This month, the NPR Shop did a collaboration with Philadelphia Print Works. PPW is a Black owned company that seeks to amplify marginalized voices. The collaboration goes live June 15th and includes merchandise that highlights the LGBTQIA+ community for Pride month.
In our conversation with the founder, Maryam Pugh, she said "This was my first time working on a project of this magnitude, NPR was very friendly and flexible. They made sure I was comfortable during the whole process."
Maryam is from Coatesville, Pennsylvania but has lived in Philadelphia for the past 16 years. She started this t-shirt project as a side hustle, just to make shirts for her friends but said she "wanted to get better and better." She also said "I didn't have a goal to build this into anything particular but I wanted to amplify marginalized voices. Now we have a team of 10 people!"
When we asked the NPR Shop why they chose to collaborate with PPW, they said "On the NPR Consumer Products' team we always aim to lead with intentional partnerships and decisions around product development and production. Once we discovered Maryam and the Philadelphia Print Works team, for us a collaboration was a no brainer. The purpose, perspective and approach to product and design the team demonstrates, align with how we approach product but also represent a voice we wanted to use our platform to amplify."
"The inspiration for this collaboration was driven by Maryam and her team. She puts a lot of intention into her work, and she wanted to create a capsule collection, bringing to NPR something that we didn't already have in our assortment. We discussed many possible avenues together and she took time with her team to think it through and came back with an incredible pitch for this amazing "Hey Hey" collection that brought to life our shared vision to represent and amplify LGBTQIA+ voices. This focus also represents her team in a personal way. She used art, slogans, makers and illustrators that highlight the LGBTQIA+ community. We are thrilled that it allowed us to create these products together that are original, personal and that tell an authentic story." Said Jewelán Cleveland, who works for Ecommerce Operations at NPR.
Jewelán also told us why it is important to celebrate Pride. "Being an organization that aims to represent all of America on a daily basis, we knew we had to find a way to do a Pride Collection in as genuine and authentic a way as possible. Pride is a celebration of uniqueness, individuality, representation and so much more, all things that are important to amplify and speak to continuously. Which is why this collaboration and collection will live beyond Pride Month, but are just the beginning of our team continuing the amplify underrepresented groups and voices as through our work"
PPW can be found on IG: @philaprint, Twitter: @philaprint, Pinterest: @philadelphiaprintworks and, Facebook: @philaprint
Photography by: Stephanie DeFeo
Illustration by: Loveis Wise
Check out the merchandise here! This is a limited edition so hurry and put your orders in!