ONE SHOE AT A TIME

By now most of you have pry seen Toms roaming around a campus near you or at least heard of them. However, if you haven’t or haven’t heard much about them and their mission, here is a breakdown of what they are all about. Toms was started in 2006 by a single man, Blake Mycoskie. While abroad in Argentina Blake came across a common occurrence, children without shoes in unbearable conditions. After returning to the US Blake decided to make a difference and Toms Shoes was born. Their motto: One for One. The company would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. Within his first months, Blake had returned to Argentina to deliver 10,000 shoes!

Within just a few years Blake and the team at Toms have now donated over one million pairs of shoes worldwide! Locations include Argentina, Haiti, Zambia, China, United States and many more.

Recently Blake and the Toms family have began a new quest, vision! Along side the shoes and one for one motto, Toms is now giving sight! I know that sounds crazy, but their doing it. With every pair of eyewear that’s purchased, they provide treatment for vision impairment.

Blindness and visual impairment is the seventh-largest health disability in the world. But in most cases it can be prevented or treated. In fact, available solutions, including medical treatment, prescription eyeglasses or a 15-minute cataract surgery, could impact 80% of people afflicted with vision impairment and blindness.

With help from Toms, people in poverty that are faulted by this illness can now go back to work or school and continue with day to day life and help their families escape from poverty realms.

The Toms movement can be seen nationwide through campuses and a worldwide event, A Day Without Shoes, help every spring. For more on Toms shoes please visit the website: http://www.toms.com/

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TUESDAY TUNES: JESSE MORROW

Born and raised in Michigan but spit out from the confines of a music capital, Nashville, TN, Jesse brings a soft yet rocker feel to the stage when we plays. With a local gathering Jesse decided to record his first album, New Beginnings. The album is filled with personal experiences, relationships and happenings from the world around him, allowing listeners to peak inside the artist himself.

Listeners are allowed to, and often do, get lost within the soft melodies and acoustic harmonies. After the success of his first album, Jesse decided to tackle another record and in 2010 released his second album, Come on Speak Up. This album brings along the same qualities as the first album but brings an even higher quality of songwriting and composition, giving listeners even more than what they bargained for.

Jesse holds a strong stage presence with a relaxing feel. He can be spotted around Nashville, within the Midwest and slowing making his way to the Northwest. He is currently playing shows with his good friends, The Scene Aesthetic. To check out more of Jesse’s work or purchase it visit his site: http://www.jessemorrowmusic.com/#_

 

CUPCAKERY INFLUENCE

Every artist/designer needs to start somewhere and that starting point involves influences. Here at OSKY we have a list of influences and inspirational designers we look up too. One of those influences is John Earle, founder of Johnny Cupcakes. From shirts to key chains to ball caps, J. Cupcakes does it all, and does it damn well. Even down to the packaging, the overall business is a work of art.

Johnny began working for himself in 2001, creating pins and buttons for local bands and businesses. On the side he worked at a screen print shop and comic book store to make extra cash. Nicknames flowed into work, including the one and only, Johnny Cupcakes. He took that name and decided to design a shirt for fun. Little did he know, that shirt would be an instant talking point. People loved the shirt so he decided to order some more.

They flew out the day they came of the press. Word of mouth began to spread like wildfire for Johnny. His designs follow the concept of inserting cupcakes into everyday things/logos/ect.. The word of Johnny Cupcakes continued to spread and by 2004 he participated in his first trade show in Vegas. Deals came in for various shops to sell his apparel but Johnny had other plans. In the end he decided to go the solo route and open up his own shops.

The attitude he had is one we agree with here at OSKY, we want people to standout, be different… you can’t have that when your apparel is sold in various stores all over the US. He makes his business personal and is always thinking about his customer’s experience with the brand. From little surprises and hand written notes he includes along with every order to themed releases for his shirts to the design of his amusement-like stores this man is all about giving you a once in a lifetime experience.

