Earlier this week, when we saw Yellowhammer Creative‘s new Community Series of t-shirts celebrating all 99 Birmingham neighborhoods, we couldn’t wait to connect with owner and designer Brett Forsyth about these one of a kind hip neighborhood t-shirts.
First, before we provide you, our readers, the Q & A between Bham Now and Watkins, here is Yellowhammer’s Instagram ad with the Yellowhammer Creative inspired logos of 48 out of Birmingham’s 99 neighborhoods:
Bham Now: When we first saw your ad, we immediately wanted to buy a shirt. Where can you get/order the shirts?
Forsyth: All shirts are available online via our webstore at yellowhammer.org. One neighborhood at a time will be featured in our Pizitz store. Also, we are looking at partnering with retailers in each neighborhood to sell their respective shirt. The first of that partnership will launch at Elements as early as this Friday.
Bham Now: How did you come up with this great idea?
Forsyth: We’ve had the idea for a number of years, but really just didn’t have the means to pull it off. YHC is unique in that we produce and retail shirts directly. Most retailers sub out printing, but we are very stringent and keep as much manufacturing in house as possible. Brandon (Brandon is co-owner) and I both grew up in Birmingham and have been proud of our city even when others weren’t.
Growing up here over the last 30+ years, I can say in my experience the city’s level of pride is at an all time high. With the economic turn around and the modern boom we’re experiencing right now, attitudes have changed. We believe all of our neighborhoods need to see the same love and care as the hot or trendy areas. Obviously a t-shirt won’t change the world, but it’s nice to be noticed and to allow citizens an opportunity to support their neighborhoods and be proud of their roots. It’s also a great chance to raise awareness and start conversations about the many unique areas we have in Birmingham.
Bham Now: Do you have all 99 neighborhoods yet?
Forsyth: We’re working to include everyone in Birmingham. Currently we have 48 designs. The 99 neighborhood list is a bit tricky because of how they are historically broken up. We used the list of 99 as a starting off point, but I have tried to combine and group where possible to overall include the communities of each part of town. For instance Crestwood and Avondale are broken into North/South East/North on the 99 list. If we’ve missed anyone, we no doubt would like to receive feedback and make sure we include every community people identify with.
Bham Now: Tell us why it is important to buy these shirts?
Forsyth: I think taking ownership of your community and it’s direction is imperative to building sustainable growth. If growth doesn’t come from the ground up and have the support of the community, then it is fleeting. The goal with our civic products has always been to present content that honors and preserves our communities here in Birmingham. Our shirts have made it all over the world and are in turn spreading the love and message we’re trying to cultivate now in Birmingham. T-shirts have a unique power in modern society. They are effective tools to spread a message, start a conversation, claim a team or identify oneself. The hope is that people wear these shirts with pride and are allowed the opportunity to share what is great about their communities with others.
Bham Now: Which neighborhood do you live in?
Forsyth: I grew up in Homewood and still live in Homewood with my wife and son. Brandon grew up in Glen Iris and still lives in Glen Iris with his two crazy dogs. We’ve both moved off for brief periods in college, but our drive lead us both to chase our dreams here at home. Ain’t no place better than home to live your dreams. We’ve been kicking around doing Yellowhammer for what will be 10 years this January.
Be the first to represent your community and neighborhood. Check out the entire Yellowhammer Creative Community Series today at: