Buy Local Pasadena Blog

Romancing the American Small Business – On A T-Shirt

Destee Nation T-ShirtsGet ready folks, Buying Local is the new American zeitgeist.

This Sunday’s New York Times Magazine has an interesting article by Rob Walker about Destee Nation T-Shirts, a company based in Seattle that sells indy t-shirts from real, local homegrown businesses from around the country (particularly California & Hawaii). The t-shirts aren’t fake, they’re from real places that Destee’s founder, Matt Morgan, discovers on his travels. A summary of the Times article:

Founded in 2004, the company now has 21 employees and sales approaching 10,000 T-shirts a month. “Basically,” Morgan says, “we’re using fashion as a way to save local landmarks.”

This is the point. Destee Nation is not selling nostalgia or hipster kitsch but romance — the romance of the American small business, the neighborhood diner, the old bar, the mom-and-pop shop that has managed to linger into the era of big-box chains.

In fact, the company’s mission statement includes the assertion that supporting these businesses might “help keep the big-box brands one step further from taking over our communities.”

And this is my favorite sentiment, and something we are thinking about as we grow Buy Local Pasadena:

Morgan says it’s more about being positive about small businesses with history and character than with being overtly negative (or “whiny”) about larger ones.

‘Nuff said.

Read the full article here.



1 Comment so far
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agreed. BEING the change.

Comment by Tamara

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