Success Stories with Marshall Atkinson

Success Stories Ep 21 - Printing T-shirts for a Cause - with Rick Roth with Mirror Image

May 26, 2021 Marshall Atkinson Season 1 Episode 21
Success Stories with Marshall Atkinson
Success Stories Ep 21 - Printing T-shirts for a Cause - with Rick Roth with Mirror Image
Show Notes Transcript

Sometimes a basic t-shirt is more than just a shirt.  It can be a social or political statement.

On this episode of Success Stories, Rick Roth with Mirror Image in Pawtucket Rhode Island will share his story of success with producing apparel for Human Rights campaigns, Amnesty International, and Farm Aid, to name a few.  

Rick will talk about his involvement with these movements has led to not only business success, but personal success as well.

Get ready to learn about these things and more on this episode of Success Stories!

Marshall Atkinson: 

Welcome to Success Stories brought to you by S&S Activewear. I'm your host Marshall Atkinson, and this is the podcast that focuses on what's working so you can have success too. 

Sometimes a basic t-shirt is more than just a shirt.  It can be a social or political statement.

On this episode of Success Stories, Rick Roth with Mirror Image in Pawtucket Rhode Island will share his story of success with producing apparel for Human Rights campaigns, Amnesty International, and Farm Aid, to name a few.  

Rick will talk about his involvement with these movements has led to not only business success, but personal success as well.

Get ready to learn about these things and more on this episode of Success Stories!

Rick, welcome to the Success Stories podcast!

Rick Roth: 

Welcome, Marshall. Yeah. 

Marshall Atkinson: 

So you've been doing this for more than a couple of years now. How long have you guys? 

Rick Roth: 

Well, we've been in business for 30 years.

However, since I first said I would do this, I realized that the first t-shirt I ever printed, which was in 1976 was for cause Sable bio was a biology building, a beautiful stone building. And the Olin corporation wanted to tear it down on the campus of Colgate University and we made t-shirts and guess what?

The building is still there. That's right. 

Marshall Atkinson: 

So I think a lot of people, you know, like to wear shirts for their favorite band or, you know, maybe they have to wear them because they work at a restaurant or whatever, but t-shirts have been at the forefront of causing social change. I think arguably for as long as I can remember, T-shirts are being linked to a cause. Don't you think that’s true?

Rick Roth: 

Yeah. I think that it's still a huge part of, you know, wearing your heart on your sleeve or maybe on your chest, but it's, it definitely makes a statement. 

Sometimes, that's the only statement you can make. 

I've done shirts for, um, groups that are, you know, like the Tibetans working for their cause at times they can't speak up in a meeting, but they can wear their shirts.

It's really, um, it's really, uh, one of the more basic forms of expression, freedom of expression. 

Not always good in my estimation, but in a lot of ways good and affordable, you know, it's you make yourself a walking billboard if you will. Right. 

Marshall Atkinson: 

I really kind of want to get this episode starting just with the whole conversation about that link between the t-shirts and activism.  

And at any rally group or meeting, you're bound to see that t-shirt with that graphic that's designed to help promote change. If you just kind of go into detail, what is your take on this? 

And more particularly, how did you get started doing them beyond just. Uh, that building for that campus.

Rick Roth: 

So when I started Mirror Image, actually one of the first shirts we did was for a union and we ended up unionizing the company as well. And so that was, for causes. 

In fact, they would want to show up at certain places and be recognizable. And so the t-shirt in some ways was also a, um, a uniform, if you will.

So you know, all those guys in the red shirts and those are, those are all here to protest, whatever it was that was going on. 

And I think the other thing is that it's just part of who I am. I've been an Amnesty International member. That's a human rights organization made up of volunteers for a very long time.

I've worked now for a long time as a volunteer for an organization called One Caucuses, which tries to bring peace in the Georgia area, Azerbaijan area.

And you know, when you have a cause you want to do what you do well. To support that cause. And so what I do is t-shirts. And so all of these causes that I believe in, I want to do what I do best on this planet and that's make t-shirts.

