“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it's less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you've lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that's good.” ― Elizabeth Edwards
Each moment, whether positive or negative, presents each of us with a profound opportunity. The opportunity to commit to continue moving forward and forge a benevolent future through unwavering and creative resilience or take a seat back. We celebrate and encourage the former.
Our greatest heroes and heroines are almost always born out of the ashes of discomfort and pain. They always have been. Their challenging times demanded new mindsets and new ideas to challenge their challenges. The same goes for our heroes and heroines today.
One of our Heroes of ROQ, Sloan Coleman and her partner Jenny Rearick of the awesome print shop in St. Louis, Tiny Little Monster, recently faced the daunting challenge of what COVID-19 has brought upon them and their community and transformed it into a powerful message that spawned a colossal movement that indeed solidifies their truth that they are #HereForGood.
As reported in a press release, “Tiny Little Monster, a small print shop in St. Louis, has created an online store for local St. Louis businesses to sell branded t-shirts to help their struggling operations. The online store features t-shirts for individual small businesses that choose to participate; customers can purchase a t-shirt for $20, and $10 from the sale goes directly to the business. The other $10 is used by Tiny Little Monster for t-shirt production and packaging and to pay furloughed staff.
When asked what inspired her to start the Here For Good movement, owner Sloan Coleman said, ‘We were watching our sales numbers drop to nothing and in speaking with some of our most reliable customers realized that we are all in the same boat. Fear, closures, and social distancing habits are slashing small business earnings to the bone. Something had to happen. We print t-shirts so we came up with this idea to sell t-shirts on behalf of local small businesses as a way to generate a different source of revenue for them.’
And the movement took off! Within 5 days of opening online and advertising, the store to local businesses only using social media and the hashtag #HereForGoodSTL, over 40 St. Louis business owners submitted t-shirt designs to sell. In just one weekend, Tiny Little Monster raised over $7,000 and by April 7th over 3,000 shirts have been sold, generating $30,000 in sales donations delivered directly to the participating businesses. And the Here For Good store is adding new businesses daily.
The Here For Good STL store is adding new businesses daily and is also excited to see that the movement has gained traction in other communities with screen print businesses in Utah, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, South Dakota, and Oregon asking for assistance in setting up their own online stores to help their small business neighbors survive the coming economic climate.
‘We’re just trying to do our part,’ said Coleman. ‘St. Louis is a unique city and we just knew folks would step up to help keep their local business community thriving. We’re trying to make sure that small shops are around forever, or Here For Good.’
Any small business affected by COVID-19 can participate in the movement by submitting a t-shirt design at tinylittlemonster.com/here-for-good.”
We reached out to Sloan to get further insight into her and Tiny Little Monster’s goals for the movement.
What do you hope to see with #HereForGood in the long run? Where do you hope it goes beyond the COVID-19 era?
Sloan Coleman of Tiny Little Monster:
While it's impossible to see the future, we know that when we come back, we need to incorporate webstore fundraising as a core service we offer, just just an add on. Through this project, we realized we're just as much a marketing company as we are a print shop. Right now, our fellow small businesses are asking us to run their campaigns for them, we're looking at ways we can restructure our core staff and serve customers in ways beyond printed apparel and help them navigate social media marketing, while we learn how to best utilize this ourselves.
What is one (or a few if preferred) of your favorite anecdotes from how you've seen this effort affect another business(es)? Has anything in particular moved you more than others?
Sloan Coleman of Tiny Little Monster:
The idea for Here For Good isn't complex, it's actually simpler than running multiple campaigns because there is one store to maintain. Just tons of products. The lesson here is that you have to set the foundation to be successful, if I wasn't happy, but feeling dissatisfied with the work I was doing at Tiny Little Monster, Here For Good would not have happened. For this idea to grow, I had to have really awesome nutrients to nurture it. I needed my business coach to guide me into a solution, I needed the inspiration from Shirt Lab, I needed the vote of confidence, the interviews and features that the press had done on Tiny in the past to understand my ideas were valid. I needed the network online to see we were all struggling, I needed Our Community Listens to understand where my passion and talents lie. The anecdote is to be successful, it isn't one thing, it's a lot of little things and good habits that lead up to big changes.
This is just the beginning. As of this writing, #HereForGoodSTL has grown to nearly half the country! And there's no sign of slowing down! We are here to join and support this and other compassionate efforts like it. We are here to help make sure that we’re all Here For Good. How will your creativity help to heal our world? Let us know so we can feature your awesome next! ROQ on & #PressOnward!
About Tiny Little Monster: Tiny Little Monster is owned and operated by Sloan Coleman and her partner, Jenny Rearick. Started in a basement in 2011, the company moved to a small storefront in Maplewood before transitioning into their permanent storefront and production studio in Shrewsbury, Missouri. Tiny Little Monster, hailed as the “print shop for the people,” prints high quality t-shirts, tote bags, and other promotional products for individuals, non-profits, and small businesses.