A couple of weeks ago I featured All For One Clothing, a brand that was started by animal enthusiast Brandon Hopkins. Sadly, one of his doggies passed away. To commemorate Tiggers life, he is having a sale at All For One Clothing. You can save 25% off your entire order by simply using the code “tigger” at checkout. All proceeds from this sale will go to charity in her name.Â
Here are two tees that I dig from All For One Clothing!
This tee by lunchboxbrain is all about one thing – dishing out positive vibes! This grass colored Design By Humans tee is the perfect shirt to get anyone lacking in the happy department. And because Mr. lunchboxbrain is such an awesome guy, he donated his DBH winnings toÂ Â two charities in Upstate NY – Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region, Inc. and Gilda’s Club Capital Region New York.Â B Positive is available now from Design By Humans for $20.
Human Trafficking is a huge problem andÂ Amnesty International in Germany knows this. They recently ran a marketing campaign to highlight the issues related with Human Trafficking and they caught it on tape.Â
Here’s a T-Shirt that is actually called Human Trafficking and was designed by artist Priscilla Wilson. You might be familiar with Priscilla since she is an avid T-Shirt designer and has had her designs printed at Threadless (she goes by the name valorandvellum). The design theme wasÂ Building roadblocks to human trafficking.Â It’s available at CommonThreadz, a site that produces Eco-Friendly T-Shirts that help fund programs that benefit orphans and vulnerable children in South Africa and other developing nations.Â For each t-shirt purchased, a school uniform is donated to an orphan or vulnerable child so they can go to school. The tee is available now for $38.
“Upon receiving the theme of “Human Trafficking” I started doing some research on the topic. There were a couple of things that struck me about the issue. Many of the victims, even as adults, enter the situation under false pretenses, and once they’re in it they don’t seek help to get out. It seems that it must be a devastating, despairing way to exist, and the only solution is if an outsider steps up and reports it. With this design, the intent is to show how small acts can mean big things to others and to show hope where there was none before.” -- Priscilla Wilson
Congratulations to Lenwood Brown from Amherst, New Hampshire for submitting the winning design to the official Twestival T-Shirt Design Contest that was held by Desired Hearts. Brown is no stranger to good causes, along with being a talented designer, he also helps out his community as a volunteer firefighter. And if you saying to yourself, hey that designs looks familiar – well, you’re right! The design is a play on the famous “Fail Whale” splash page that appears whenever Twitter is down for maintenance.Â
This winning Twestival shirt will be available for pre-sale until Monday for $20. All proceeds from this sale will be going to Charity: Water. And remember, the Twestival will be happening all over the world on February 12 so be sure to check out the official site Twestival siteÂ to see where your city’s Twestival will be held.Â
I received the following press release from the guys over at The Select Series regarding their latest collection of curated tees. Of course, the proceeds will be going to support a very worthy charity, The Patrick O’Brien Foundation. If you’re familiar with The Select Series, then you know that this is Threadless’ premium brand, as such, they’ve got a premium price tag as well at $25. They use plastisol ink on all of the tees and the prints range from 3 to 11 colors. By purchasing one of these tees, you can help with the battle against ALS. Read more about the collection below:
The Select SeriesÂ is proud to announce our second Curated Collection of tees. 100% of the proceeds from this Series will be donated to The Patrick O’Brien Foundation to complete Patrick’s film documenting his battle with ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). The tees will be available beginning February 9th at TheSelectSeries.com.
O’Brien, an independent filmmaker and longtime friend of Threadless, created the Patrick O’Brien Foundation in 2006 to raise awareness of ALS and his documentary film about living with the disease. O’Brien has been featured on NPR, ABC, and CBS, and touts a successful commercial career on television and the internet creating unique stories for Spike TV, AOL, IBM, MTV, Microsoft, and Warp Records.
After his diagnosis with ALS in 2005 at the age of 30, O’Brien set out to do something with his illness and create his most honest project to date: to document his own life on 35mm motion picture film and spread awareness about the disease, bringing attention to those living with it in order to take a step towards improved treatment options.
“Patrick is a good friend of mine, and I’ve been a fan of his work for almost a decade,” said Dustin Hostetler, Special Projects Curator for Threadless. “When learning of his illness, and subsequent plans to make a film about it, I racked my brain for ways to help. Now through the Select Series, we can all help Patrick finish his movie.”
Through his curated line for the Select Series, O’Brien has chosen the theme of Storytellers, as well as the artists contributing to the collection of limited-edition tees. Participating artists include Aaron Augenblick , Ben Conrad , Timothy Saccenti , and Michael C. Place. 100% percent of the proceeds from the Series will go to The Patrick O’Brien Foundation.
This is the second guest-curated Threadless Select Series, aiming to pay homage to the entire spectrum of art and design – from fine art to street art, CG to sculpture, and typography to architecture. The first series was curated by RISD President John Maeda in 2008.