He has had a hand in the design of every Johnny Cupcakes store, almost playing the role of Willy Wonka with all the fun ideas he brings to the table.   In 2005 Johnny opened up his first shop and it was off to the races. In 2008 he was even named Young Entrepreneur of the year by BusinessWeek magazine.

Johnnys work can be purchased online, at pop up shops, or one of his 4 shops in the US and Europe! His work continues to aww and amaze his followers and new fans every day. To view or order some of your own apparel check out http://shop.johnnycupcakes.com/shop/.

BLACK FRIDAY / HOLIDAY SALE!

We will be having a Black Friday / Holiday blowout sale from 11.25.11 – 01.01.12! Everything in the store is now $10 or lower and would make great holiday gifts for your loved ones. Check out the selection at our online store and order your OSKY apparel today! I wish everyone a happy holiday season filled with friends, family and happiness.

THREAD’S NOT DEAD

Starting any business is hard work, especially when there are so many others trying to do the same thing you are. The only difference is the quality of the work and the creativeness. Now, in the beginning we had an idea of what to do, but aren’t afraid to admit, we needed some type of help. That’s where this book comes in.

Jeff Finley’s ‘Thread’s Not Dead’ is a designer’s guide to the apparel industry. The book is just that, jam packed with pro’s and con’s of the business. The steps you should take and the order to take them. The insight is given in a wide range of topics, from freelancing to techniques to various tutorials.

From cover to cover this book is filled with useful information to help any apparel business get up and running.  The book is written by Jeff Finley but has contributions from many different artists and web links.

It is a very inspirational read, once you pick it up you don’t want to put it done until you are finished. It does a great job of including advice and tips from small upstart indie clothing lines, to some of the most well known apparel companies of today including Johnny Cupcakes, Obey, ILTHY, Glamour Kills etc.

To check out the book for yourself check out this site: http://threadsnotdead.com/.

TUESDAY TUNES: BRETT DENNEN

Every Tuesday we are going to be bringing you a dose of music. It’s our hope to bring you music that you haven’t heard or maybe have just heard a little of.

His smooth voice and acoustic strums have been heard all over the world, and alongside some of the biggest names in the game like Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews and John Mayer. So, without further a-due I would like to introduce Brett Dennen. Brett is from Northern California but has seen the world thanks to his music. In 2004 Brett released his first self-titled album with little success.

His next album in 2006, ‘So Much More’, included the singles “Ain’t No Reason”, “She’s Mine” and “Darlin’ Do Not Fear”, was a bigger success. From there Brett took part in various side projects and contributed to other records and tv shows. Since then Brett has released two other albums, ‘Hope for the Hopeless’, 2009, and most recently ‘Loverboy’, 2011, with singles, “Comeback Kid” and “Sydney (I’ll Come Running)”. For more on Brett and his tour dates you can visit his site: http://brettdennen.net/

CONTEMPORARY CLASS

As a new part of the BigCartel family, myself and Kyle began to scope out the ‘tour’ section of the hosting website. Along the way we came across a ton of up and coming companies including Zurrick. Its a shoe company based in the United States and was started by Michael McCaleb, a quiet guy with an eye for style and, lucky for you, a generous nature.

The shoes range from low cuts to high rise boots and various materials. The style they set out there seems to be done as casual but done with a modern classy feel, the two mesh together pretty well if I do say so myself. Their trademark, a purple sole on every shoe, seems to do the advertising for itself as it catches the eye of passerby’s and than word of mouth.

This little touch has set the company apart from the competition and has placed the company worldwide. What drives this company now is what started it in the beginning: a passion for style, quality, and self-expression.  Zuriick will continue to grow and change. New influences will bring new inspiration and success will always be the byproduct of a purer vision.

Be part of the Zuriick story – every shoe here has one, and it ends on your feet. Or is that where it begins? Follow the link to their site to see more –  Zuriick | ZRK.
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