And so I want to do it for causes I care about. And, and that's been very, very important to me. 

It's been, you know, maybe sometimes even to my detriment and it's been more important to me than making money. I have to say, not, not that you can't make money doing it, but it's not, that's, not the driving force from the, I have to say, I'd rather see the cost succeed.

You know, if you don't make money, you're not here next year to help anybody. So you have to make money, but that's not my motivation, I would say. 

Marshall Atkinson: 

And so for you to really get behind something, you really have to believe in whatever that topic is, correct?

Rick Roth: 

Yeah, I would say so. Um, it's certainly a bigger driving force.

So, a great example is Farm Aid. So I've worked for Farm Aid for, I think, 25 years. And it's really a cause near and dear to me. 

My grandmother, grandfather, uncles, dairy farm, went out of business and was sold at auction, you know, and that hurt me greatly. And, you know, farmers, particularly family farmers really have a hard time.

And so that's the cause of Farm Aid. And so I've really put my heart and soul into it and you know, you can care, right. It doesn't mean you're going to succeed. 

So I think a lot of other things went into it, but, you know, we recently sold $19 a head at the most recent Farm Aid that was held in person. A good take at a concert is $6 a head.

So, you know, not only did we make a lot of money for Farm Aid, we promoted the cause people will be wearing those shirts and that really meant a lot to me, more than even the money that I made on the particular job. 

Marshall Atkinson: 

So when they have an event like that, do you go?

Rick Roth:

I go, I supervise the venue staff that sells it.  Or sometimes they have an independent staff that does it. 

And so, you know, I mean, we're working already on, you know, a concert that might be in October and we're selecting the garments. We're selecting the artwork. You know, previously we ran an analysis on the size scale that we need, so we don't have any waste and we make more money for them.

We put a lot into it and every year we review what we did. And that's, I think a key to success in anything in this world, if you can honestly look at what you've done and say, what went well and what didn't and improve it every year, it gets better and better. And in this case, you know, there's a high motivation because it's not only a good customer, but it's a good cause.

Yeah, I do actually go and usually drive a truck full of shirts. I'm there for the concert. I often have missed my favorite band that's playing because I have to work. But in the end, the cause is a good one. And you know, I've actually also attracted a fair amount of very good people, good artists to work on the cause that's part of it too.

I think everybody wants to do good on this planet. And I think I have this kind of a rule that if, if you're well-organized and it's, and it's a good cause, and it's really gonna make a difference, then almost everybody can be recruited to help you. 

So, you know, you don't ask the really good artists to fold shirts.  You ask them to design something, a person may be with more time in their hands...maybe they can drive the truck with me. And there's a whole bunch of volunteers that I've recruited to help with the selling of the shirts. You know, the venue handles the selling to the, to the people that attend. Right. But you also set up a booth or we do anyway, we've set up a booth to sell and make it really convenient for the VIPs and another one to set up, to sell to the artists.

And I've even recruited my own kids to do that who are successful engineers and teachers and so forth, but they, because of the cost. We have a great crew and we just knock it dead. You know, we, we saw a lot of stuff and, um, I think a lot of people are repeating, they're willing to donate their art or, you know, make some part of it donated or their time, or what have you, because it's a successful effort.

I think nobody wants to, or not. As many people are willing to join you when you're not successful or disorganized. Or they can't see that it's really going to make a difference.

Marshall Atkinson: 

Have you done any limited edition shirts that might sell at an even higher amount, like a $100 to $200 or something to raise even more money for a cost because they're exclusive?  Have you ever done that?

Rick Roth: 

Oh, that's very interesting that you should ask that Marshall. So, you know, I don't know everything, you know, nobody does. So as long as I've been dealing with this, I still. You know, canvas my friends for advice. And my good friend, Jacob Edwards of Jakprints, he does a lot more online than I do.

And so for me, it was online this past fall, and he's told me how, when you bundle things with a special item and it might be really expensive, even that that can work out really well. So for Farm Aid, we had a special limited edition t-shirt. And it was where the $75 donation was the only way to get it.

