WHAT WE DO
We are a cause-centric community that designs and makes t-shirts, notebooks, and totes all produced in the USA. prinkshop identifies issues that need to be addressed; the bold, text-based graphic products feature issues ranging from sex trafficking to education, homelessness, and marriage equality. prinkshop finds trailblazing organizations working in each of the issues, partners with them, and donates 30% of profits to their causes.
We create clothes and accessories that people want to wear and carry, that give them a voice and help them to create change in the world around them. It’s about humanity, art and graphic design. It’s about creating jobs in the USA. It’s about being a company that benefits society. And, of course, it’s about fun.
Here’s how it works — We make it. You buy it. We give to the causes. You become a voice for them.
prinkshop loves silkscreening because it changes things.
Activism requires visual storytelling. Screen printing is suited for that storytelling because it is fast-paced and flexible. Artists can create a graphic for a poster, produce the screen with that graphic, and screen hundreds of posters all in one day.
During the Great Depression, part of Roosevelt’s New Deal was the Federal Arts Project, a division of The Works Progress Administration in which public funding went to the arts. Unemployed artists were now employed and screenprinting became the democratic art form.
In 1968 in Paris, students took over the École des Beaux Arts facilities and turned them into the Atelier Populaire where hundreds of political graphics were screened for distribution around the city. They worked at a furious pace: the events of one day were the subject matter of posters plastered throughout the city the next. Screen printing allowed the Atelier Populaire to create the posters they believed were "weapons in the service of the struggle… an inseparable part of it. Their rightful place is in the centres of conflict, that is to say, in the streets and on the walls of the factories."
While students and their teachers banded together to screen print, something similar was happening in the USA: students across the country from Harvard to Berkeley employed the technique for protests. The Studios at Berkeley were especially prolific: more than 400 graphics emerged on issues ranging from the Vietnam War to health care to gay liberation and police brutality. Sister Corita Kent helped establish silkscreening as a fine art medium and her peace-loving graphics were celebrated by activists of the 60s and 70s. In 1985 Sister Corita Kent created the iconic "Love" stamp for the US Postal Service.
All this inspires prinkshop: the WPA, Atelier Populaire and artists like Sister Corita Kent embody passion, spirit, hope, and a will for change. prinkshop aspires to join that tradition of change.
about prinkshop's founder
Pamela Bell founded prinkshop to prove a model she calls “creative capitalism.” prinkshop creates advocacy graphics for our most pressing social issues and then translates them into products that allow customers to wear what they care about. prinkshop produces in the USA and aims to create jobs at the same time as it spreads awareness and a passion for change. In the creative capitalism model a business can be at once profitable and socially beneficial.
Prior to prinkshop Pamela was a founding partner of the global, iconic brands Kate Spade and Jack Spade. Her role there included production management, retail store development, ecommerce, merchandising, global licensing and product development. She and her partners sold the company to Neiman Marcus in 2006. The partners honored their midwestern values in developing Kate Spade beginning in 1993; they created thousands of jobs and were known in the industry as the company whose growth was least leveraged: Kate Spade did not run on credit and did not borrow to grow. the partners financed the business for 15 years on savings and earnings alone.
Pamela currently sits on the board of Project Renewal, a 50 million dollar homeless agency in New York City. There, Pamela co-founded the Bowery Arts Project. The Project's volunteers teach art classes to homeless addicts at the non-medical detox unit at Project Renewal’s East 3rd street location. Pamela also sits on the Board of The American Theatre Wing, is a Tony voter, and is a new member of the 3Generations board, a non-profit dedicated to helping survivors tell their stories to the world using film.