Last Saturday, Fleurty Girl released a new t-shirt with “#NOLALOVE – Embrace the love. Stop the Violence” written across the front. However, the significance behind the phrase is much heavier than the lightweight 100 percent cotton fabric from which the shirt is made.
The design is the result of last year’s Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge, a collaborative effort of The Idea Village and The Brees Dream Foundation that turns students into entrepreneurs during a six-month afterschool program. Four teams from local high schools participated and worked alongside Fleurty Girl owner Lauren Thom to create and market their t-shirt designs.
The challenge culminated at a pitch competition in December, at which Edna Karr High School’s team won a $10,000 grant from the Brees Dream Foundation, $1,000 scholarships for each team member from Google, Inc., and the opportunity to sell their t-shirt design under the Fleurty Girl label. You can read more about the challenge here.
While the t-shirt is a new addition to Fleurty Girl’s collection, the “#NOLALOVE” hashtag has been making the rounds in the Twitter world for the past few months. As part of their strategy, the Edna Karr students used social media and Twitter to send the #NOLALOVE message, and encouraged individuals including Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Drew Brees to use the hashtag in their tweets.
The Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge was developed to encourage local high school students and teach them the value of entrepreneurship and turning ideas into significant businesses.
However, the release of the “#NOLALOVE” design couldn’t have been timed more perfectly, as it sends a powerful message in the midst of an increasing crime rate in New Orleans. It reminds us to promote the love in order to help end violence.
The collaboration also proves that entrepreneurship, student programming, and creativity can create significant social change in the city as well.
The t-shirt is being sold at all four Fleurty Girl locations and online for $25, with proceeds from each sale going to Edna Karr High School and its afterschool programs.
Adriana Lopez writes about the entrepreneurial community for NolaVie and Silicon Bayou News. She also showcases local start-ups through her non-profit organization GenNOLA. For more information on NolaVie, go to nolavie.com.