DETAILS ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY BELOW.
Good morning! I hope you all had a great weekend. I’d like to thank you all again for the incredible support you’ve given me last week regarding some of the most difficult things I’ve gone through in the past year. And knowing that you’ve all ‘got my back’ in such an incredible way is actually driving me to take more risks in my life – I’m emboldened by the freedom that comes with putting myself out there and feeling accepted as I am. The fact that my openness and honesty might help others also feels incredibly rewarding. So thank you.
This week I’m going to go back to more “regularly scheduled programming.” Today we have an awesome interview with the very cool Chicago t-shirt company Scared Panda (who has a giveaway at the bottom of this post). I’ll also be sharing a bit more of the day-to-day strategy I have for Jess LC this week as well. And I have the biggest giveaway I’ve ever done here on MML coming up on Wednesday. Trust me, you are gonna want to stick around for that one.
Interview with Katie of Scared Panda
Tell us about Scared Panda and how you came up with the name, Scared Panda.
We wanted to choose a name that was unusual, something that would stand out. Everyone loves pandas so we decided to go with Scared Panda. It made us laugh and we thought it would probably have the same effect on others.
Can you explain the Tamale Guys in Chicago and the Twitter app? Did this help spur on the t-shirt company?
Chicago is full of late night eating spots – you can find nearly anything from tacos to pizza to sandwiches. My favorite late night snack, however, are tamales from Claudio, one of Chicago’s two tamale guys. He goes around from bar-to-bar delivering fresh, delicious tamales. He doesn’t have a set schedule, so you never know when or where he’s going to show up. When he does, though, he’s usually greeted with cheers from excited and hungry patrons.
About a year and a half ago, my boyfriend Clint and I were out with our friends and a few of us had a craving for tamales. Our friend Matty mentioned that it would be nice if there was a way to track the tamale guy so people would know where to find these delicious late-night snacks when they got hungry.
That same weekend, Clint (who is a software engineer) spent a few hours developing the Tamale Tracker and it took off from there. About a month or two later, Clint did some interviews for the Chicago Tribune and Outside the Loop Radio and then it really blew up. Last fall, one of our friends mentioned that we should create a shirt about the tamale guy, so we did. Clint and I put our heads together and decided we wanted to do something more than just create one shirt. We both love to travel and learn about local cultures and so we thought, why not share other unique perspectives of Chicago?
Why did you decide to incorporate local causes in the t-shirt profits?
I’ve always been very passionate about giving back to the community – it’s important to me that the work I do does good for others. Clint has the same philosophy so it was natural that we both agreed to give back to local nonprofits. Our main goal with Scared Panda isn’t to make a lot of money selling t-shirts, it’s to share perspectives of different cities and give back to those local communities. We want to translate the love for Chicago (and eventually other cities) that so many people have into support for nonprofits who have an impact in the city.
What has been the most important thing you’ve done for the business’ success thus far?
Being genuine. Scared Panda reflects who I am on an incredibly deep level and I’m very open about that. We love to connect with people and to build relationships and I think our excitement and passion comes through when we talk about Scared Panda and connect with local artists, nonprofits and the business community. Like everything I do in life, I’ve just jumped in head first with optimism, passion and love for life. I think that comes through in everything we do.
Where to you envision Scared Panda in one year?
We are working on some exciting new designs and ideas for Scared Panda right now. One year from now, we’d like to have a presence in multiple cities – starting with the ones we are more familiar with – New York, Minneapolis, San Francisco and a few others. Of course we are planning on building more relationships with nonprofits that are close to our hearts. We hope to inspire others to use their creativity to give back to their communities, to embrace other cultures and to always seek out perspectives other than their own. Some of the best things I’ve discovered in life have been a result of changing the way I see things. One of my favorite quotes is from Wayne Dyer and it says: “When you change the way you see things, the things you see change.” To me, that’s what life is all about, changing, learning, discovering. I hope, with these t-shirts, to spread a little bit of that around.
To enter to win the Scared Panda t-shirt of your choice, simply hop on over to the Scared Panda site and leave a comment here mentioning the t-shirt you like the most. The winner will be randomly chosen on Monday, June 28th.