And I think the other organic shirts are like $35 outsold, all the other shirts put together and we sold 6,000 of them. We thought we might sell 500, we sold 6,000. 

And I think that it was special, really made a difference. And I'm going to try that again. I actually, I'm working on some other projects of some other types of garments for them.

Marshall Atkinson:

Okay. That same type of thing, you know, a limited edition for people that really care about the cause. And maybe don't mind that they spend a little more when they know where the money is and was that exclusive artwork or different t-shirt color. Like it's all the other shirts are white and this was light blue or green or something.

So everybody can see that this is a special shirt. Oh. They really gave from that. 

Rick Roth: 

Uh, they would be able to ask him, cause it was the only one that was white. Actually normally might be the other way around, but in this case, it was the only one that was white and it was the only way he could get that concert logo in that full-color form.

So in some ways, yeah, it was special and identifiable, you know, in the future we might do something like, uh, a denim jacket or, or flannel shirt or something, and you only can get it for a limited time. And it would be, you know, kind of a special thing. You've done so many of these over the years

Marshall Atkinson: 

So somebody who maybe they're just brand new to the business, let alone like doing stuff for causes...What were some lessons that you've learned or something along the way and that you can help somebody out if they're starting?

Rick Roth: 

Well, there really are some benefits. One that I really didn't figure at first, but you can get some much better employees sometimes when they know that you do things like this, you know, I'm not the only one that cares about what happens on this planet.

And I've had, I had one of my best managers ever. And she said that she would not have worked probably the last two or three years that she worked, except for the causes that we did work for. That was a really important part of her job. And she was proud to work here because of that. Another thing is that a lot of times we have free reign to do a little more.

So we're going to put it as a shirt or cause, and my designers have a little more free reign instead of taking somebody else's logo. And, you know, doing something very specific, you know, we made a shirt for people and our, you know, we put our heart and soul into it and had a little more freedom, you know?

So my artists like working on that. Sometimes, you know, when the organization doesn't have any money and gets rid of something you have put up, they really just need some shirts. We sometimes take an assortment of things that we have leftover and, you know, they get a deal and we get rid of them and that's a benefit mostly, you know, it's been more like proud of what we do.

I think it's been more than a financial benefit. Um, but you know, Goodwill towards a company is pretty important. So if you're just starting out and you do some things for people in the community, they're going to notice, and people are going to feel better about your company than they might otherwise.

And, you know, Hey, corporations spend a lot of money trying to get people to have a good attitude towards your company. 

Marshall Atkinson

So do you put your logo on their design? How do they know that you were associated with the garment? 

Rick Roth: 

You know, I usually prefer actually that it's in the other materials. And then on the shirt, you have to be careful about that.

A lot of times I don't want it sometimes, you know, it just gets other people trying to ask him for free shirts or whatever. Although, you know, I kind of put an answer to that and I, I, I just tell people that call me that no, I did some shirts. For one particular cause and they want me to do them. And I just say, you know what?

We really get involved when we work on something and we only have a certain number of places and we really work hard with them and we care about it a lot and we get deeper into their cause. And so we can't just Willy nilly do stuff for everyone. We have, we have our causes that we really. Put our effort into it already.


Marshall Atkinson: 

I always talk with somebody and they were telling me that when they get approached, one of the things I say as well, send me a proposal about what you want with the size breakdown and all the specifics. And then we'll, um, we'll put that on our agenda and we'll talk about it. And. Uh, at least half the time, they won’t follow through and do what you ask them to do.

And that kind of weeds out the people who are just wanting you to donate.

Rick Roth: 

Yeah. I could see that might happen. I sometimes gotta say weed, some people out by, you know, if they sound desperate and they'll take anything kind of thing. And then, you know, I say, well, I have these shirts and then they're like, no, no, we want that this color.

And we want this style. Exactly. This. And now it can't be simple. It has to be this complicated logo and I'll be like, all right, well then if you want all that, you can pay for it. You know, if you want me to help you, this is the way that I can easily help you. And that we had some people out and, you know, and I don't take it personally.

