A year ago, we split apart Still Kickin’s business operations from its non-profit operations to protect the non-profit from the volatility of retail sales. Still Kickin became an SBC that existed to help fund the non-profit, and we hired Jesse Ross, a non-profit veteran, to run the non-profit with help from a team of volunteers.
On the business side of things, we brought on additional team members to generate revenue and grow the brand (and boost the non-profit in the process). We started paying everyone a minimum wage of $15, offered health insurance and other benefits, and fostered a work culture where people cared deeply about our mission and each other.
Less than two weeks later, COVID-19 hit.
At this time last year, I told people, “If Still Kickin can’t stay in business while treating its employees right and paying them fairly for their work, then we can’t be a business.”
And unfortunately, I was correct!
These past 12 months have been so hard and so difficult for us as a team and as a company. We’ve shared some of that struggle with you (just last month, I said our 2021 goal was simply “to make it”). And because we care so much about our community and message, we fought tooth and nail month after month to keep things chugging along.
But like so many other awesome businesses, we too are being forced to radically reimagine our organization.
BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN, NORA?!
At its heart, Still Kickin is a community, and that will never change. Our non-profit, which is doing great (go, Jesse!) will still be creating and giving out grants with help from a volunteer staff and board of directors.
What will change:
We need to clear out our warehouse, liquidate all of our merch and donate as much money to our non-profit as possible, as soon as possible. We are sitting on a lot of inventory, and in the words of every awful late-night commercial featuring someone wearing a sandwich board, EVERYTHING MUST GO! That means discounts for you, ya lucky duck.
All orders that have already been placed will be fulfilled and shipped as planned, including our recent How Ya Feeling? pre-order.
Still Kickin itself is not going anywhere. We’re committed to living up to our promise to help people through hard things. We’re just simplifying how we do that to the most important elements:
Our Still Kickin Club is an intentional community for everyone who has been through something (and we’ve all been through something). We’ve been quietly working on it for a few months and are proud of this growing community! It’s a group of humans who understand the importance of finding other people who just get it, even if those people only exist online and from afar. If you still want to support Still Kickin and be a part of things, sign up here. We’ll see you in the club.
And as we said, the nonprofit is going to continue giving out grants and helping awesome people going through awful things. If that sounds like something you’d like to support, you can sign up here to become a monthly sustaining donor, aka a Still Kickin Sidekick.
Lastly, we’re leaving ourselves a whole lot of space to acknowledge that we DON’T KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS! Maybe some super rich person will just... give us a billion dollars and expect nothing in return and we can pretend like none of this ever happened. I doubt it, but we’re leaving the option open.
I personally am retiring from leading Still Kickin, leaving it in the hands of Jesse Ross, our board of directors and every volunteer who has made it what it is. It’s so freeing to say, “I am really not the person for this job,” and it is so humbling to be forced into that realization by the year that was 2020.
Still Kickin is, and has always been, more than a t-shirt. And we aren’t going anywhere. We’re just simplifying and focusing on how we can make the most impact. And that ain’t merch, so for the love of GOD PLEASE HELP US GET RID OF IT!