If you’ve ever seen a person walking down the street wearing a T-shirt that depicts a Gorilla with an AK-47 or a Bulldog with a knife in his teeth, that awesome T-shirt comes from Arm the Animals – a clothing company based in Southern California.
Arm the Animals has a mission – and that mission is to generate funds for cash-strapped animal care organizations by selling their one-of-a-kind, high-quality T-shirts, hoodies and more. After a successful year of fundraising, Arm the Animals is jumping feet first into 2012 by partnering with Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects.
Kickstarter is is growing in popularity, gaining new backers on a daily basis. It’s not an investment, and they do not lend money. Instead, project creators retain ownership and set a funding goal. If the goal isn’t met, no money is lost, which allows companies to take risks without losing their shirts in the process.
Matt Heinemeyer, who started Arm the Animals with his friend, Danian Rios, says, “We chose Kickstarter as our funding platform because we too have built our entire company online: day-by-day, click-by-click and person-by-person. We believe fully in the power of the ‘crowd’ and the collective it represents. This technology has given us all the means to be creative, entrepreneurial and above all, idealistic. We truly believe that we can fundamentally change the world one project at a time.”
Heinemeyer says they plan to roll out 15-20 new shirt designs, including V-necks, boxy tees, scoop necks, tank tops and burnouts, as well as a fleece line featuring hoodies, crewneck sweatshirts, lightweight fleece tops and jackets for this new campaign.
“Our campaign on Kickstarter is a huge part of where we are heading in 2012. Having the ability to garner funding from people who truly care about our company is perfect for us,” said Heinemeyer. “Up until now, we have been able to hold the status quo by producing on a month-to-month basis, but we are constantly designing and planning new items. Having the resources to release a full line of products means everything to us. Our mission as a company is to simply create great T-shirts that people love, while helping the most unfortunate of at-risk animals. This independent funding campaign will allow us to do that, but on a much larger scale. ”
Arm the Animals sets a fund raising goal and then presents that goal to the public in the form of a reward points system based on a set pledge. For example, if you pledge $10 or more, you will receive one point. If you pledge $110 or more, you’ll receive 11 points. Each point is worth something – from screensavers to hoodies. You get cool gear and a struggling animal shelter gets much needed funds – it’s a win-win.
PHOTO: Sonya Simpkins