There are some cultures where it's just about bargaining, you know, and you know, you don't need to get mad at somebody because they want what they want and they try to get a deal. You just have to be clear with them and don't take it personally. 

Marshall Atkinson: 

Right. What do you think makes the best type of graphic for a t-shirt to promote a cause or movement?

Maybe give us an example from something or two that you've produced in the past?

Rick Roth:

Well, this is a really, that's a funny thing. I don't know if it's really that much different than how I would approach any customer in some ways. So you need to know, like, what's the purpose, what's demographic. What's trying to be accomplished, you know, what's the history of the organization, you know, where are the who's going to wear them and or who email, ideally you want to be wearing them.

And then you take all that into consideration. So sometimes people will have like a really stride message and they want a big giant logo. And especially if it's not attractive, I'll say, you know what? You want people wearing these and. Showing your cause, you know, when they do their laundry once every couple of weeks, or do you want them to wash their hubcaps with this shirt?

And that's true of a company or a cause, you know, maybe something's a little more subtle, you know, a tone on tone shirt, but if people love it, they're going to wear it all the time. And, if they wear it all the time, they're going to strengthen their identification with that. Cause they're going to promote that.

Cause people are going to say, oh, That's a beautiful share of what's far made. I think that it depends, you know, I just as people say, how big should the design be? You know, a tall one could maybe be very large and that's not nearly as ostentatious, even if it's, you know, 12 by 14 or something as, as something that's smaller, but in garish color.

And it's all ink. So, you know, you take all that, put it together and you know, we do some, I'd say that our beautiful, you know, we've done. We often test print them, even though we have a good idea of how it's going to come out and want to get the colors just right on maybe a subtle one. We had one else for farm aid that was like an image of a goat, you know, very farmy looking and got the colors just right.

I like that one, but another one was really strident and it's one of my favorites we ever did. And an artist, he didn't work for me at the time, but he has sense as Casey Ruby, and I. Came up with one, it said farmers, and that was a Rebus. And it was like a person doing a karate kick and donkey farmers kick ass.

And they've sold probably 20,000 of those shirts in the past few years. And you know, that was a little more strident, but it was strident and funny at the same time. You have to be aware of what styles are going on, Jessica. If somebody likes their logo big and bright doesn't mean that's a good idea.

Distressed tonal prints are in, then that's what you should do. I mean, I do some research, actually one farm, usually at farm aid, I will stand somewhere and just watch people go by me and just see what they're wearing. And just get an idea. All right, well, next year, this is the these are the people that come to farm aid.

So nine out of 10 or one-color distressed prints, you know, you might want to do a one-color distress print and you see like, wow, this year I'm starting to see full-color imagery or whatever you would want to design in that direction. Um, You know, some organizations you work for. Like when I worked with some Tibetan organizations, they have, you know, a lot of imagery.

That's really beautiful that you can use, you have a different concern with them. Some of it's religious and you don't want to offend people. So I make sure that I talked to them about that. So there's a lot of different things that go into it. I can't say that there's one, you know, one direction. It's hard work.

It's hard work. 

Marshall Atkinson:

 Ex-Art director here, and I'm a really big believer in asking lots of questions to determine the direction of the graphic. And one of the things that I always liked doing is what I call the pertinent negative, which is you ask about what you don't want.

Oh yeah. You know, we don't want, you know, this religious symbol because that's offensive or we don't want anything with a chicken we're tired of chickens, and let’s pick a different animal this year. 

Rick Roth: 

Right. That's a perfect example, Marshall, because one year, you know, in the state that we were, we had Farm Aid...There were no family farms of certain animals. Like, and we're like, we're not putting any of those on there. You know, I don't know what it was like. 

There's no hardly any family farms or chickens. So we didn't put any chickens on that year. Um, so that is actually what Farm Aid is really important. You know, the negative, the things you aren't going to put on.

And then we usually try to get, what is, it's not, what's the, what are the issues, you know, is it, um, you know, just fruit farming or, you know, whatever it is. And we try to include that. It's a challenge. 

