A startup firm promoting clean bodily hydration, launched on campus by Daniel Schindler, has thrown its support and resources behind those with chronic illnesses with discounts and a new short video on the topic that premiered recently in Los Angeles.
The video called “To Be Seen” features four social media influencers—Renee Welch, Ash Levi, Dom Snyder and Paula Sojo. Produced by the startup hydration firm Buoy, the four creators play the role of students in a quirky and playful narrative showing how their characters cope with the isolation caused by their illnesses. The illnesses portrayed include inflammatory bowel disease, POTS, ulcerative colitis and type 1 diabetes.
“After talking to so many people living with chronic illnesses, we realized a huge problem: They feel invisible,” said Schindler, MBA ’19, CEO/co-founder of Buoy. “We wanted to do our part to support this community by making this video to spread awareness and show others what it’s truly like to live with a chronic illness.”
Schindler said the Buoy founding team was inspired to take on the project by customers who reached out with stories about their chronic illnesses—and how much Buoy had helped them.
“Because they make up such a big part of our customer base, we decided to devote all of our philanthropy and our first marketing campaign to these groups of people,” he said.
The company premiered the video on July 30, 2022, with a party at the Melrose Rooftop Theatre in Los Angeles. Producers filmed the nearly seven-minute film on 16 mm motion picture stock while highlighting the four TikTok creators spotlighting what it’s like to navigate life and high school with a chronic illness.
Buoy spotlights the issue on its website and offers those dealing with chronic illnesses a 35% lifetime discount on its products. For every bottle of Buoy’s products sold on its website, the company gives one back to someone who is living with a chronic illness.
“We’ve received an incredible response from everyone in the chronic illness community,” Schindler said.
Buoy launched originally under the brand “Better Tomorrow” in March 2017. The firm makes and markets fluid supplements to promote better hydration.