There are many stories out there about supporting each other during these unusual times. The well-wishing phrases like “Stay Strong” and “We’re in This Together” are part of our collective rallying cry. Artem Ionitsa of Logo Unlimited in Woodinville, WA is among those cheering on local business and communities.
About a year before the pandemic hit, Artem moved his business to the cozy, winemaking community of Woodinville, nestled in the hills of western Washington. He said he was welcomed with open arms, so he wanted to support his new hometown during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also needed to find ways to keep his own business operating. Artem decided to get creative and do both by staying positive and by continuing to print quality shirts.
Artem made shirts to support the statewide message of “Washington Strong” but being a small business owner himself, he also understood the importance of being supportive of small local businesses during trying times. He took his message of encouragement and positivity directly to his own community.
“Like everyone else, I was afraid,” Artem said. “I didn’t know what was going on but I knew I wanted to bring something positive to where I lived. I was proud to localize my message of support.”
He ordered lots of Port Authority t-shirts and “Woodinville Strong” was born. Artem designed the logo of the shirts and sold them to local business at cost. Each business made about $10 for each shirt they sold. Artem’s strategy to help also included the creation of individual store websites to order and help distribute the shirts to the participating business — all for free.
Artem wanted the businesses to encourage foot traffic to their storefronts by getting them to give special gifts or offers to customers who came in wearing the shirt. But the giving didn’t stop there. With each shirt sold, he also made donations to several local charities.
After just two weeks, he was selling shirts to the City of Woodinville, the Woodinville Chamber of Commerce, real estate companies, local breweries and several wineries.
“The whole idea was to stay positive and bring customers through the doors of our companies, with no out-of-pocket expense,” Artem said. “It worked. It makes me so proud to know that I did something that made a big difference where I live. I wish I could have done more.”
This project was special to Artem. He knew from the start that he wasn’t going to make a fortune doing this. To him, the campaign was much deeper. He kept his own employees busy during a time when that was not an easy task. He also took care of the people who took such good care of him when he first moved in. For him, that is all that really matters.