VCFA MFA candidate Jason Fowler has just launched a retail website and podcast dedicated to his new initiative YMILY (You Matter & I Love You.) YMILY is dedicated to showing people they are valuable and loved through graphic design—YMILY is donating proceeds from all of their product sales to selected charities.
Jason on YMILY:
“My goal with my design work, as of late, has been to effectively communicate my desire to love others better and better. As I brainstormed ideas, two phrases I wrote down kept coming back to me; You Matter, which reminds others how valuable they are, and I Love You, which synthesizes perfectly my desire to love them as best I can.
From those phrases, YMILY was born. YMILY, is a brand I am developing that will be dedicated to valuing and loving other people. Under that banner, I have begun to create retail merchandise, whose proceeds will be donated to charitable causes dedicated to improving the lives of others. I have also been working with fellow designers to come up with unique merchandise designs whose proceeds will go to their charity of choice. Finally, I recently began hosting a podcast dedicated to promoting people and their unique stories and interests.
As YMILY moves forward, I want to incorporate more ways to help others, both financially and emotionally, which seem to me to be the two most powerful areas of impact in people’s lives.
The primary, concrete initiative of YMILY is donating the proceeds from the sale of our retail merchandise (T-Shirts, Hats, Hoodies, Sweatshirts, Phone cases, etc.) evenly across 5 different charities. These charities are:
• Center on Addiction (https://www.centeronaddiction.org/)
• Goodwill Industries International, Inc. (http://www.goodwill.org/)
• Habitat for Humanity (https://www.habitat.org/)
• The Salvation Army (https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/)
• United Way (https://www.unitedway.org/)
I selected these 5 charities because they have a human-centered focus and work in areas that are truly needed, such as shelter for the homeless, drug addiction prevention and support, job training for those out of work, clothing provision for the impoverished and food provision for those unable to stay properly nourished.
Also, we will donate proceeds from all of the items in our Collaboration Series to the charity of the designer’s choosing, or to the above 5 if they decide not to select a specific charity.
The secondary initiative of YMILY is promoting people through the podcast. By promoting, I mean shining a spotlight on their individual stories, their creative work and the importance of what they are doing with their time and energy.
Often, podcasts focus on those already in the everyday cultural spotlight. I am not opposed to having guests with more mainstream popularity on the podcast in the future but I want to focus most of my time and energy on people who typically wouldn’t be invited onto a podcast or similar platforms.
Check out YMILY here!