Introduction: Angelo's Charity Partnership with The Maggie Oliver Foundation

Who are you?

My name is Michael Thomson. I go by the names Mikey, Angelo, Michelangelo, Mickey, Ange (Auntie Ange to the dogs I look after!) - a versatile name! The best one is Mikey. When I hit 40 it can be Mike and then at 60 can be Mick haha. 

I’m currently living in Brighton for 7-years but I grew up in the South-east Kent and was born in Germany way back in 1987. 

Before I started my Outlet, I worked in Operations for a silicon valley giant, and before that an Attendance Officer for a private college, a Court Administrator, a Lifeguard and an International DJ! 

I have lived a rollercoaster life of reinvention and self-discovery that is inspiring me to write a book(s) about my life and my journey. Doing this for the new Maggie Oliver Foundation Partner Page is an inspiring way for me to piece together some parts of the tale to my story for when I write my book.

What is Angelo’s Outlet?

Angelo's an online dropshipping outlet rebirthed in October 2020 by Me, Mikey. The dropshipping method is where a store does not physically stock its warehouse of products to sell. 

Unlike wholesalers who purchase stock, store it and sell in a high-street shop as a retailer, Angelo's Outlet sources products directly from suppliers to sell to customers online under the brand name with minimum expense cost and preventing a loss of profit; A handy key to success during these unprecedented times.

Why was Angelo’s Outlet created?

I created my online store because I was fed-up of being looked down at, misjudged, misunderstood, seen as unruly, and placed in-to-a-box during my colourful career. My health has been progressive against me both, physically and mentally. So, I wanted to become my own boss, create a work-from-home business for when I get post-surgery (more about that on the next questions asked!). Ultimately, I need to find my peace in life. This journey started in February 2020 but Coronavirus Lockdown put a hold on my plans. As soon as I saw a beacon of light that allowed me to lift Angelo’s Outlet off the ground, I aimed high and worked tirelessly to get it to where it is now.

What has 2020 brought to Mikey besides Covid-19?

2020 has been a plethora of highs and lows. 

The Highs: I faced fears in talking to Police, GP, Family, Friends and health professionals about my non-recent abuse, something I had hidden for 20 years. I started a new hobby in learning to play the keyboard and starting a new business. I am in the process of reinventing myself and returning to where I come from so that I can surround myself with those that support me. Right now, everything is nourishing! However, it has been tough getting here.

The Lows: I lost a job and midway through the year, I had to voluntarily resign at another job I took in haste, due to my worsening mental health. I discovered I am high-risk of covid-19. I had a bicycle accident early summer that requires surgery to reconstruct my knees and learn to work again. I was diagnosed with ASD/cPTSD/ADHD in October. I was also diagnosed with bulging discs in my spine and a deformity in my hip earlier on in the year.

At the end of the summer, I lost my grandmother to Dementia. Then, my fiancé said goodbye, suddenly, just before my birthday in November. Time spent in isolation is seven months so far, with the rest trying to prevent social insecurity from taking over me. To help, arrived Miss Coco Chanel the Wonder Pug. Coco became like an emotional support animal during my Birthday and throughout November to help bring me out of my lull.

What a year... *sigh*

Why did you decide to launch your #AOCharity2020 campaign?

Being a sole trader and calling the shots, every aspect of Angelo’s Outlet must have a ground-up altruistic approach. Angelo’s Outlet for me is escapism. It is a way to create a brand, an entity, an evolved era of me with something to look forward to post-surgery. 

When I went into creating my brand, I wanted ethical, sustainable, ecological, organic, vegan products as I want to have a positive impact in the world. I also do not want to make money. Money is not my objective. Value, trust and quality is something I much prefer. 

You must be thinking - how is he surviving, doing what he is doing?
The short answer is, I take zero profit for me.

 Whilst I am in isolation recovering in mental health, with looming surgery dates and post-surgery rehabilitation, I am unable to do full-time work. So, instead of going insane, I am volunteering myself by dedicating my time into building my brand, selling items to raise money for charity. I am using my time wisely in networking, marketing, selling products so that I can contribute donations, all profits, to charity. This is how #AOCharity2020 was born. In November 2020, I raised/donated £130 for the foundation. I wanted to continue my donations not only during the Christmas campaign but into 2021 as well. 

How did you come to know of Maggie Oliver and the Foundation? 

I first heard of Maggie Oliver in the BBC series Three Girls in late 2017. It was airing at the same time I had just escaped an emotional and psychologically abusive relationship. Trauma from this relationship resurfaced what I had suppressed in memory for a good 15-20 years. It wasn’t until 2020 when I started searching for support, for men who are survivors of sexual abuse, did I discover The Maggie Oliver Foundation. I reached out to her team, where a member kindly responded and I offered further support in any way possible. I feel like I am rebirthing myself right now, to a point where my pain is now power, and I want to help others achieve the same.

What does 2021 bring for Mikey, and what goals do Angelo’s Outlet aim to achieve?

In 2021, I intend to move back to my hometown, where I can be with my parents and my life long friends. I moved away in 2014 to discover myself, which led me to Brighton but, this wasn't a step forward. To me, it was a gap-year sidestep, let's call it that! 

I feel strong and empowered to return to a town where so much happened that I ran away from years ago. I cannot wait to be with my loved ones again. 

In Angelo’s Outlet, 2021 goals are still in the works of elevation. Until I can get post-surgery, walking and able to go self-employed, I am going to volunteer and dedicate myself where I can to build my brand name. Hopefully, this will be with the foundation.

Tell us a unique fact about Mikey?

On a November Sunday in 1987, I was born during the 2-minute silence of WWI in a German hospital, weighing in at a whopping 11.4lbs. Sorry, mum. 

Is there a message you would like to send out to readers of this blog post?

I would like to share with you my favourite quote;

Beautiful Pictures get developed from negatives in a dark room. If you see darkness and negativity in your life, be rest assured that a Beautiful Picture is becoming prepared. ~ unknown. 

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