Here at Thespian Swag my dad and I have been talking a lot about what we believe and why we do what we do! We wanted to take this opportunity to share with all our fans far and wide what we've come up with!
- We are a family-run business!
This idea has always been a dream for my dad. For as long as I can remember, he has been striving to have the chance to run a business with his family. When we stumbled on Thespian Swag in 2020, we finally had our chance! At the time, the pandemic had taken away jobs away from Alison, my stepsister, and myself. We had both moved back to Atlanta to be near the family, and it was the perfect time for us to get involved with the family business! Alison has moved on, but she always knows there is a place for her if she ever needed it! That applies to all six of Finley's kids and all their significant others. Two years into running the company, we've now had more than half of the kids involved! We even have had our niece and nephew model for us a couple times! In our family, we love with our whole hearts, and we hope you can feel that love!
- We are serious FANS of Broadway!
We haven't had many chances to travel to New York to see shows ON Broadway, but that hasn't stopped us from supporting in our own ways. As a kid, I found Broadway music online and delved into untold and unnumbered worlds. It opened my heart to new ideas and helped introduce me to new friends! If I had a hard day, I knew I could always throw on Next to Normal and feel a bit more seen and heard. During high school, my stage fright kept me from being a part of the Drama program, but that didn't stop me from hanging out with the Theatre Kids all four years! My best friend ran the lighting booth for our junior and senior years, and I learned so much. My dad and stepmom are always the first to buy their tickets when new shows come to Atlanta at the Fox Theatre. If you've read our About Us, you know that my dad did brave the stage at one time in his life but feels much more comfortable supporting from the Box Office these days. We strive to help create a community where all fans of all calibers feel like they can be seen in our store!
- It is important that we support an inclusive community!
To us, this means that we offer all the sizes we have available to us, which is currently XS-5XL in most items. We want theatre fans of all shapes and sizes to feel welcome at our shop, and we promise NEVER to charge differently for different sizes. We have been told by so many of our fans that they can find items in their sizes that aren't even offered on Broadway or tours. We feel passionately about keeping this promise
This also means that we will celebrate important milestones not only in Broadway history, but human history. We want our LBGTQ+ fans to feel seen and celebrated, we want our AAPI fans to be celebrated, we want our Black and African fans to be celebrated, we want our differently abled fans to be celebrated! This is an important piece of the cultural fabric of our society and our community. We want to learn together with you how to make that happen. There is always more to know and understand, and we promise to take constructive comments on how we can do better!
We also aim to be inclusive to all ages! There are so many shows, newer and older, and we try to have something for everyone! When a fan wrote me last year and told me she was missing some of the classic shows from our lineup. I asked what her favorites were and tried to make designs based on that. They ended up being sold to a ton of people! This is something we are dedicated to hearing from you about and really listening!
- Speaking of listening, we LOVE to hear from you!
When a design speaks to you but doesn't quite remind you of that one moment in a show, write to us and see if we can change it! We absolutely adore making custom products for our fans. A young girl saw Wicked for the first time with her mom and loved the part in Popular that Glinda says 'Toss, Toss' and then Elfie screams as she falls off the bed. The little girl laughed so much!! We had a 'Toss, Toss' shirt, but her mom wrote me, asking if I could add a '(Scream)'. I did and the little girl loved her shirt because it reminded her of the live show. We were so happy to be able to lock in a memory for her!
There are a variety of ways that we can help do these customs items. Most of the smaller projects are easy to do, but you can learn more here about larger custom projects and even wholesale options!
- We wouldn't be anywhere without our broader Broadway Community!
When we first took over Thespian Swag, we got connected with Anant at Broadway Boxed Up almost immediately! He led us to connect with Andrea from Coloring Broadway, and she invited us to join Broadway Makers Alliance. Since we joined that amazing group of people, we have been able to be a part of so many amazing experiences and opportunities, including the Broadway Makers Marketplace! My dad and I never thought we would find such a supportive group of like-minded people that we could bounce ideas off of, partner with, and geek out with over All Things Broadway! In the Broadway niche, we do not fight over who gets to make what kind of item or design for which show. We work together and lift each other up every chance we get!
In this larger community, we also have the chance to shine light on our fellow artists in other ways. All of our enamel pins and most of our coloring pages come from Katie Bettini, a fellow Theatre Nerd and artist in LA, who can afford to support herself as a full-time artist! From time to time, we also feature fan designs on a variety of our items. We love any chance to highlight the talents of our fellow Broadway fans!
Due to the awesome power of the internet, we have also had the chance to support a number of teachers! Where would we be without our Drama teachers?! Various conferences and organizations have reached out for years now for us to donate gift baskets or raffle items for door prizes or silent auctions. We are able to help bring smiles to the faces of amazing men and women that are helping to cultivate the next generation of Broadway fans and performers! We love any chance to help in the ways that we can :-)
We hope this helped you understand a little more about who we are and why we do what we do! We would absolutely not be able to do such a fun and exciting job if it wasn't for YOU. We appreciate so much that you help keep our dad's dream alive every day when you get that gift for your daughter or share our page to your school drama club. Every little thing helps us to expand what we offer and do it in a way that feels right to us!