bobbox, a newly launched clothing company, is making efforts to help provide counseling services for those who can’t afford them. By selling merchandise (shirts, sweatshirts, and more), bobbox donates 20-40% of each purchase to HeartSupport, who uses the funds to sponsor counseling sessions through their partnership with Better Help.
I had a chance to talk to Kit, one of the founders, about the aspirations and inspirations behind one of the most important rising clothing companies in 2019.
Introduce bobbox to us! What is the main goal of the company?
bobbox (pronounced bob box) was started in the summer of 2018 as a way for us to do our part in combating rising suicide rates. It was founded by Kit and Zack, two brothers who share a passion for music, mental health, and making a difference. Zack handles the numbers and I (Kit) handle most of the design and content work. We donate 20-40% of proceeds to help get people who are struggling into counseling services. We hope that by getting these people the help they need, they’ll be able to heal and find reasons to stay alive.
What inspired you to start bobbox?
The idea for bobbox came after we lost our cousin Cameron to suicide in late 2017. We were stunned; he was always the guy who could make anyone laugh. He was helpful, kind, funny, and loved to help people. After he died, I started thinking of ways that I could try to make a difference for someone else. The thing about Cameron was that he was always trying to help people, and I wanted to kind of keep that going and find ways to help people get help when they really need it. I’ve always wanted to work for a company centered around doing good things for a lot of people, and this was the way that I could make that happen. The name “bobbox” comes from one of the names he used for his characters in video games.We’ve been inspired by companies like TOMS Shoes, To Write Love On Her Arms, and HeartSupport. Most of what we donate goes to HeartSupport, which is a nonprofit dedicated to helping those in the music community who struggle with their mental health. Through their outreach programs and our donations, they’re able to provide free counseling sessions to people that otherwise can’t afford to get the help they need. Plus, HeartSupport works with a ton of awesome bands and was founded by the frontman of one of my favorite bands, August Burns Red!
What do you hope people take away from your products and company?
We hope that when people look at our products, they feel better about themselves and are reminded to be kind to those around them. We can’t solve the problem of suicide by isolating ourselves, or by furthering the divides between us. We can’t afford complacency if we expect results. We have to start seeing others as people who have their own unique stories, problems, talents, and pains, and we have to be willing to be vulnerable and open about our own struggles.
Out of all of the bobbox products, which one is your favorite and why?
I have three favorite designs, although I like them all! We’re hoping to expand into more products as time goes on, but currently we only offer t-shirts, long-sleeve tees, sweaters, and hoodies. My three favorite designs, in order, are “Look With Kindness,” “We Are Alive And Present”, and “This Shirt Helps People.” I like the “Look With Kindness” design because it’s a great reminder for me to remember that everyone I interact with may be struggling with an issue I can’t see. It’s also the first design I came up with! The words making up the “We Are Alive and Present” design came from my brother, who wrote them early on in the company’s history. Finally, our “This Shirt Helps People” design is one of my favorites because we double the donation percentage on those products.
Are there any new products that we should be looking out for?
We’ve been releasing new designs every month, but we’d like to get into other products. Besides traditional items like hats, stickers, and lanyards, we’d really like to feature artists on our products. This would give them access to another audience, a way to earn a little extra, and a chance to help us help others. We love the idea of collaborating with other creators, so if anyone reading this has an interest in working together or wants another place to sell merch, hit us up!
What does bobbox have planned for 2020?
It’s kind of wild to think about planning for next year, but our hope is to get the word out there and start expanding our product lines. The more merchandise we sell, the more help we can provide. There have been talks of a podcast, a YouTube channel, and some other things that we’re not quite ready to discuss, but we don’t plan on taking it easy.
Kit would also like to share that if you’re struggling, if you feel like you can’t last much longer, if you feel too much, know that you are not alone. You are valued and important, and there is no shame in seeking help for a problem you can’t solve. Some people may see asking for help as a weakness, or a flaw, or that they aren’t good enough. In all reality, asking for help is a sign of true strength. Many of us are afraid of what people will think, or we’re afraid to swallow our pride and admit we can’t solve this on our own.
By purchasing a shirt from bobbox, you are taking the next best step in not only supporting small businesses in your community, but the next step into helping people receive the best care they need, whether it is a counseling service or not, into the road of recovery.