For as long as I could remember, I've always wanted to create my own t-shirt line. There's a lot of t-shirt businesses out there, and I never really had any concrete concepts in order to take the risk of starting my own company. That was until 2014, when I was having a potential client meeting with my friend and colleague, Andy L. This potential client wanted to grow his small t-shirt line, and was interested in our design services in creating new products as well as a new website. I remember distinctly asking him, "what is the meaning of your brand's name?"
"Nothing really, it just sounds cool and I want it to look really good."
That really bothered me.
After that meeting, me and Andy L. headed back home. During the car ride, a lightbulb lit up in my head. "You know what, Andy? We could do this, and make something that actually means something."
I'm a very nostalgic person, and I believe experiences and stories make a huge impact on the person that you are, and the person you eventually become. I grew up on Green Acre Road in Oakland, CA, and that was the place in my life where I experienced many life-changing moments. Green Acre Road was an important experience and place in my life, and I thought... everyone has their own "Green Acre" in their life. Let's explore it.
After a year of constructing and laying out the initial concept, and another year of work on creating all of the designs, products, website, and everything else, I officially launched Green Acre Co. in mid-2016.
Green Acre released its first collection ever by introducing 3 story topics, "The Acre", "Keep Growing", and "Explore".
The concept of Green Acre revolves around specific story topics, which ideally are broad, but designed to be engaging enough for someone to potentially dive into discussion about past experiences and memories he or she might have. For example, the story topic of "Keep Growing" covered the concept of an individual's passions in life. We wanted to speak with interesting people in the community who had an interesting story about their passions and how they continue to grow in that aspect, and to share it with a community to show that these stories mattered. For example, we were able to get an amazing story from Can Nguyen, a dancer with Poreotics, who had previously won America's Best Dance Crew. With stories like Can's featured on Green Acre, people can draw inspiration to pursue their own passions as well.
With each of these curated story topics, a lot of time was taken to create designs to represent particular story topics. Each design released corresponds directly with one of the story topics we had introduced at the same time.
At launch, Green Acre Co. released a new website, our company Instagram page, 9 products, and 6 featured storytellers. One of our first online orders ever was a customer from Germany. It was crazy to think that someone from Germany had discovered the Green Acre, and liked it so much they actually made a purchase of a product I created. It was unreal.
After 2 months, we had grown to roughly 6000 organic followers on Instagram, and our inventory was essentially sold out. We were constantly hearing feedback about how different our brand was compared to others out there, and that they really appreciated that we were really trying to impact lives. Green Acre netted an NPS of 60+ in those first couple of months. Solid.
In late October 2016, just four months after our initial launch, we released our second collection, which consisted of 2 new story topics, a dozen new featured storytellers, 31 products, and a completely redesigned website. The redesign came after rounds of surveys and research were completed to figure out what issues people were potentially running into. We're also approaching 9000 followers on Instagram now (as of June 2017). As 2016 ended, we were able to donate to A Place Called Home, a non-profit youth organization based out of South Central Los Angeles, over the holiday season.
Our goal is to create an amazing community online where people feel safe sharing their stories and thoughts. Green Acre is working closely with local non-profits aiming to empower the less fortunate youth so they are allowed the resources necessary for them to be able to one day share their own stories with the world.
If you'd like more information about Green Acre Co., please check out greenacre.co or contact me directly.