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Rightside - Education as a Tool to Discover and Develop Your Passions


I was formerly an investment banker. My path to investment banking was definitely less a product of my passions and more a product of America's achievement-obsessed culture, which manifests itself, I think, rather dangerously in many schools today. Too many schools are eliminating, or not adequately funding, subjects where kids can think critically and explore their passions, like art, and replacing them with things like standardized testing. As a result, I think that I, and too many of my peers, were guided down this path where we'd try to score the highest on tests and take the hardest classes rather than actually learn and think critically about things we're interested in. After I watched a TED talk <>;
on this issue, I decided to start Rightside Shirts so kids can see education as something more than arbitrary measures of success, and more for what it is: a tool to discover and develop your passions (Jeffrey - Rightside).



What inspires you?

Kids! The way kids approach the world is incredibly inspiring, I think they're the most creative humans around. Picasso said "every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow," and I think that's 100% true. When we ask kids to describe their art, they'll often delve into the most imaginative stories that unveil connections most people would have never thought of. For example, check out Caroline's <>description of her artwork *The Dashing Giraffe*. Such pure creativity-- uninhibited, free-flowing, un-self-conscious-- is something I admire and think everyone, especially adults, can learn a lot from.

How has your brand made a difference, do you have a fan story?

We've directly empowered over 100 kids who have created goods with us. They get to see their artwork come to life in an innovative, engaging setting, and then see their friends, teachers, and families wear *their* art, which is an empowering experience and one that inspires their sense of creativity. For example, Kai
<>; created some art in which she painted what it would feel like inside of a rainbow, which, first off, is awesome. And after the process of working with us and seeing her artwork on shirts and in this new setting, her parents told us we've helped "boost her confidence immensely," and that she's now creating art non-stop. Another example is Angelo
<>whose mom was both happy and possibly a bit annoyed that Angelo is now
scribbling all over the walls and tables of their house because he's so excited by his creativity. Not only that, but through the sale of their artwork, these kids have raised over $6,000 for their art programs, which has funded everything from art supplies to school plays, from new art classes to student-produced hip-hop mixtapes.


Are there any big events coming up the audience should know about?

This summer, we're launching a new initiative that gives kids a platform to launch and run their own online stores with their artwork on shirts, phone cases, Modify watches(!!!) and more. In addition to donating money to art programs, kids will earn a percentage of the profits from every purchase. We think this is an engaging 21st century alternative to the age-old lemonade stand, and we hope the process of creating art, managing and
marketing their shops, and actually earning money from creative work helps kids fully realize the value in creative pursuits and further inspire their sense of creativity.




                     Check out all of the amazing watches from Rightside here!



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