It’s a great thing whenever people in the tee community help each other out. The people at tee-a-day site TeeFury have teamed up with Stabb Clothing to help raise money for charity.Â
In a recent post on the Stabb blog, Stabb founder Ryan Grandmaison, mentioned the recent cancer diagnosis of a good friend and bandmade (Something for Nothing) of his. He has also been posting regular updates about his friend so be sure to check those out on the Stabb blogs.
TeeFury recently reached out to Grandmaison and offered to collaborate with the up-an-coming tee brand to create a tee with the help of the indie tee community.Â Grandmaison (aka as RustyEight) posted about the collaboration on the Emptees forum:
As most of you know by now, my buddy and guitarist Ben has been fighting Burkittâ€™s Lymphoma for the past few months and thanks to you guys weâ€™ve raised a bunch of money and some clothes.
Wotto approched me the other day with an idea on how to raise some more, viaÂ TeeFuryÂ .Â TeeFury Collab! Alphabet Edition!
Whatâ€™s the idea? Every designer signs up to design 1 letter (capital). If we have enough people(52) weâ€™ll do both capital and lower case.Â Keep it at 3 Colors.
The shirt will then go up on TeeFury for sale sometime in in January or February. If you would like to sign up for this huge collab, post the letter you would like. First come first serve. Remember, proceeds will be going to Ben, you will not get paid for it.Â DEADLINE IS JANUARY 31STÂ
If you’re interested, then be sure to check out the forum post. You can sign up for a letter there (there are a couple of letters left as of this posting). Good luck to TeeFury and Stabb with this!
If you’re a Jimiyo fan then you might consider picking up his latest design, to be released later today at Tee Fury. As with all Tee Fury tees, you’ll only be able to purchase Hope Phoenix for 24 hours and then it’ll be gone (who knows if Jimiyo will have it reprinted). And, if that’s not enough to get you to pick this tee up then you should not that proceeds will go to charity:
“Proceeds from the sale of this design will go to East Nashville Cooperative Ministry. It is within the community in which I live. Although I find myself to be so calculating that I can rationalize out most charitable donations as being indiscriminate and ineffective, I have actually visited the small building in which ENCM resides and feel that even a small donation would help.
So if you like the design, please consider purchasing the shirt, OR alternatively you can help ENCM by donating to them through their website.” -Jimiyo
Desired Hearts is the newest fashion startup from Roby Fitzhenry, Creative Director of Â Always CreativeÂ and Matthew Fruge. They are the latest to join the handful of T-shirt design submission sites that have ongoing contests for cash prizes. The most well known site based on this model is Threadless, however, both Roby and Matt are quick to point out that Desired Hearts has no desire to compete with the Threadless powerhouse. Instead, they plan to have the ongoing contests be a component to the larger plan -- to develop a top fashion label by enlisting well-known and established artists and designers, while at the same time making sure that proceeds from profits earned is donated to deserving charities.Â
I had the fortunate opportunity to talk to Roby and Matt from Desired Hearts. They talk a bit about how Desired Hearts was founded and how the charitable model was conceived. Matt and Roby also discuss how they are challenging themselves, collectively as a team, to develop a quality driven fashion label.Â
Coty: Charity plays a big role in Desired Hearts’ business model. How did the idea of making charity a major component of Desired Hearts come about?
Roby: Matt came to us (Always Creative) with the idea of starting a clothing company that gives to charity. Our entire team became immediately interested and a business deal was struck. The more we thought about the idea, the more we all loved it, which eventually led to us even renaming the idea to Desired Hearts. Our name represents the love that everyone seeks out whether it be from support for your t-shirt design, support of a specific charity or even just the feeling that you’re a part of something greater. Hopefully in the future we can change the way businesses look at philanthropy.
Matt: I don’t remember the exact moment I had the idea. I think it came to be over a period of time thinking about different ways of doing business. The guys and gals at Threadless really pioneered the community driven business model. I didn’t really want Desired Hearts to be another Threadless, but the value of your customers’ feedback before you go into production is priceless. We really want to bring that model to the world of fashion, with custom garments from designers who might not have the resources available to get it done themselves. The charity part was always going to be part of whatever the business became. Like Roby mentioned, the original name was Donor Threads…lol! Looking back, I’m glad they worked their re-branding magic on the name.
Coty: The charity component has changed a bit and you have also elicited input from the Emptees community as to how Desired Hearts should go about “giving” to charities. Explain a bit about how the charity part of Desired Hearts works.
Roby: I love the Emptees community and respect their opinions. Although I’m still a rather new member, we decided to put our questions to the community in hopes of solid feedback. Initially, we were going to just give $2 per shirt to charity, $3 per shirt to the winning designer as well as initial winnings of $500. However, we’ve decided to give $5 per shirt to charity and $500 to the winning designer with the choice to keep the cash or give some or all to a charity of their choice. Everyone needs a little cash sometimes and we respect that. We just hope that as the site grows, the amount of proceeds we give to charities grows with it.
