(This interview is part of my 4 Questions Project, where I get the chance to chat with authors and tell stories of people, life, and adventure. Be sure to check out previous interviews here!)
You know what is almost as awesome as books? Really awesome things about books – like Out of Print Clothing. They have such fun shirts, jewelry, journals and other things all book nerds NEED. I’ve been known to purchase quite a few items. Plus they donate a book with every purchase made. A.K.A. They are awesome! I thought it would be fun to connect with the founder and feature him on the blog and he was nice enough to join in, so please welcome Todd Lawton!
Out of Print Clothing: Literary apparel and accessory company that loves celebrating great stories! Every product sold donates one book to a community in need.
Oh wait, first, here’s some of my favorite things (I love my P&P shirt!)
1. I love what you offer – so creative! So where did the idea for Out of Print come from?
The long story is it started when my partner and I met in the second grade in Portland, Oregon. The abridged version, is we felt that readers weren’t given the same level of expression through fashion as other interests. Just because you’re reading alone doesn’t mean you can’t show the world what books you like. We wanted to be the band shirt for the book lover. Simply put our mission is to get people talking about reading through making things that people feel good about wearing or carrying. So far, it seems to be working. We have hundreds of thousands of customers making bookish statements about themselves in over 80 countries.
2. I think it’s awesome to have a business model that gives back. Can you tell us a little more where this stemmed from and how y’all got connected to the non-profit?
It was a natural extension. The world would be a terrible place, and we’d be out of work if there weren’t people reading books. My business partner and I feel very fortunate to have grown up with plenty of access to books, so we felt strongly that OoP should help where books are scarce. Through our research we found Books For Africa and fell in love with their mission and methodology. In just over four years we have helped to donate approximately 950,000 books!
Since partnering with BFA, we have developed relationships and supported projects closer to home through other reading and writing non-profits like 826 National, First Book, Girls Write Now, Uprise Books, etc. Recently, we developed a fundraising program that helps schools, libraries and other groups raise money through our website. Seeing the impact our “small” idea for a business has made is incredible.
3. Another thing I love is the annual Book Madness (Long live Atticus!)! How did this one start?
It’s hard to remember exactly how it came to be, but I’m sure there was beer involved. We’re lucky to have a very passionate following that is always up for having fun with books. When Book Madness started it we decided which books would be entered. Now all the books/characters are nominated by our fans. We’re always looking for different ways to connect with readers. Often it comes up as a random thing that makes us laugh…like “Put a Poe On It.”
4. What are you currently reading?
“The Sunday of Life” by Raymond Queneau
5. Most of the Out of Print products are classics, so do you have a favorite Classic?
Obviously I’m quite into everything we do, but lately I’ve been wearing “Brave New World” in green, “Clockwork Orange” in black and Walden in blue a lot.
1. What is something about your life right now that you would never imagined 5 years ago?
That I’d be lucky enough to be doing this and to be business partners with my best friend.
2. What is one thing that you would go back and do differently if you could?
I wish I would have learned to play a musical instrument. Sorry Mrs. Strauss for terrorizing your music class.
3. What is one of the happiest moments of your life?
Hearing my daughter have her first hard laugh.
4. What is one thing you want the next generation to know?
Food seems to taste better while camping.
Thank you so much Todd for stopping by – I’ve loved featuring you and Out of Print Clothing! Readers, be sure to check them out! I’m sure you’ll find more than enough fun finds 🙂
What are some of your favorite bookish goodies?