Made in the 419 - like every new venture - has a story. Here's ours, in three quick parts.
Back in June of 2013, a group of people in Mansfield came together to launch an online news organization called Richland Source. We were a new kind of animal in our media landscape. Part of our mission was to "promote Mansfield and Richland County, and connect its citizens with one another and the rest of the world." That led us to pursue news in unusual ways that often broke from the norm. It was (and is) a crazy way to make a living.
In a four day fit of R&R in November of 2013 (related to the crazy-way-to-make-a-living part), I took a trip with my daughter to visit my native state of Montana. While I introduced her to Missoula, we noticed something. The numbers 406 - Montana's area code - were everywhere. T-shirts, stickers, caps... you name it. To a long time expatriate like me the numerals were like a secret code, or a password to an exclusive club. That guy in the (406) shirt? He and I shared a common experience. I immediately connected with this pride of place and knew that it could be something very powerful in my adopted home state of Ohio, specifically in the 419.
Which brings us to now. Over the past two months, a team of people at Richland Source has worked day and night to bring Made in the 419 to market. We're proud of our first collection and what it says about our region and the people in it. But more than that, we're excited for Made in the 419's potential to connect the residents of Northwestern Ohio to deep and prideful feelings of home.
Can a t-shirt do that all by itself? Probably not. The t-shirts aren't a catalyst. They won't cause anything to happen. The shirts are the result. They reflect and express the pride, creativity, family, and Midwestern work ethic that is already here.
Thanks for joining us on this trip and stay tuned. We're just getting cranked up.