Local t-shirt initiative raises over $31,000 for local businesses

2 months 3 weeks 6 days ago Monday, May 18 2020 May 18, 2020 Monday, May 18, 2020 12:59:00 PM CDT May 18, 2020 in News
By: Micki Neiman, KOMU 8 News Reporter

COLUMBIA - As the world continues to adjust to this "new normal," local businesses have a huge unknown about how they will manage their obstacles. 

One local t-shirt business, Fast Yowi, created a program called "Love Local," that allowed the community to support Columbia by buying shirts with various local business logos on them. 

In total, the program raised $31,186.25. Nickie Davis, The District's Executive Director, told me this is a true representation of #ColumbiaStrongerTogether. 

"Honestly, it's not a surprise," Davis said. "We have such a wonderful community here and for businesses to step up and try and take care of each other is kind of what we're all about. You know, and I think that in Columbia specifically, we just have that awesome community."

Business owner of Cracked Up Mobile, Mikel Fields, joined this program as he saw this as an opportunity to get the community's support. 

"I thought it was a really good idea to be a part of that and to allow people that wanted to support our brand that didn't actually need a repair to be able to still support us," Fields said. 

He said his company got around $300 from this program and it made a difference. 

"It allows us to do things like keep our hours open, because we shrunk our hours," Fields said. "With less traffic and less transactions during lockdown, it allows us to kind of keep our operation up and going and be able to adjust during the times."

Davis said she bought more shirts than she could keep track of, ranging from Tellers to Fringe Boutique and even a Cracked Up Mobile tee. She said this allows her to support local businesses and have a one-of-a-kind item. 

"They're not going to make these again," Davis said. "These are like COVID collectibles essentially. So yes, I bought quite a few and you will see me walking around in a gray tee shirts for a long time to come because I bought quite a bit."  

Not only a business owner, Fields is also a Columbia local, so seeing the community rally behind him reminded him of how unique and strong Columbia is. 

"It just made me proud to be born and raised in Columbia and be a part of it," Fields said. "Columbia has his own little ecosystem that seems like it's always going to find a way to keep up and going no matter what type of struggles that we have in the future."

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