I’ve learned from experience that if you work harder at it, and apply more energy and time to it, and more consistency, you get a better result. It comes from the work.
Louis C. K.
It’s been almost 2 years since our last SOTU and so much has happened since then.
One of the most notable things was our New Media and Creative Strategist Nadia Sasso stepping into the ranks as one of the Co-Founders of Royal Dynamite. She has done for Royal Dynamite what Fergie did for the Black Eyes Peas – bringing in a fresh new style and perspective.
She has worked effortlessly along with Ralph and I to bring about more creative branding input, while increasing our network, and helping better the company with organization and planning. She has been a tremendous asset to the brand and we are all well positioned within our roles and ready to take this venture to the next level.
Over the last year we branched out and released some new products other than tees; 5-Panel hats: The Paradise Collection and Our Royals snapback hats. We also released a collection of t-shirts and snapbacks called ‘Freetown’, representing our hometown in hopes of creating a movement geared toward bringing about a positive image of Sierra Leone. The Freetown collection was intended as a limited edition line but due to its raving success and incessant demands for more, we have obliged! More on that in a bit.
As many of you know by now, Sierra Leone is one of the countries that has been brought to its knees by the Ebola pandemic. The economic and psychological toll to the nation has been striking so we decided to do our part in helping in the process of support and recovery, while continuing the movement we started last year. We have partnered with Power Women 232; a network of women professionals in Sierra Leone that help contribute to the well being of health workers and orphans affected by Ebola. For every product sold from our Freetown Collection, we will donate $5 to Power Women 232 to support their initiative. Power Women 232 donates care packages complete with basic hygiene supplies, food, and other essentials. The newly released Freetown Collection will be available for pre-order starting mid-February 2015 so be on the lookout for that.
In 2012 we launched our RDCares One-For-One Initiative: for every t-shirt bought we donate an educational package to a child in need. Over the last 2 years we have done quite a bit of work in Sierra leone along with some of our partners: The Visão Foundation and Excelling Youth Educational Scholarship to support over 100 children. We have worked to provide students with school supplies and have conducted educational and entrepreneurship empowerment workshops during our visits to Sierra Leone.
We expanded our efforts and added more partners in Ghana, The Dominican Republic, and Tanzania. Over the past summer, we partnered with the University Of Southern California, School Of Pharmacy and Dr. Ruth Awosika supporting their outreach by donating school supplies that benefited 1350 children in seven schools in the central region of Ghana known as the West Gomoa District.
Also over the summer, as a result of one of our dearest customers, we were connected to Elinelsy Castillo and the ”Fundación Sigues Mis Pasos” in the Dominican Republic. We sent educational packages to support 85 children with their back to school efforts. We also partnered with Achieve in Africa; an organization that focuses on assisting school-aged children in Tanzania. Over the past few years we have worked with organizations within the United States and abroad, and it is our hope to continue our work and hopefully soon launch the Royal Dynamite Scholarship Fund. Further down the line, we also plan on starting a business plan competition of our own so stay tuned for even greater things to come in 2015. We have a lot more planned, and will soon debut our RDCares video chronicling our efforts thus far.
Lastly, this past summer after placing second in the social impact category of the Eureka Venture Competition Series at Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity, and Innovation at Lehigh University, we launched our Artisan Abroad Program. We worked with a local textile designer in Sierra Leone on our Color Couture Collection, showcasing their artistic talents and entrepreneurial endeavors. The program also promotes cross-cultural artistic expression and knowledge, aesthetic tolerance, creative practice, and encourages entrepreneurial interest amongst local artists. We are excited to be doing all this while encouraging the younger generation to give back, and to appreciate the importance of education and collaboration.
We look forward to an exciting 2015 and beyond. Stay tuned for what to come as we continue our collaborative style for awareness!!
By Cecil Williams