Detroit man starts clothing line with community in thoughts, donates half of his earnings
DETROIT (WXYZ) – Detroit-based Tyler Wilkie has a marketing background and has always loved design. And like so many others with office jobs, he worked from home during the pandemic.
Originally from St. Joseph, Michigan, Wilkie noted that many in his own community had problems during COVID. So he decided to turn a passion project into a way to give something back.
“A few months ago I drove down Jefferson and all of a sudden,” If you’re looking for a nice peninsula, look around and the ‘look around you’ clicked, “he said.” That’s it, that’s the brand. “
Wilkie, of course, is referring to the Michigan state motto, which translates as “If you’re looking for a pleasant peninsula, look around.”
It is this ode to our state and a celebration of the Mackinaw Bridge that you will notice first when you order a Wilke item online. But what are you going to do too? supports a local non-profit organization.
Wilkie sells everything from t-shirts to hoodies, hats and water bottles, and 50 percent of everything he does goes to Focus: Hope.
The organization was founded in 1968 to support the city’s marginalized community and improve access to labor and job training. Since then, Focus: Hope has grown to include early childhood development programs and several additional nutrition programs.
Due to COVID, demand for nutritional programs, especially among seniors, has increased, according to Focus: Hope’s Rick Mazyck.
“We have had a huge increase in seniors who needed help and turned to us. Or family members have turned to us. They weren’t able to reach their family member early on the first lockdown, but we did, “Mazyck, who works at Focus: Hope’s volunteer engagement coordinator, told Action News.
“They just have a long history in the community and they have a great advisory board of members of the community who know where that money needs to go better than I do,” said Wilkie, referring to why he chose Focus: Hope to be one to get part of his profits.
So far, Look About You has only generated enough revenue to donate $ 203 to Focus: Hope, but the clothing line wasn’t launched until this month and more money is expected to come in.
The other 50 percent of Wilkie’s proceeds will be used to buy supplies. It has a fairly low overhead and uses a print-on-demand service to send people their products.
“It probably won’t be a moneymaker for me,” said Wilkie.
For him, this project is more about getting creative and giving something back at the same time. “Look About You” is not only a celebration of our state, but also a reminder to be present and to practice mindfulness.
“That second meaning is just, stop for a second and look out for all the great things that you have,” Wilkie told Action News.
Wilkie has already designed special t-shirts for Pride with the ‘Love About You’ logo and plans to expand his line further.
Mazyck told Action News because of the pandemic they need support like never before. He says of Wilkie:
“I am as grateful to him as I am for his donations and I think he will inspire a lot of people.”
Focus: Hope is always looking for donations and volunteers. Click here to participate.