The Kentucky Strong™ Initiative
We didn't intend to start an apparel company back in the winter of 2013, it just kinda happened that way. Originally founded as a local shopping app and failing quite miserably, we made the decision in 2014 to use the social media platform we created from our failed project and 100 t-shirts to raise funds and awareness for a local charity serving the kids of Kentucky. 100 shirts went online on a Friday morning at 10AM and to our surprise, they sold out within the hour and we donated 100% of the funds to the Toy Chest Children's Charity.
After several years of saving and outsourcing printing, we were finally able to afford to upgrade our printing equipment in order to be able to produce at a higher volume and make a larger impact. Kentucky Strong™ was born! A charitable giving initiative that takes something as simple as a t-shirt to raise life changing funds for those in need. We knew that it would not be as impactful if we restricted our efforts to one particular campaign, so we made the decision to fill the need as they arise. Knowing our production capacity, we made a goal to raise $1 million for various life changing causes in the first five years through Kentucky Strong™ campaigns.
In August 2017, the first need based fundraising effort arose through the landfall of Hurricane Harvey impacting the Houston, Texas area. We created our first Kentucky Strong™ tee with the 'God Bless Texas' fundraising campaign that raised over $80,000 for relief efforts. It was clear that Kentuckians truly cared and wanted to help and this gave a tangible way of not only supporting a cause financially, but also showing support through posting the tees on social media, and creating conversations around the need within our community.
As the years went by, this amazing community has supported hurricane and tornado relief in Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and here home in Kentucky, a Kentucky officer shot in the line of duty, food insecurity, the Australian Wildfire relief, Covid-19 relief, Black lives matter, the community action fund for Harlen and surrounding counties coal miners, DanceBlue, and much, much more.
In December of 2021, tornadoes tore through Western Kentucky leaving a trail of devastation and loss. In response, we created the 270 Kentucky Strong tee and Kentuckians came together to raise over $400,000 for the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund in just one week and marked Kentucky Strong™ raising over $1.1 million dollars for life changing causes in just over 4 years.
Now, we look forward knowing that there will be needs in our community that we can't yet see, and that we will be committed to being there with this amazing community of Kentuckians stepping up to help our neighbors regardless of their need.
That's Kentucky Strong.