Photo by Becca Sabot
My friend, and former Shop Girls co-host Alexis Walsko tends to wear her mood on her sleeve. And bag. And chest. So she asked graphic designer Mike Minick, creator of Green Boy Brand, to make her three shirts: one that said "Happy," one that said "Smile," and another that said "Good." He goofed. Minick printed one triple-positive shirt that said "Happy Smile Good." And that silly fun mistake launched a new brand.
"It was difficult to scowl while wearing a shirt like that," says Walsko, founder and CEO of Lola Red PR. "It reminded me of who and what I wanted to be in every interaction."
Walsko secured the url for happysmilegood.com and set to work (in her spare time) building a brand—or, as she prefers to think of it, a movement. Walsko’s new (self-proclaimed) title for the project: Beacon of Positivity. She took her idea to Minnetonka High School students in the Vantage professional studies program. They surveyed University of Minnesota students, and determined that there was opportunity to turn Walsko’s affirmation into a business.
Creative Kidstuff loved the message and picked up the Happy Smile Good collection of shirts and blankets for the holidays. Sales associates are wearing them at all Creative Kidstuff stores. “It is in line with our mission, which is to help families play,” says Happi Olson, Creative Kidstuff director of sales and marketing. “It is about being intentional about who you are and what you do.”
A portion of Happy Smile Good sales will go to Greatergood.org, which fuels a dozen charitable causes helping people, pets, and the planet.
Happy Smile Good is available on t-shirts and hoodies for kids and adults in an array of colors and with gold glitter letters—because in Walsko's world, everything is better with glitter. There are also bags and blankets. Prices range from $9.99 to $24.99. Early response has been strong, says Olson, which means Creative Kidstuff is likely to carry the line beyond holiday.