Park City business revolves around peace
November 15, 2006
Joe and Amy Tomlinson were sick of negativity. Everywhere they looked they saw fighting, feuding and war. The world seemed dark and angry. It wasn’t a world they wanted for themselves, their six children or anyone else.
Living in Rhode Island forced them to commute back and forth to New Hampshire and Vermont in order to allow their children to continue competitive snowboarding and the mileage took its toll. They decided to take one last trip and to stay for good, but this time the trip was all the way to Park City.
Joe Tomlinson said the change of atmosphere did them good a new city, with an active and socially conscious lifestyle, helped them to see ways they could influence what they thought should change in the world.
"It’s safe to say that over the past year or so Amy and I have been feeling more and more upset about the status of world events and our role in them," Joe said. "We have six kids and we were just worried about the future and what they’re future would be like. But Park City was part of the genesis. We moved here last year and the energy and the atmosphere here has been perfect for what we’re doing."
The pair decided to start a clothing line called Re:volve. The line of shirts and hats uses pro-peace slogans and symbols to give optimists a banner to rally behind.
"Re:volve signifies a re-evolution of thinking; it kind of harps back to the original peace movement. Now we talk about the New Peace Movement," Joe said. "We bill ourselves, collectively, as a socially conscious brand."
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The company, which launched last June, gives part of the proceeds of all sales to various pro-peace groups such as the Water Keeper Alliance, The Peace Alliance, Veterans for Peace and The Veterans of America.
"Our mission statement is to promote peace, not to sell shirts," he said. "The idea of peace is not just singular to war, but through all levels. We accomplish this through the products we offer, our on-line community and our grassroots efforts in support of the New Peace Movement."
The focus of Re:volve is not to put anyone down, Joe said, but rather to promote, in a positive manner, peace and empathy among people.
"There are a lot of negative images out there and the people that were putting out a positive message weren’t really being heard," he said. "We wanted to put out a product that lets people put forth a positive message. We’re not anti-anything, just pro-peace."
"You won’t find any negative shirts pointing fingers at anybody," he continued. "Everything is just an affirmation for the direction we think it should be going. The most controversial shirts we have are one with the word ‘war’ with a red line going through it and another that says ‘end war.’ People may take those shirts to be about Iraq, but it’s more than that."
With their focus on positivity, the pair took their idea to various shops, including Chloe Lane in Park City. Executives at the boutique on Main Street expressed interest immediately, Joe said, and wanted to carry the line.
"We approached them and told them what we were doing before we went to a trade show in Vegas and they were interested in being the first ones to carry the line," Joe said. "We’re the brand, so we design and build the garments and sell them at wholesale to resale stores. Chloe Lane is one here, and we also are carried by Fred Segal Fun in Santa Monica, Calif. Both our men’s line and our women’s line are about to open there. The men’s line has been there for about a month already and it’s selling very well."
The six Tomlinson children love the idea and wear the clothes. JJ, 15, Elodie, 14, Summer, 12, Lucie, 9, Jane, 7, and Lila, 4, are all currently home schooled, but the oldest hope to enroll in the Park City Winter Sports School.
"They really love it. Some of the most powerful responses to the images are from kids," Joe said.
"We designed the line, wanting to have clean graphics," he continued. "We didn’t want it to have any clutter. We wanted a simple, easy to identify graphic on all of our products."
Joe said when creating the shirts they were just trying to be different. At tradeshows all they saw were dark colors and negative images, and they wanted to be the counterpoint to that.
"We were just trying to stand out and be different," he said. "You look at shirts now and they look like artwork you’re not really sure what it is. We really wanted our message to be strong enough to stand alone."
Standing alone didn’t stop with their images. All of the merchandise is printed with environmentally-friendly ink, and plans are to have all the materials made from organic products starting next season.
For those interested in Re:volve’s apparel, ideas or charities, Joe said the best places to visit are their Web site at http://www.revolvebrand.com or Chloe Lane at 556 Main Street.
"They can start by going to Chloe Lane and buying a shirt or a hat," he said. "We have stickers that we’d give out to anybody who wants one. They can also go to our Web site and hit the community button, which will launch here in the next two weeks. And if they just want to support the cause that would be great as well. They don’t even have to buy anything. Peace."