Coty: The online communities that have developed at Threadless and Design By Humans seems to be a driving force behind the growth of those brands. How do you plan to build the community at Desired Hearts and do you have any plans for utilizing the various social networking tools (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, etc) available to build you community?
Roby: Great question. One thing we feel is very different about Desired Hearts is that we are really trying to develop a fashion label. Although we will have ongoing contests, we’re also seeking out and commissioning top designers to collaborate with our in-house team. We already have two amazing designers lined up for collaboration so stay tuned for the news! We will also continue to be as fully integrated in social media platforms as we can. We’re on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter and will be expanding to others soon. Our fingers are crossed that people realize that you can support a fashion label and the world around you simultaneously.
Matt: The Social Media movement, or whatever you want to call it, has really kind of taken the place of what T.V. used to represent in people’s lives. It’s a connection with the rest of the world, and what they are doing on a whole new level.Â And as far as marketing goes, I’ll be the first to admit that online ads are just as annoying as T.V. commercials, but marketing through your own network of people that are somewhat interested in whatever you are doing is taking the ability of targeted marketing to companies that don’t have an advertising budget. And it’s not an “in the face” approach like traditional ads. People can come to you on their own terms, which makes for a higher quality user. We plan on using these resources as best we can in order to grow our community of like-minded people.
Coty: How did you go about selecting the initial crop of charities that Desired Hearts and its designers will be donating too? Any plans on expanding this list of charities in the future?
Matt: We know there are thousands of non-profits out there doing great things, and we would love to be able to touch them all. However, just starting out, we wanted to use some that maybe everyone has heard of. Another reason for keeping the list small is impact. If we started out with 20 different charities, then each one might be getting $2.50 every three months or so (we pay out donations quarterly). We figured we could have a greater impact if we were giving $100 or whatever instead. So until business picks up a little, we would like to keep the list around the same size. But we definitely will be adding to the list as the company’s capabilities to help those charities grow.
Roby: Ditto back at Matt! However, I wanted to also mention that we really are planning to push DH as a way to help community efforts such as fundraisers, etc. Once we fine-tune all these details, we’ll make some updates on the site so people know what’s up.
Coty: As the co-founder of Desired Hearts, what has the experience of building a startup been like? Has it been everything you’ve expected?
Roby: Luckily, Always Creative has been in business just long enough for us all to know what to expect: nothing at all. Startups are never guaranteed and I think that’s what makes it so exciting. We’ve taken an idea we’re extremely proud of, used endless hours and cups of coffee to refine it, and then sent it out for the world to see (and hopefully love). Lesson for those interested: you need capital. Trust me on that one.
Matt: Definitely need money! Not to say you can’t bootstrap it, because we are. You have to be smart about what you spend your money on for sure. If you run out, you’re pretty much dead in the water. Luckily we are still swimming…ha-ha. And I’m glad we are debt free. It would be awesome to have a loan amount big enough to do everything we want to do right off the bat, but sometimes it’s best to go slow so you don’t make the mistakes that end up costing thousands of dollars. And at the end of the month, who wants to worry about another bill! Moral of the story: know what size fish you are and eat accordingly.
Coty: Finally, what are some of the goals that you and the rest of the Desired Hearts team have set for the new site?
Matt: We want to continue to polish the site and add new features, both on the front end and the back end. This is my first web-based project, and I must say I had no idea how much development takes place when creating a site from scratch. The guys at Downtown Cartel and Always Creative, have done an amazing job conceptualizing, branding, a building the site. We’ve had our ups and downs, but overall it’s been one of the coolest and most rewarding things I’ve done.
Roby: Haha .. happy Matt doesn’t hate us. One of our team members, Jimmy, the guy who did all the sweet icons and helped with the overall site design, is definitely becoming our “Director of Cool”. He has thrown out some great ideas about how we can make Desired Hearts run with the best. Some of our ideas include making our own custom shirts which will most likely come from a “cut and sew” competition. We plan to continue to make as many small videos of our adventures as possible and work with some of the top talent in the industry. We’re also gearing up to launch shirts that focus more on our identity just to give people options. I’d say our biggest goal is just to challenge what’s expected out of a company our size. No one on our collective team backs down to a challenge. Our challenge: to create a high-end, custom fashion label that is respected for quality, individuality, the ability to give and the guts to take things on head first.
I definitely have to thanks both Roby and Matt for agreeing to take the time out to do this interview with me -- it is very much appreciated! Also a big shout out to Roby for working closely with me on this, going back and forth on email was definitely worth it! I wish the Desired Hearts team the best of luck with this awesome venture!
And just in case you haven’t already seen this, here’s a behind the scenes sneak peak at the Desired Hearts photo shoot for the initial set of t-shirt prints.