WRITE / Hot Topic / Five Years.
- Posted on: 29 March 2011
- By: Jamie Tworkowski
Hot Topic's place in the TWLOHA story is both surprising and significant. Our shirts arrived with a bang more than two years ago. Our original Title shirt showed up with profanity and "religious language" printed inside (both violations of HT policy) and yet they couldn't keep the things in stock. My phone rang and it was their CEO (Betsy, she's cool) - she called on the day we were filming for NBC Nightly News (It's safe to say this was a memorable day). There was a moment of generosity on that phone call - Betsy telling me that Hot Topic would be making a donation to TWLOHA for every shirt sold, because she felt they should be supporting us in a bigger way. Hot Topic has been our single biggest financial supporter ever since.
TWLOHA's place in the Hot Topic story is surprising as well. Something hopeful in a store not usually known for hope. Our shirts sit one among a sea of them but ours perhaps unique inside that sea. We're trying to say something and we believe it's something important. Hope and help and community. We want to break the silence and we want people to know that they deserve to be known and loved by other people.
We smile at the irony of this partnership, the idea of people finding us where they may not expect to. Hope comes often as a surprise. Our message is for people and people shop at Hot Topic and so that seems a like a really good fit to us.
We've been quiet about it for a while, mostly because we don't want people to feel like our focus is their money or selling something. But the reality is that we're funded mostly by t-shirt sales and Hot Topic is a big part of that. Their support allows us to do the work we do. It allows us to respond to messages and take our message on the road and it allows us to give to treatment and recovery - more than $850,000 over the last five years.
So i'm writing tonight with a specific request. Our WRITE shirts have arrived in Hot Topic stores across America. If you've thought about ordering one online, or maybe you've wondered about giving one of our shirts as a gift, please consider picking this shirt up at Hot Topic. Beyond funding the work we do, your support will go a long way toward allowing cool things to happen with TWLOHA at Hot Topic. We are fans of making cool things happen and we like surprises. And the reality is that when it comes to seeing surprising doors open, you guys have always been the key. Every door that's opened, every surprising moment - from television to events to awards - it has happened because of you. Because of your voice and your vote and your support.
As i'm finishing this up, it just hit me that it's after midnight which means it's now March 30. Which means it's been five years since my friend Jon (Foreman from the band Switchfoot) put on one of our shirts and took the stage at concert in South Florida. He wore the shirt and mentioned it's meaning and that was the night things change. The messages started coming that night. It's been an amazing journey and it feels good to be able to say that it feels like we're still just getting started.
Thanks for coming with us on this journey. And thanks for making it possible.
Peace to you.