About the Strong Athletic Queer 5-Panel Embroidered Hat
This 5-panel hat was embroidered with the words "Strong Athletic Queer" in Austin, Texas by Vistago Embroidery, a family owned shop. The lettering is raised and is in white thread. The Strong Athletic logo is on the back of the hat near the adjustable band. The cap is adjustable, with a black faux leather strap.
Nadia Kean, founder of Strong Athletic, started her company as a way to turn every human wearing her brand into a walking billboard. The original design was "Strong Athletic Woman" and it was a simple statement: "Stop calling me a girl, I'm an adult. I'm a woman." Although Nadia found great empowerment in that statement, she had many friends who did not identify as female or any gender at all. Nadia believes that pronouns are important and if a person asks you to use a certain pronoun when speaking to them you need to. Thus, Strong Athletic Queer was born! Nadia likes that the word is not gender specific. Nadia is also part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and is one of the many people who has benefited from the efforts of LGBTQIA+ folx and allies so that she may live openly.
One thing we notice is that our hats are usually about $5-$10 more expensive than other snapback hats on the market. Ever wonder why there is such a price difference? There's a good chance that some of those companies are simply producing more shirts, faster, and so their overhead costs are lower. We can't speak for them and how they set their prices, but we can speak for ourselves. At Strong Athletic, we only use small-scale embroiders and the hats that we embroider on are always made in W.A.R.P. Certified facilities. We also pay all of our contract employees a pay rate that is in line with living wage standards. We also have many of our shirts associated with a non-profit and we donate a portion of profits (sometimes 100% of profits) to causes that hold dear. In the case of this shirt, as mentioned above 50% of profits were donated. We believe that when products are cheap, someone is losing out on income. We don't want those people to be anyone involved in our supply chain or who work for Strong Athletic on a daily basis.
As mentioned above, every single Strong Athletic product is produced by a small scale screen printer or embroidery shop. Our snapback hats are embroidered by a small-scale, local embroidery shop called Vistago Print in Lago Vista Texas. The majority of our shirts are printed by Amanda in Austin, Texas who prints out of the Austin Screen Printer's Coop, a screen printing shop that is member owned and run in East Austin. When our shirts are not printed by Amanda they are printed by other small-scale screen printers such as Second Avenues Ink in Portland, Oregon or Leigh Valley Apparel Creations in Pennsylvania. As mentioned above, the art for this design was created by Cristen Perks in 2013 for Strong Athletic founder Nadia Kean. The Strong Athletic logo was created by Angel Ortega in 2015, until that point our shirts had the Get Smarty Coaching logo on them.
Every Strong Athletic shirt, hat and fanny pack comes wrapped in our signature "You are so Strong" wraps which are held together with a kraft Strong Athletic sticker. Each shirt is then packaged in a biodegradable kraft mailer that we get from a US based company called EcoEnclose. We include a postcard that shares the origin story of Strong Athletic and that is addressed by hand to the person receiving the shirt. Also included in every package is a Strong Athletic logo sticker and one of our "We Believe" stickers. Every time you open a package from Strong Athletic we want it to feel special, especially if you're sending the Strong Athletic shirt as a gift.