HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Changing the world starts at home. But how do you do that? For one Huntsville business, it begins with t-shirts.
Green Pea Press came to life as a community print making studio at Huntsville’s Lowe Mill. “And we just kept growing and we started taking on custom orders to fund the art side of things,” Rachel Lackey recalls, “And that really took off.”
In 2015, the small business moved to its current location on Governors Drive. “Whenever we start something new, we go how is this going to benefit the community that we’re in, the things that we care about, the causes we want to support,” Rachel told me standing in the middle of their workspace.
Rachel and life partner and co-owner Martin Blanco aren’t in business to get rich. “We just want to make our basic living, cover our expenses and we’re good,” Rachel said with a smile.
They started something they call “Printing for Change.” “Once the orders come in, we close that campaign and then we issue a check for all of the profit to the organizer of the campaign, so that’s usually a non-profit, sometimes it’s a school or a local organization,” she said proudly.
It’s their way of giving back to the community. “We don’t have a lot of personal resources so this is the way that we’ve found that we can make the most difference with what we’ve got,” Rachel said.
The folks at Green Pea worked with News 19 when I was raising money for the American Cancer Society last year. They tweaked our “Real Men Wear Pink” design and printed the shirts for us.
The process involves the entire team at Green Pea. “They let us know what they want to do, if they have a design which is one of the requirements, we start working off of that,” Martin told us, “We give suggestions too, not just t-shirts but also maybe it can be mugs.”
It’s a blend of talent that’s rewarding to everyone in the end. “It is a good feeling, yes, especially from a small company and a small family business, right now what is it, maybe six of us, maybe here all together,” Martin said proudly.
With each campaign, there’s a minimum of 25 items to print. And while each campaign runs about two weeks, you don’t want to miss the window of opportunity to show your support. “What happens a lot, the shirt gets out. They get to those customer’s hands. They start wearing them and then a friend sees them and says I want that shirt,” Martin said, “So, we get bombarded with emails, phone calls and we actually created a waiting list.”
If there’s enough interest, the team will sometimes do another run. So far, Green Pea has done more than 151 campaigns giving back more than $85,000 to our community. “We really want to find a way to use our resources to kind of make the world a better place,” Rachel said. And they’re doing it, one t-shirt at a time.
Here’s a link to the Green Pea Press website to learn more about the company, its mission and current campaigns.