball season down, as you can imagine, it pretty much brings all business to a halt,” Steve explained. “Financially it’s definitely hurt the business for the 2020 season. I’m sure that a lot of people and businesses are going through the same thing. I think that’s why it was really an immediate, no brainer to support Raya on her cause. I think it’s a great time for the community to wrap itself around a positive topic like this.”

And it’s not just family or friends buying. A woman hunted up where to get the pink apparel to make a purchase after seeing a stranger in the Bully This! hoodie. A man wants to order several for family in Alberta. Then came the virtual fashion show that can be seen on Instagram.

“People started firing us pictures of them in the hoodies,” the 46-year-old father said.

The hoodie campaign sprang from a discussion about the future of the customized uniform and apparel business. Steve was asked about his succession planning for this business in the age of the pandemic. Should something happen to him, what would happen to the business? The solution was to make a family member a shareholder who would then inherit the business. Raya, who has been involved in the business doing quality control, order checking, proofing and more, was named a shareholder.

Steve took it a step farther and asked Raya what she would do with the business if she were in charge.

“Hey big boss lady, here’s an idea, and as a business owner what would you like,” he said to her.

He admits he expected a typical answer from a teen – a request for money or a car.

“I was really caught off guard that this as the direction she wanted to go in,” said her dad.

Steve said he’s proud of the person she’s becoming.

In addition to the hoodie campaign, Raya is an active athlete who also does volunteer work.

“I do love sports,” Raya said. “Softball has been my life since I could fit a ball in my hands. I play soccer and club volleyball as well. This upcoming school year, in the fall, I’ve been accepted into the Yale Softball Academy and am very excited about that. My school volleyball team had a lot of success last year, but I am excited for what the future holds.”

charity

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Steve Crone is proud of his daughter, Raya, who came up with the idea for an anti-bullying hoodie campaign that is taking off. (Crone family photo/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Steve Crone is proud of his daughter, Raya, who came up with the idea for an anti-bullying hoodie campaign that is taking off. (Crone family photo/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

The Abbotsford Tulip Festival is permanently closing, with plans to eventually set up in Armstrong, B.C. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford Tulip Festival is closing, with plans to rebloom in Armstrong

Event organizer says pandemic and sale of land were factors in decision

The forfeiture case based on seized gold and European cash is being held at the courthouse in Victoria. (Black Press Media files)
Province aims to seize gold, cash after cannabis raids at Langley homes

Police also found ammo, body armour, and a stun baton

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

A vehicle incident eastbound on the Trans-Canada Highway in Langley at 264th Street is causing traffic in the area on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. (Drive BC)
TRAFFIC: Eastbound Highway 1 vehicle incident in Langley

Traffic reduced to single lane eastbound

Rose Sawka, 91, waves to her son through the window of a care home in Prince Rupert in October. Residents of the care home received their first vaccine dose Jan. 20. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)
B.C. care home visitor access to expand by March, Dix says

Staff, residents, essential visitors top priorities for vaccine

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Kyrell Sopotyk was drafted by the Kamloops Blazers in 2016 and played two seasons with the Western Hockey League club. (Photograph By ALLEN DOUGLAS/KTW)
Kamloops Blazer paralyzed in snowboarding accident sparks fundraiser for family

As of Jan. 24, more than $68,000 had been raised to help Kamloops Blazers’ forward Kyrell Sopotyk

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pixhere photo)
B.C. dentists argue for COVID-19 vaccine priority after ‘disappointing’ exclusion from plan

Vaccines are essential for dentists as patients cannot wear masks during treatment, argues BCDA

Hundreds participated in the Abbotsford Kisaan Tractor Rally on Sunday. (John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
Tractor rally in Abbotsford draws hundreds

Abbotsford Kisaan Tractor Rally occurred on Sunday

Beds are set up at the emergency response centre at the North Surrey Recreation Centre. (Contributed file photo)
26 people test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey emergency shelter

Centre located at North Surrey Recreation Centre

The fine for changing lanes or merging over a solid line costs drivers $109 and two penalty points in B.C. (Screenshot via Google Street View)
B.C. drivers caught crossing, merging over solid white lines face hefty fine

Ticket for $109, two penalty points issued under Motor Vehicle Act for crossing solid lines

Most Read