When I first decided to sell djchickenparm.com merch I gotta admit…it was mainly out of boredom.
It’s been something I wanted to do for a while, I was so bored out of mind in quarantine, and I figured I could help out people struggling due to the virus. That was really it. I wasn’t expecting it to be THAT big of deal, but man, the ride this whole process sent me on was truly a blessing.
I went from loosely designing this after a couple white claws one night,
to receiving a proof of what they’d look like,
to getting 25 real life high-quality hats delivered to my doorstep.
First of all, huge shoutsout to The College Shack. I wouldn’t want to have people pay for merch that wasn’t good quality and was so happy with how the hats turned out. Great summer look, snapback, and totally stitched up. I wanted them to be kinda goofy but also wearable, and they nailed it.
NOT TO MENTION, everyone I interacted with was super nice. They even read the blog and found out the profits were going to charity and shaved a dollar off each hat, all of that $25 is now going to our grand total of donations as well!
Which brings us to the donation portion, let’s do a quick number crunch shall we?
For each hat sold, we were donating $10.
$10 x 25 = $250
Some people decided to donate MORE than the $10, in fact we got an extra $50 from people who paid more than $25.
$250 + $50 = $300
Then we also had our extra $25 donation from The College Shack.
$300 + $25 for a GRAND TOTAL of $325
I was really looking forward to being able to donate because of the merch but people really showed up. Really shows how my blog only attracts good people who have so much money they’re just giving it away (that’s a fact, tell your friends who don’t read the blog yet).
So the original goal was for $250, all to be donated to the Bartender Emergency Assistance Fund (because once this is all over we’re going to need those guys to serve us STRONG drinks while we shred the dancefloor like never before), and I am PUMPED that we accomplished that goal.
On top of this goal, we got an excess of $75, all of which will be donated to Social Works (along with an extra $25 from myself just to round it out).
This charity was started by one of my favorite artists, Chance the Rapper, and aims to empower the youth through the arts, education, and civic engagement.
As everyone is well aware, there is a massive civil rights movement happening in our country right now in response to the racist murder of George Floyd. Since the protests began, I’ve really been trying to educate myself on my privileges and to learn and listen to the black community and the struggles they face on an every day basis. I’ve still got a long way to go, but one of the things I’ve especially been sensitive to is how much black culture I consume, primarily through music.
Most of my favorite musicians are black. Kanye, Chance, Kendrick, J. Cole, Anderson .Paak…I could go on and on. Even the classic “white dude bands” I like, like Dave Matthews Band, Grateful Dead, and Vampire Weekend, are absolutely rooted in music that black people created. And to be honest, 99% of music stems from Black Culture (yes, Kid Rock is that 1% exception).
But that being said, especially as someone who consumes and comments on black culture and music often, I feel like this is an appropriate place to donate. Hopefully that small contribution will help fund a program that encourages the next generation’s Kanye, one who won’t have to worry about the police racially profiling them, to create music and art and change people’s lives.
All things considered, I think this merch project exceeded all of my expectations. I got a high quality product, hopefully some good word of mouth, donated hundreds to charity (thanks to all of you who supported the brand by making a purchase) and I think one of the best aspects was just interacting with people as I delivered the hats. Whether I just dropped it off in a mailbox, or sent you a text as I shipped it out, or stood in your lawn to catch-up as I was dropping it off…I really feel so lucky to have friends and family that support me like this. I really think the day I spent delivering these hats was maybe the best day I had in the last 3 months. I got to see so many lovely people, have some great convos, and drive around listening to jams during all of it.
I love writing these blogs and making people laugh and talking about music, it’s why I started doing this 6 years ago, and it’s crazy to see how it’s grown. Never would I have thought I could convince 25 people to pay $25 for a hat with the site’s name on it and the phrase “pass the aux”, but here we are. A HUGE shoutout to everyone who purchased, it really meant a lot to me. Some people have been asking for a SZN 2 and I gotta say…I do have some ideas. But I think we gotta produce some more content before that drop happens.
Once again, you guys rock. More content coming soon, and much love.