As you all know by now there is nothing I love more than that moment, that spark that inspires someone to turn passion into action. Its always unexpected and inspiring and Shea Mullen of Give and Take Tees moment is no different.
Shea’s moment didn’t turn into a non-profit but an incredibly cool way to support them.
In Shea’s words: “It started out about my story. I had been designing t-shirts for about 15 years and was looking to do something more authentic and positive. I have multiple sclerosis, I have a nephew with epilepsy, and my mom died of cancer, but my parents always taught me to turn my challenges into something positive, so I thought, what can I do with that? I was thinking and then one day I saw a college-aged kid wearing a t-shirt that said “1979 Dance-a-thon for Leukemia” and I went up to him and said, “Where did you get your shirt? It fits great, it’s a perfect wash, great graphic…” and he said, “Oh, I got it at Goodwill.” So it was a real shirt, it had been a real event and I thought these charities, these domestic American charities, are being sort of forgotten about – like multiple sclerosis and epilepsy or the American Heart Association –
So why don’t I contact these organizations and see if I can recreate events they did or make up some fictitious ones that would have been events to raise money and create t-shirts around it and donate money back. I’d bring them to the stores that I’ve sold to, great department stores and boutiques that will raise awareness and get a whole new demographic talking about autism and talking about these challenges.
So I just started calling them and working with them and now what started out with my story has become about other people’s stories, which is my favorite part of the whole business. I get emails from people every day saying, “I bought your shirt because…” Some just say “It’s a cool shirt, I love how it fits,” but most people say they bought it because of their relationship to one of the causes or their boyfriend’s niece has epilepsy or their mom had cancer, and I love that. I love that it’s become other people’s stories. Then, we started reaching out more globally.”
Give and Take Tees gives 20 percent of the proceeds of each shirt going to the respective organization. Shea’s moment turned her job into a passion and makes a difference for so many.
As Shea said, “I think there’s something for everyone and there’s a cause for everyone, too.”
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