We had the good fortune of connecting with Tim Garth and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tim, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
Back in Spring, Covid-19 was, and still is having a huge negative impact on me personally, financially & on my multi-media marketing company due to greatly reduced business. Kelli, the co-founder of Involvd, and I, started to think about new business ideas. We had talked about starting an online clothing brand late last year, but the global pandemic really pushed the idea along for us. The news & social media channels were devoted to the tragedies of Covid, environmental damage like the wildfires, protests, and also the US presidential election. Kelli and I were watching closely, but it was interesting to listen to our sons & daughters who were living through the lock downs while getting ready to vote for the first time. They had much to say on all of these issues. So we got them and their friends together and asked them “what was important” to 20+ year olds in America today. Politics was actually very low on the scale, but homelessness, poverty, mental illness, human trafficking and environmental issues were priorities to them. They, like many of us wanted a voice, but equally wanted to remain apolitical and non-divisive. They of course were reading and sharing daily social media posts, but it was a challenge to know what was fact. We all set about researching the various issues, and the struggles so many Americans were facing day to day. Reading articles, posts and statistics from front line organizations, and government sources devoting time and money to these issues really gave us an eye opening and heartbreaking reality. So, the idea was born to start a quality brand of online clothing, with simple thought provoking and conversation starting designs, centered around the 4 main issues. Our online store would have a brief blog post on each issue, to initially bring awareness and then have links to front line charities & organizations to learn more. We would then donate a portion of the sale ongoing to one of these organizations to help tackle the issues.
What should our readers know about your business?
I’m a first generation immigrant who arrived in the US in 1995. I’m from a gritty, blue collar port city in the North East of England. I grew up in government housing, built post war for the working class. I graduated high school, but due to the families tough financial position and my poorer education, college was not an option. I saw my parents work multiple jobs, yet we still struggled, and some of the homes I lived in didn’t even have indoor plumbing. So, I guess I know a little bit about ‘hard times’ & struggle, but I still consider myself more fortunate than many people, especially today given the impact this virus as had on communities and the more vulnerable. My partner and co founder, Kelli, has had life struggles herself, dealing with eviction notices, her sons metal health issue, and the hardships of putting food on the table for her 4 kids. We both have a great empathy & respect for the challenges some people face day to day in America. So, we decided to put our present experience in marketing and apparel to launch INVOLVD, a socially conscious clothing brand. We felt compelled to find real and meaningful ways to reduce the tragic human toll of homelessness, human trafficking, environmental issues, and mental illness, and ‘Give Back’ From months of pre-launch research, we identified many frontline aid-and-assistance organizations already combatting America’s socio-economic and environmental ills. We discovered there were thousands of grassroots groups and individuals, similarly, moved by human suffering, also devoting time, energy and resources toward alleviating it. The ‘question’ for us was obvious: How can we bring like-minded people together, start conversations, and encourage further research. The ‘answer’ which quickly became integral to our strategy and vision unfolded clearly in three parts: Become a conduit; Connect concerned citizens to causes they care about and provide links to US bases charities & organizations Stimulate dialogue: Start with a line of quality T-Shirts, with simple, thought provoking and conversation starting logos Walk the Talk: Donate a portion of the sale to frontline charities in the fight against Homelessness, Human Trafficking, Mental Illness and Environmental issues. Our Mission: To establish a premium clothing brand that promotes awareness, empathy and individual involvement in solving America’s most distressing social issues. Vision: We envision a world where people get passionately and personally involved in improving the health, happiness and well-being of all people, and protecting the environment.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Orange County as so many great diverse entertainment and recreation areas. World renowned beach communities like Laguna, Huntington & Newport offer some amazing art galleries, eateries, roof top bars, small boutique shopping, beach & ocean sports. Dining at some of the nice eateries on the Newport Beach marinas is always great for people & luxury boat watching. Fashion Island outdoor mall is also in Newport, with premium stores, boutiques and restaurants. The city of Irvine as the very popular Spectrum entertainment center, with a huge array of independent shops as well as globally recognized brands. With an endless array of eateries, restaurants, bars, comedy clubs, and movie theatre’s there’s always something to see and do. Irvine also as many hiking, running, biking trails, parks and green spaces in addition to an open air amphitheatre with a top class range of music artists & bands. South Coast Plaza & the Segerstrom center for the arts in the city of Costa Mesa, give you an entire day of world class shopping & dining and an evening of arts and theatre. There are a number of fantastic restaurants inside the plaza and just outside. Vaca is one of my favorites for Spanish cuisine and AnQi for Asian fusion.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It’s a tough question, because in the last 5 years my life as changed dramatically, and particularly this year, as we have all seen the world change. The one thing that has remained constant though for me, throughout my life, is always remembering how hard my parents worked, and seeing them constantly struggle while holding down multiple jobs. Their tireless encouragement and support, and teaching me that integrity is everything, and to always work hard, but show empathy & fairness is why I dedicate my success to them.