Although my birthday is in July, today truly feels like my real birthday. Five years ago I took the biggest risk I've ever taken in my life and put myself out there again to try another clothing brand that would stand for mental health. On Dec 1 of 2017, D.R.E.A.M. went live. With two different tees in black and white and a black hoodie, our website was live, and 50 people visited the site that day. One person bought a tee in San Francisco, and that was it. That was it for a few days until I got my merchandise printed, took many pictures of them, and posted them everywhere. Still, no movement.
Unlike my last brand (a complete failure in 2013 during my biggest battle with depression), I didn't look to friends and family for help. I created a network of people I've worked with throughout my career and asked them for advice and promotion. Slowly, we started to see traction. I was so excited to get the chime on my phone that someone else picked up a tee or hoodie. It was slow but moving.
I remember contacting multiple Mental Health foundations and none of them got back to me. Some did, and one of them was NAMI. I had to prove to NAMI I was legit, so I started to work my tail off around the clock. I have already discussed the story of how we got our big break but I want to once again thank all the people who helped me get DREAM in front of so many people in 2018. It was rough to get it done, but I worked so hard to make it happen.
In 2020 I was let go from my full-time job that was actually taking time away from DREAM. I was relieved. I don't particularly appreciate working for other people and I don't like working for a company with no cause behind what they do. Making money and having big office parties is not what I care for. It's more about making a difference. I always look at the Great Gatsby (one of my favorite books from my teen years), and I never wanted to be in a position where people loved me for my financial success but more for what I do as a person while I am here.
Once I was let go from my job, it was time to blow DREAM up, and we did just that. To think I'd also get my brand into Zumiez, the store that I spent tens of thousands of dollars in during my teen years, was a big accomplishment for me. I was so happy to be able to be in stores and to see people wearing our clothing.
Not only did we raise close to $550,000 for Mental Health Awareness and paid therapy throughout the last five years, but we also helped raise money for Autism, SA Survivors, Veterans, Armenia Fund, and countless other foundations. Moving forward, I want to do more for the world. Mental Health is the nexus of what we do, but we know that everyone's mental health can be triggered and worsened by other events...we want to step in and help there as well.
I have said that 2022 was our worst year yet. We had a hard time with supply chain issues, funding, and overall website traffic and sales. Why? Maybe I got comfortable. Maybe I was just content with what he had. I didn't want to focus on creating new I just wanted to recreate the old.
Well, today, all that changes.
About seven months ago, during our hardest times when I thought I'd be losing DREAM for good, my team and I decided it was time to make a change. Let's make our good quality even better. Let's make clothing that people can wear to almost any event. Let's make things more cohesive. Let's stop bombarding people with drops every other day and just do one big focused drop people can pick up at their leisure. Let's focus on quality over quantity. Let's make something that people will never forget.
Our new friend, Cosmo, lands today. Cosmo is a dreamer. Cosmo is someone who always shoots for the moon. Cosmo is what I want all of us to be, resilient people who never ever give up on their dreams no matter how challenging the struggles may be.
This new collection features five new designs; Houston I Have Problems, Black Holes & Broken Hearts, Dream Beyond, One Small Step, and You Are Not Alone. Starfield is our new take on elevated basics that can be worn with just about any fit in your closet. We also have some new items from the BFMMH collection, You Deserve to be Loved, and new flannels as well. We can't wait for you all to get your hands on these and see how much work we put into the design and quality. Sizes fit more generously now, and the quality is unlike anything else.
5 Years later, I didn't imagine I would ever have DREAM to where it is today. Even five months ago, I thought I'd lose DREAM...but to be here right now and be able to pull this all off and continue to help change the world one piece of fabric at a time is literally a dream come true.
Thank you all; never stop dreaming.
- Sammy Dreamin'