In Our Hearts

Muse: Kary Leigh. Photography: Amanda Gift (Snaps Studio).

Kary Leigh was DJ AyeBert’s (of Rooted Movement) friend that had a radio show with Ryan Live, A1, and Bert himself. Union Station Radio was broadcast online from Kary’s apartment in Anaheim, close by Disneyland. Always hospitable, every week they’d chef up some meals and some friends over to eat before the show started. Not long after, I was kicking it there a lot and knocking out on the couch.

When the disaster in Fukushima, Japan happened, it really struck close to home for Kary, who is of proud of her Japanese heritage. She said that SICK STAR should do something for the disaster to bring awareness to the situation. I had our SICK STAR logo imposed with Japan’s rising sun image with a caption that said “In Our Hearts.” The post was quickly spread and reposted through different social networks.

We decided to put the “In Our Hearts” image on a tshirt to raise funds to be donated to the cause overseas. We sent shirts out to Ellen to reclaim as whatever she imagined and of course no one but Kary was going to model it. Ellen made a dope toile dress I reached out to Amanda Gift who was down for the cause and was willing to shoot for us. Always busy with a long list of clients, Amanda managed to squeeze us in between some appointments for a quick shoot. We shot 2 looks – 1 inspired by the Japanese Harajuku style and 1 in the original tshirt with a more Japanese streetwear vibe.

Kary and the Rooted crew are very much into philanthropy, using their talents and connections to put on benefits and fundraisers for friends in need and larger causes. Kary, Bert, Ryan Live, and their friend Waki organized a fundraiser at a bar in Japantown where we sold the shirts. Shirts were also sold online with 100% of the profits going to Red Cross to the Fukushima relief efforts.

“In Our Hearts” was a successful sell through. So much to the fact that when the Philippine earthquake hit in , a month latrrwe were asked many times if we were doing another fundraiser shirt. Rather than donating money directly straight to a charity, people love to show their support to a cause by promoting it through tshirt imagery and knowing that they’ve supported in a special way. We did an exclusive collaboration with Rooted Movement for our Philippine Relief tshirt. We were expecting a lot of pre-orders based on the sales of our “In Our Hearts” tshirt. The amount of orders crashed our website and we had our team working out the problems along the way to get the site back up and all the tshirts out on time. While it was stressful, we happily donated 100% of the profits to Philippine relief by way of DJ AyeBert’s church so we knew exactly what the money was being used for.

In the spirit of Kary and the Rooted Movement crew, we continued on with philanthropy, using our talents and our connections, the SICK STAR & SICKS Degrees Family to aid, assist, and putting together events and benefits to help the greater good.