As you now know, I started No Restrictions after my third year of university. (If this is news to you, read The Story Behind: NR Classic.) Naturally, that means I had a little bit more to go until I got my degree.

The last year of university was very challenging academically (I did engineering). I was spending 90% of my waking time doing something related to school, so I made a tough decision and put NR on hold. I took a hiatus for several months and went radio silent. It hurt seeing my baby sit idly and seeing all the momentum I'd built just drop to zero. There was even a point where I felt so low that I was thinking of quitting NR altogether.

But there was a little voice in the back of my head saying to keep going.

There is no doubt that No Restrictions is special. And I'm not saying this because I'm the founder. I truly think it is. What other fitness brand focuses on mental health in a way that actually appeals to the target audience? Ok, there may be some, but I'll bet that those brands have only dipped a few toes in the water. Us? We're cannonballing in!

When I started up the brand again, I wanted to have a new version of our logo, inspired by the NR Classic to announce the renaissance of the brand. I also named the collection "Reborn" because that's how I felt. I felt like a new person after graduating and it was only fitting for coming out of hiatus.

Let me explain further about the "feeling like a new person" part. The academic world and I have a weird relationship. I felt trapped in my mind and body in high school, where I developed depression, social anxiety, anorexia and orthorexia. And then in university, I felt trapped in my mind. I'd recovered from depression and my eating disorders by then but every day when I went to my classes, I had a mask on. I felt like I couldn't show who I really was... well, I didn't know who I was. I spent most of my teenage years behind my mask and trying to survive so I never really got to know who the real me was.

But now that I've got my degree, I feel free. I've learned so much about myself since I stopped wearing my mask. I was at home most days (WFH for the win!) and I discovered what my true interests were and how I am when no one's watching me. It's taken me down interesting paths but I guess this is what personal growth looks like! It's exciting and a bit scary at times - but that's normal and part of the journey.

The Reborn design is much simpler than the NR Classic one. I decided to focus on just the head and have a single lightning bolt. But the main difference between the Classic and this one is the scale pattern. Because of the reborn theme and because I felt like a new person coming out of university, I wanted to show that in this design by making it look like snake skin, to subtly convey the message that both the brand and I have been through something transformative.

Now you know the story behind NR Reborn! Thank you for reading!

- Karen

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