Detroit man launches clothing line with community in mind, donates half of his earnings
DETROIT (WXYZ) – Detroiter Tyler Wilkie has a background in marketing and has always loved design. And like so many other office workers, he was working from home during the pandemic.
Wilkie, who is from St. Joseph, Michigan, noticed many members of his own community struggling during COVID; So he decided to turn a passion project into a way to give back.
âA few months ago I was driving towards Jefferson and all of a sudden, ‘If you’re looking for a nice peninsula, look around and the’ look on you ‘clicked,â he said.
Wilkie is of course referring to the Michigan state motto which translates to “If you are looking for a nice peninsula, look around”.
It’s this ode to our state and a celebration of the Mackinaw Bridge that you’ll first notice if you order any of Wilke’s items online. But what you will do too; supports a local non-profit organization.
Wilkie sells everything from T-shirts to hoodies, hats and water bottles, and 50% of everything he makes will go to Focus: Hope.
The organization was founded in 1968 to support the city’s marginalized community and improve access to labor and vocational training. Since then, Focus: Hope has grown to also offer early childhood development programs and several additional nutritional programs.
Due to COVID, demand for food programs, especially from seniors, has increased according to Focus: Hope’s Rick Mazyck.
âWe had a sharp increase in the number of seniors who needed help, who contacted us. Or family members contacted us. They couldn’t contact their family member when the first lockdown started, but we could, âMazyck, who works at Focus: Hope, volunteer engagement coordinator, told Action News.
âThey just have a long history in the community and they have a great advisory board of community members who know where this money needs to go better than I do,â said Wilkie, referring to his reasons for choosing Focus: Hope. to receive part of its profits.
So far, “ Look About You ” has only generated enough revenue to give Focus: Hope $ 203, but the clothing line just launched this month, and more money is expected. arrive.
The remaining 50% of Wilkie’s proceeds he will use to purchase supplies. It has a fairly low overhead and uses a print-on-demand service to send people their products.
âIt probably won’t be a source of money for me,â Wilkie said.
For him, this project is more about being creative while giving back. âLook About Youâ is not only a celebration of our condition, it is also a reminder to be present and practice mindfulness.
âThat second sense is right, stop for a second and watch out for all the great things you have,â Wilkie told Action News.
Wilkie has already designed special t-shirts for Pride with the âLove About Youâ logo and plans to continue expanding its range.
Mazyck told Action News that due to the pandemic, they need support like never before. Of Wilkie he says:
“I am grateful to him as much as I am grateful for his gifts and I think he will inspire a lot of people.”
Focus: Hope is always looking for donations and volunteers. Click here to participate.