Last June (2013) we took our whole shop, stuffed it in a van and started the 'Don't Stop Dreaming' tour. Since that day we have hit 100+ events in 27 cities, met 1000's of kids and have had the opportunity to give out 13,000 bookmarks.
Life has been one journey since we started this tour and it's only just the beginning. We looked back on all the events we took part of and picked the 10 we are most grateful for. Here they are in no particular order.
1. Youth Summit at Wagner College
This was a lot of fun. We had a chance to meet many great people in our community. Our photographer Matty J came through and got a bunch of people with our sign that was just painted by Kwue Molly. Check out photos below. Big thanks to Island Voice for putting this one together for the Staten Island community.
2. The Gallery at Family Life Center
This night showcased a fashion show from brands like Ron Bass (before he was everywhere),Love Child, EBT and us, live music and a curation of art. The thing that stood out the most to me was our collaboration with Zeyx Clothing. Check out the photos and video when 2 fashion brands combined dance and fashion. Special thanks to Jerzey and his crew for the awesome dance and Malcolm Penn for putting this all together. Photos and Video by Matty J
3. St George Day on Van Duzer St, Staten Island
This event was really fun. The weather was just starting to get nice and there were people from all over Staten Island we knew. There's a bunch of pics on our Facebook page. The moment that stood out to me was when I saw a lady I met 5 years ago that I remembered giving a bookmark to. She saw our big sign and said "You may not remember me but you gave me a bookmark 5 years ago that said 'Don't Stop Dreaming'. I hung that bookmark up and I looked at it everyday in my car. It inspired me so much I got my degree, got a new job where I'm now wearing a white coat and my son even finished college. Thank you so much." Her eyes started to tear and she very grateful. I just said "That was all you. I just reminded you that it was possible." Thanks to Tanya for extending the arm.
4. Hardwell at Pier 94
This event we truly learned that "teamwork makes the dreamwork". We had a whole staff to greet, sell, customize and promote. There was over a couple thousand people there and it was a busy night. Thanks Dritto, Erica, Amanda and Dave for making this one of our busiest events ever. This night proved to us that we could take our store somewhere with a lot of people and make an impact. Shout out to Hardwell for having us on this huge night.
5. Earth Fest at St. Johns University
It was meaningful to be invited to a school that my mother graduated from like 100 years ago. (Love ya mom). The kids at St.Johns were such nice, outgoing and happy people. We took tons of photos. Check em out here. It's cool to be able to go to a hip hop show in NYC one day, an EDM concert another then an Earth Day event at a college and be treated with love and respect equally. Thanks Brenna and St Johns for the invite.
6. Afropunk at Brookyln,NY
This was the first 2 day festival we ever took part of. Boy am I happy we did. We met 100's of open minded folks, networked like beasts and we are still enjoying the fruits from this weekend. We have created some long lasting relationships that are now evolving into collaborations and partnerships. We are now speaking at schools in NYC thanks to Kleaver Cruz who we met at this event. I highly recommend stopping by this festival if you're in NYC next summer. Big thanks to Tyi and Co, Unicorn Empress and Vava for making this a weekend to remember.
7. G-Eazy These Things Happen Tour (11 cities in 14 days)
Things were going so good at home we didn't want to leave, but when you are given an opportunity to travel to 11 cities in 14 days you take it. Especially if it's with someone like G-Eazy. This tour gave us the chance to meet great kids all over the country donating 1000's of bookmarks along the way. We missed home but this was an opportunity we couldn't pass up on. 3 words to sum up our experience "These Things Happen". Check out the photos here.
8. Givemas at CD Skateshop
John Exit is one of the most respected street artists in Staten Island so it was an honor to work with him and CD Skateshop to bring Staten Island Givemas. Givemas is a way of life encouraging people to 'give more'. This event we teamed up with the Secret Sandy Clause Project and raised about $1,000 selling donated art pieces from NYC artists. The vibes were warm, everyone there was happy and we did what we set out to do 'Give More'. This event was so nice, we decided to do it twice. Stay tuned...
9. Ninja Party at Overspray
Unicorn Empress and I wanted to create an event; themed music and art festival for all ages inspired by Ninjas. 'Ninja Party' was just that. The event showcased a fashion show, a ninja mask gallery, live music, games, pizza, face painting, giveaways and indie vendors. We poured our heart and souls into this one and we were so blessed to see so many people come together. Blessed is all I can say for the amount of love, respect and unity from everyone who was part of this. Below are photos from the fashion show by Chris Kelly, event coverage by Angie LM Vasquez and the Ninja Mask Gallery.
10. Musication at 5050 Skatepark
When Christian of Projectivity said "If we can't fill a skatepark with a bunch of cool stuff we can just throw a party at a smaller venue." we took this as a creative challenge. When someone gives you an opportunity you take it no matter how crazy it may have seemed. This event was an opportunity to bring people together giving them a chance to use their full potential. Over the last couple of years we met 100's of people, many of which took part of Musication. We accomplished our mission; we raised $1,000 for the Lark Fund, brought 300+ people to one place and celebrated Music. Shout out to Projectivity and everyone that made this possible. Below are photos from the event by Angie LM Vasquez
We are thankful for the other 90 stops we made over the last year on tour. Without them we wouldn't have been able to get to these. Everything you do is part of your story. Without these experiences we wouldn't learn, grow and move forward. Everyday we are thankful whether it's Thanksgiving or not.