GLOSSRAGS is committed to conscious consumerism by creating critically crafted designs that are a catalyst for social activism & discourse.
GLOSSRAGS specializes in creating limited edition designs that provide a form of social commentary on issues at play within the world, be they social justice, institutions or popular culture.
GLOSSRAGS Media Co. is committed to creating meaningful media while remaining unapologetically Black.
The Birth of the "And Counting" Collection
“Yo, do you want to come and help my kids make signs for the March on Washington 50th Anniversary?”
This is how it started—the shirt, the brand, the movement—with a simple question.
It’s August 2013.
My friend Malcolm worked for Gap Busters and hit me up to see if I wanted to come kick it with him and his kids.
“Sure,” I said. I loved making signs.
When I got there, I talked to the kids while drawing out signs. One said, “We still have dreams.” Another made a statement about a lack of progress even 50 years after Martin’s “I Have a Dream Speech”.
More than just black faces in in tragic places.”
Woah. This sign…I had to carry this sign. I let the kids have their pick of the few others I made but called dibs on this one.
A few days later, I board the metro downtown with my mom to hit the march. We meet up with Malcolm and the gang, who are visibly excited.
As we hit the National Mall and enter into a throng of people, I keep getting stopped.
“Can I take a picture of your sign?”
“Sure,” I say. I wasn’t really sure how to pose.
I walk for a few more feet and then get stopped again.
“Can I take a picture of your sign?”
“Yeah, sure,” I reply.
Something was happening here. I must’ve been stopped over 20 times that day. One German couple asked me to explain who the names were. I did.
After the rally, after the cheering, the applause, the marching, I had memories but I also still had my sign. Perhaps it could become something more. Lying on my living room floor, I grabbed an orange post-in note and sketched out the most basic of basic t-shirt outline with those five names plus Jordan Davis. A few months later, the idea still lingered in my head.
It’s March 2014.
I’m on the phone with my mentor—“What do I have to do to convince you to let me borrow $500 to make 100 shirts? I really think this could be something.”
He wasn’t going to make it easy for me. He wanted a proposal & business plan—something I’d never done before. After a few drafts, he was satisfied.
“Alright,” he said. “I’ll pay for them.”
It’s April 2014.
After many hours spent working with my best friend to create a website, petitioning my friends to act as model, planning a pop-up shop, and meditating on debuting the shirt I woke up early on the morning of the 19th, ready to release the “And Counting” for all to see.
I set up shop at Broccoli City Fest alongside my best friend Nia Keturah, an amazing artist who helped design the shirt and also was selling her art that day, from dope Nas vs. Jay-Z prints to an ode to an old-school go-go song.
The Revival Shop at Broccoli City Fest DC. April 2014.
The experience was incredible. People were eager to talk about and buy the shirt. At the end of the night, I’d sold 44—nearly half of my inventory. I was tired but energized at the same time. This shirt, this living memorial, was something people were willing to bear upon their backs to keep from forgetting the lives that were taken too soon and the work that still needs to be done to create equality within the world we live in.
In its first six months of existence, the GLOSSRAGS “And Counting” Tee was bought over 500 times in over 25 states, including the Hawaii and even made its way to Canada and the UK. While business is solid, I thrive off of the daily interactions of people sharing their experience wearing the shirt. Everyone’s story is different and it is truly a blessing to be able to create something that sparks conversation, passion and ultimately, a movement.