We had the incredible privilege of talking with the folks from The Now about The Printory and what we’re trying to accomplish here. Check out their video and give them some love!
Below is an abbreviated transcript of the video by journalist Kumasi Aaron :
Narrator: These t-shirts represent more than the name printed on the front. Each one represents entrepreneurship, a desire to help others, and a love of art.
Hussein: Yeah, when I saw ink go through this mesh, something happened in my mind where I was like, “Oh my god, the things I can do with this.”
Narrator: Hussein Al-Baiaty started screen printing t-shirts in the basement of a barbershop during college.
Hussein: In my mind I was like “This clothing brand is going to be huge, people are going to know about it, and really the whole vision of it was just to, you know, create art.
Narrator: When he graduated and couldn’t find a job in architecture, he decided to launch his t-shirt printing business full time.
Hussein: It was just a huge learning curve. Um, but it was cool because it was sort of this entrepreneurship clashing with art.
Narrator: And for Hussein, that was the key. …When Hussein was five, he and his family were forced to leave their home in Iraq. …Still, his father, an artist, found a way to use his gift to help his family through hardship.
Hussein: We would go around, and he would pick up old tents that would be torn up and just kind of tethered, rolling around in the middle of, like, middle of the desert. And we would pick them up and bring them back to our tent and he would stretch them over some wood, and basically started painting.
Narrator: Hussein says Saudi Arabian officials began requesting his father’s art. …And they used those connections to get to the United States. But a new country brought new issues.
Hussein: The culture, how to speak, and then, you know, how to sit in an interview, how to get a job.
Narrator: Overcoming those issues is what inspires Hussein to give back to people dealing with them now. …This is a Refutee. Whenever someone buys one, Hussein donates another brand new shirt to a refugee in his community.
Hussein: You know, that refugee has been having hand-me-downs the whole time he’s been a refugee, if not more. And so, to get something new, there’s something about that that I believe is, it gives it a human sort of dignity, you know? And it’s almost like a gift, like a welcoming gift.
Narrator: And even though Hussein’s dad is no longer with him, his love for art and for people is.
Hussein: When he said, “Look man, if you don’t have anything to give, just, no money, no whatever, just smile at people. Just show them that they exist, and that you care.”