About Authentic American
Waking up the morning after November 8, 2016, my life partner of 7 years confirmed it hadn’t been a nightmare in the bad dream sense. I extemporaneously proposed marriage and she agreed with the stipulation we’d tie the knot before the inauguration.
In the following weeks, we searched for ways we could best fight the ascending ignorance, racism and xenophobia confirmed by the election results.
We’d become aware of “Print on Demand” services used by insanely creative independent designers to produce small runs of crazy Pokémon Go tee shirts. In recent months, we’d the odd but harmless their late forties who prowled our diverse but privileged neighborhood adjoining MacAlester College with mobile phones in search of Snorlax, Lapras and Dratini.
Our heads adjusted to the reality the electoral process hadn’t rewarded the nation with a female president, but the bane of an an insipid orange-skinned, yellow-haired brute. A brute that would bring havoc we couldn’t turn off by exiting the game.
Our combined skills of graphic design, computer programming and social media marketing. A website offering off-beat anti-Trump/anti-racist designs on clothing would put our skills to good use.
The first designs were immigrant pride themes. Authentic American originally referred to the proud wearers of the designs.
After fishing around, we discovered a demand for f*ck Trump shirts. Those designs certainly helped people express themselves, but we also wanted to help start productive conversations. We experimented by wearing our designs while traveling and running errands, learning what messaging sparks enjoyable and productive political conversations.
17.76% of sales has been donated to liberal non-profits, rotated quarterly until April 2019 when we joined the @DevinCow herd in mid-March 2019. As of mid-November, 2019, purchases here have raised over $13.5K towards her larger legal bills.
In quarters resulting in a loss, we’ve donated $50 to the chosen beneficiaries: liberal organizations, mostly focused on minority rights, environmentalism and sensible gun-control. Nobody has ever received a wage or regular salary, everything you see on this site is a labor of love. As of Fall 2019, we’ve had four unusually good quarters and have paid ourselves $200 salaries and/or paid down the considerable (uh, five-digit) balance on the company credit card.
Certainly, there have been personal benefits from the experience; A strengthening of our design, web programming and marketing skills; real-world experience and success in advertising, accounting, customer service and charitable and political fundraising.
If you like what you see in the skills we’ve developed here let’s talk about working with your organization! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I hope the designs help you express how you feel and inspire constructive conversations. We’re all in this together. #RESIST!
– Erik Mattheis
Authentic American Tees