Marshall Atkinson: 

Yeah.  That’s what makes it fun is figuring out the puzzle.

Rick Roth: 

Yeah, exactly. 

Marshall Atkinson: 

And, uh, kinda narrowing it down and then coming up with your creative kind of take on it and to me, it's always about interpreting how you think about design and print into what the client wants to convey because I want to promote my creative vocabulary and how I do things. So people can look at it instantly and go, yeah, I know the Marshall designed it cause it looks like everything else you've never designed, but it fits with what the client wants instead of like, just.

Go to Pinterest and copying somebody else. That's not, that’s not for me.

Rick Roth:

I think, um, a lot of the effort has to go into focus as well because, and people will say, well, you know, we want it to know, every race of persons and we want, you know, green and I, because we do ecological things and it really needs to say this and, and we want, uh, you know, this symbol we use on it and then our 12 color logo.

It's like, whoa, whoa, whoa. 

It's a t-shirt and the t-shirts are a lot different than other things. They're not, it's not a website. It's not a banner on a Facebook page. It's a t-shirt. And you know, you could have a lot of verbiage on there and you know what, no one's ever going to read it because you know, you only get so much time when somebody is passing you on the street and you have to make your point.

So we do a lot of stuff with amnesty and national and some of their issues are complicated. It's very hard to boil it down. I have to say really hard. And in general, you want things to be positive. And, you know, there's a lot of, uh, sadness with what they work on. So to try to keep it positive and to keep it boiled down to what fits on a teacher is a real challenge.

You know, I've been doing that for 30 years, so I'm better at it than probably most people would be, but it's a struggle all the time, actually. 

Marshall Atkinson: 

Are you using a QR code or a website link on our hangtag or the neck label or anything to directly link to the shirt, to a place where somebody can donate money?

Rick Roth: 

You know, we have done that. We take QR codes at one point and. We also used QR codes for the sponsor. Um, at one point the organic t-shirt company had information about the shirts, which we thought was relevant to farm aid and channel. I don't do that. You know, a lot of people want a website on there and so forth.

You know, these days, if you can't find Amnesty International or a group in Google search. God help you. You know, we may have, you don't want you in the cause. It's I I'd say that's one of the most you've hit a nerve there. That seems to be one of the most common things I fight with people about, well, we want our website on there.

I'm sorry, you're not looking at someone. Sure. Hey wait, can you wait a minute? I want to type this in there. No, you see that? It said, you know, the target recycling group and you. You Google that and you find them, you know, as I said, you know, you're probably not much use to the organization. If you can't find your ways there, 

Marshall Atkinson: 

So, when it comes down to it, a social cause is all about people. Uh, so how have you gotten people to help you? With what you'd been doing over the years?

Rick Roth: 

Well, I think I mentioned it earlier. I kind of have that, three-part thing.

It's if you're asking people to do what they do well already, don't ask the doctor to fold shirts for you. If you ask and don't ask an artist that, you know, the artist is going to do the design, and if you can demonstrate right from the start that you're well-organized. The biggest part of that is that you're not asking it at the last minute.

And then they think it's going to make a difference. So if you can boil down what the cause is to a, um, a short, not, you know, not a novelist short paragraph, and you can maybe give some specifics about how it's helped. I think that you know, I've had a wide range of people willing to help and. It's worked really well.

I have to say, I guess that last part or the part about being organized is, you know, you want a good job. You want it to be at a reasonable price or, you know, in this case, donated and you want it in a hurry. Usually, I only get two of those, you know what I mean? You're going to get a good person to do it in a hurry.

You better pay them a lot. And if you want it in a hurry and you want it cheap, you're going to get a crappy job, probably. Um, so it's, you know, you got to pick two out of three of us. Sure. 

Marshall Atkinson: 

How have you recruited companies to help you? Like a t-shirt company helped donate the shirts or eight companies.

And I remember when we were talking about organizing for this podcast, we're discussing that shirt that you did for the SGIA show in New Orleans that went to the, uh, jazz music, a musician, a retirement home or whatever that was for, I mean, how did you like get all that stuff lined up?  What’s your strategy there?

