There are gifts and then there are good gifts. To give the latter, one needs to get creative and really think about the person on the receiving end. Sure, some will love tearing the wrapping paper to find the ubiquitous chocolate hearts, teddy bears and bath salts on Valentine’s Day, but you might also run the risk of getting the contents of your corny gift thrown in your face. If your special someone enjoys music and originality, www.yellowbirdproject.com is worth checking out.
There, you will be able to purchase a t-shirt with a unique design by an indie musician or group such as Ra Ra Riot, Stars, The Dears, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Elvis Perkins. Priced at $25, all of the profits go to the charity of the artist’s choice.
A non-profit organization, Yellow Bird Project was founded in 2006 by Montrealers Casey Cohen and Matt Stotland. Together, the longtime friends and music lovers decided they wanted to do something for the greater good while dipping their toes into the business world.
“When we were first starting out, we didn’t even have a website, we just had an idea for this project that we wanted to start. So, we just e-mailed a bunch of bands with our idea,” said Stotland.
Fortunately, folk singer Devendra Banhart agreed to be the first to come on board and gave them the credibility they needed to approach other artists and accomplish their philanthropic mission.
“Artists and musicians are inherently very busy people. They’re always touring or recording or taking time off, so to lock them down and get them to to a t-shirt design isn’t always the easiest thing, but usually it works out for the best,” said Stotland.
There are currently over 25 different designs for sale and all are screen-printed on American Apparel t-shirts in Montreal. They also recently came out with The Indie Rock Coloring Book created by illustrator, Andy J. Miller for $10.
“We want to grow, we want to expand, and we want to diversify,” said Cohen. “We’ve already been able to raise a substantial amount of money for charity, but we know that we can raise more. We want Yellow Bird Project to become a larger collective, with more bands, more charities, and more people involved.”