As I am rolling into different cities I am spending some time on Social media in search of places to visit and passionate people to hopefully meet up with. So here I am sitting in a Hampton Inn Parking Lot, ready to black out my windows and fall asleep. Before I fall comfortably asleep in the front seat of my car, I open up my Instagram account and type in Nashville into the search box for locations. As I am scrolling through some pictures I see a picture of my favorite Quarterback of all time, and sorry Patriots fans, the best Quarterback of all time – Peyton Manning. It is a picture of him in his famous number 16 Tennessee jersey. The Poster of the Picture: Project615.
I wonder what/who Project615 is?
I decided to go through there Instagram account and noticed that it was a clothing company based in Nashville, TN. I noticed that the 615 stood for an area code in Nashville, but what was the project? As I started to dig deeper through Instagram Account and then through the website, I noticed that this was a company based on a mission and with a purpose. Ah, exactly the type of people I want to meet. This was a company with a passion and it was something I wanted to hear more about.
I sent a message via Instagram with details about my journey and what I was trying to accomplish. Two days later I got a response from 615project and I received an invite to visit the retail shop at 1006 Fatherland Street in East Nashville. I drove over the retail shop, stepped into the door and saw an array of shirts, hats, and buttons all with two similar themes. Nashville and some mission/project.
I sparked a conversation up with Lydia, who has worked at Project615 for 1 1/2 years and stated that she just loves being a part of a company with a purpose. She started showing me all the shirts and describing the mission/project that they were based on.
Here is the Heart for the Smokies Campaign – where we raised over 100k for the Gatlinburg Relief Fund.
There were over 60 businesses destroyed by the wildfires in Gatlinburg and hundreds of employees are now left homeless and unemployed. The money will go directly to assist these people to give them housing, food, clothing, and pay any urgent bills. In the Project 615 Blog they stated “Project 615 is built on not only producing great products, but we are on a mission to help change the world”
I love it, a company with a mission. When I headed on this trip I had planned on meeting passionate people, but I hadn’t even thought about meeting passionate companies that were based on a purpose. But here I was in a store in Nashville that was build on a purpose.
I walked out of Project 615’s retail shop, with a new shirt in my hand “Spread Love it’s the Nashville Way,” printed in large white letters on the front. As I walked out of the building I had a great feeling in my heart. I love to see entrepreneurs build a successful company, but it really hits your heart when you see/feel that they have a purpose and a mission behind everything they do. It is one thing to just hand over some profits, but to hear about how involved they are with the non profits they work with really warms your heart.
As an entrepreneur, failed mostly, this has given me something to look up to.
What can I do to build a company/legacy, but then also impact the world at the same time?
This visit will sit in my heart, mind, and soul every time I am contemplating a new business idea/concept. We all have a chance to “spread love,” not just if you own a company, have money, or have a platform to do so.
How will you spread love today?
More about PROJECT 615:
One of their main objectives is to help restore those who are on the path of recovery from homelessness, addiction and mental illness. Project 615 works side by side with Set Free ministries in Nashville. Set Free houses 40+ men who are recovering from homelessness, drug/alcohol addiction, and mental illness. Most of of their apparel benefits Set Free. The money given to Set Free is used to help house and rehabilitate the lives of these men.
Since beginning Project 615 in the fall of 2010, they have been able to donate more than $55,000 to Set Free.
Not only does Project 615 create shirts and apparel and donate a percentage of their profits to Set Free and other non profit efforts, they also hope to empower and transform those who are on the path of recovery by hiring men from Set Free Ministries and training them and giving them the skill of t-shirt making/screen printing.
Along wth the close relationship Project 615 has with Set Free, they also help impact other nonprofits as well. Project 615 runs several campaigns a year where they offer special edition t-shirts/apparel to help raise money and impact the organizations/missions/projects they are tied too.
How it all Started:
Project 615 was first formed in the summer of 2010 after co-founders Derek Evans & Matt Blinco visited one of the nations largest homeless communities, Skid Row, in downtown Los Angeles, California. Both Derek and Matt realized that they wanted to do something about the ever increasing homeless population locally back in Nashville. They decided to start Project 615 as a fundraising and awareness effort for the homeless.