Rick Roth:

Well, you know, it's a little bit of t-shirt alchemy. 

Maybe, you know, you can turn emulsion into, uh, making a Musician's life better and you can convince people that that's going to happen. And it really, you know, it kind of goes back to what you do. Well, all right, well, the emulsion company isn't going to give you a t-shirt, but they can give you emulsion and I can use that and it can pay for some, some aspects of things that I'm going to outlay cash for and, you know, really.

And, you know, what else? We always have fun. You know, the party is fun and there's a t-shirt that goes along with it. You know, everybody wins and you know, we've done a lot of those and they've been really successful. The industry has a lot of great people in it and you know, some of them aren't that sophisticated or don't want to know, but.

You know, over the years, people trust me that the cause is good, so they don't have to look into it in great depth. And I think that's been a key element and I usually it's well-organized and I showed them the difference. And, you know, we've raised sizable amounts of money. In one of the New Orleans shows, we raised $45,000 for the New Orleans Musicians Clinic.

And that was over 15 years ago. So in today's dollars, it might've been about $75,000 and different people came together to work on it. Hey, you know, give the t-shirts all the different suppliers kicked in, you know, ink and emulsion and. All the different aspects of screens, you know, Don Newman gave the screens for printing it, you know, and all that added up.

And then we had Tower Records at the time, agreed to sell the shirts that we printed at the show, and give all of the money to the client, which was astounding to me. And so. We printed 10,000 shirts and, and they sold them off for $45,000 to the clinic that is still one of the largest donations the clinic ever received. I've stayed involved because I could also see the money was well spent.

You want to raise money for people that spend the money wisely. And in this case, I think they do a great job. And, you know, music is the lifeblood of. Of New Orleans and they keep musicians alive. 

Marshall Atkinson: 

Are you creating online stores?

Rick Roth: 

Like a lot of shops too, so, you know, we've um, that was a recent expansion of Mirror Image to, uh, a division would call it Doing Good Merch.

And we specialize in that actually. So, and we take the ethics of the organization into account. So, and a lot of them don't have the money to invest, honestly. So, you know, we have, uh, our Brother printers and. I don't mean our brothers in arms. I mean the company, Brother DTG machines, where we keep a small amount of stock and they don't have to make a huge investment.

Yeah. Okay. 

Marshall Atkinson: 

Business owners or listeners out there may want to do something similar to what you guys are doing. What's the best way they can get started or maybe even what should they avoid? Because we don't want to lose our pants, helping out somebody. So what advice can you give them?

Rick Roth: 

Well, certainly you don't want to bite off more than you can chew, that's for sure.

Um, you know, I think that if, either as owners, you have something that you believe in, or if some of your employees do have that personal connection, I think it makes a huge difference. You know, as I get older, I see that trust makes things a lot easier. So, you know, if you've been involved with the organization or someone, you know, has, I think that helps a lot.

So you don't have to do as much investigation. And if you care about it, it's going to be easier, you know? 

Marshall Atkinson: 

Right. Yeah. Over the years, uh, you know, we've done lots of breast cancer walks and stuff for the March of dimes and, uh, raise money for all types of things that even did, um, a huge garage sale where everybody brought in, brought in stuff from our homes and we had a garage sale.

In the shop over the weekend, everything that wasn't sold just went to Goodwill. Uh, and that all went to the donation that we gave as the shop to the cause.  But we also did shirts for all the teams that we're walking in the walk. So, uh, it's, I think it's fun to really get involved with some of the causes and, and not just the shirt printer, but actually.

Do things for them. And, and I've always done that throughout my career and have always enjoyed it and you meet some great people and some of them turn into clients because, you know, they're, they're attending the breakfast kickoff or whatever. You never know who you are going to sit next to, and, and, and that's kind of a fun way to, to meet business leaders.

And, uh, I've always enjoyed that aspect of it. 

Rick Roth: 

Um, I've met some pretty great people. I have to say it bothered me sometimes that we would go with trade shows to an area besides drinking the beer and providing some employment. You know, it'd be nice to do something else. Right. And we're printing t-shirts one other there.

Sometimes I didn't really, it was kind of vague what the cause was. And I'm like if we're going to print shirts anyway, and we're going to be in New Orleans, then we should do something for New Orleans. So, you know, I didn't have a close personal connection. I had a small one at the New Orleans musicians clinic, and my friend that lived there suggested that I check it out.

So I want to check it out. And it's a great organization and I made some lifelong friends of the people that run it and, um, the people that work there now. And so, uh, really great things came of it personally as well. It was a big payback I have to say. 

Marshall Atkinson: 

And, and that kind of brings up the whole idea of, uh, you can, it's more than just a business.

It's more than transactional and has a lot of personal meaning and growth. 

Rick Roth: 

Correct. Yeah. I definitely, definitely more important than just the money that's for sure. But you do build Goodwill and other people that are involved are donors to see what you're doing and, you know, have a good feeling about your company.

I never got as much business as you might think though, you know, that's not been the driving. Forest behind me doing it. And it hasn't happened as a happenstance either. You know, you kind of think, all right, well you do for this organization. Maybe some of the other people involved are going to see an order sheriff from you more often, somebody tries to hit you up for free.

Sure. It's because they see you doing it. Um, and you know, I'm okay with that. I just don't have any illusions that just because you do something nice, you're going to get a bunch of work out of it. 

Marshall Atkinson: 

Right. You should be, you know, altruistic and not expect anything. 

Rick Roth:

Right. I mean, it can happen, but I don't think it works as your main purpose people see through that.

Marshall Atkinson: 

Well, what's next for you guys? Do you have any causes that you're going to be printing for?

Rick Roth: 

I think I mentioned we already, um, are starting Farm Aid. Both designs and what garments, because we are very particular further ahead, we plan the better it is for some of the suppliers. And for us, we've been working on Amnesty International's 60th anniversary.

We made some special merchandise for that. And then, you know, some things wouldn't be identified exactly as a cause, but. No, there's an altruistic element of it. It doesn't have to be a nonprofit or a 5013C you know, tax-type thing. 

So one of my most recent projects, I volunteer at a radio station, a community radio station, Cambridge, and I was doing a special show on the sixties group called Moby Grape.

And they're kind of the poster children of “We get screwed by the music industry.” 

They signed a terrible contract. And they couldn't even play under their own names. At one point, there were three bands that weren't even them playing around the country that the manager sent out and they couldn't play under their own name.

And a couple of them are not wealthy. And you know, they're really nice guys. And I saw it was just bootleg shirts. So I made a store for them and it's been very rewarding. They're really happy about it. They're really happy that it's quality merchandise, that like 2000 person Facebook group has been very, you know, received it really well.

And I feel like that's going to help, you know, some people that really deserve it. They brought a lot of joy to a lot of people with their music. And I think, you know, they're all in their late seventies and you know, if I can. Help cut them a little better break right now. That makes me pretty happy. I've been working on that and I've been putting a lot of energy into it.

Marshall Atkinson: 

That’s great. I love that. I love that. That's the best way to wrap up the podcast. So thank you so much, Rick, for your time today, sharing your story of success with this. So if someone wants to learn more about what you do or how maybe you can help them, what’s the best way to contact you?

Rick Roth: 

If you remember where I'm from, Rick prion nations will remember my name. So it's Rick. Okay. At mirror Either one will get to me. You go get a Google around you to find me. I don't, I don't mind.

Marshall Atkinson: 

Right. Well, that's great. Rick, thank you so much for hanging out with us today. Appreciate you.

Rick Roth:

Thanks, Marshall. Thanks a lot. I really appreciated being able to share something that's been positive in my life with your listeners, and I appreciate your thoughtful questions. Thank you.

Marshall Atkinson: 

Well, that's our show today.

Thanks for listening and don't forget to subscribe so you can stay up to date on the latest Success Stories episodes. Have any suggestions for future guests for topics? Send them my way at and see you next time.