Article by Chuck J Kolodziejski (Co-founder of Pit Bulls are for Lovers)
We rescued our first Pit Bull (Lula Belle) about 7 years ago, and I suppose at the time I was like many other newbies who first adopt a bully breed– excited and proud, yet very confused by the horribly negative stereotypes that come with the territory. Needless to say I quickly adapted as I’m not the type of person who ever gives up on something he loves simply because it’s challenging. It becomes clear almost instantly that being a parent of a pit bull is not like having any other kind of dog. One thing is for certain, I loved her as my own family and I would do anything for her. I dealt with a lot of negativity from people who had never owned a pit bull nor spent much time around them at all. What my peers were hearing and seeing on the News was nothing close to the reality that I experienced as a pit bull dad.
Little did I know at the time 7 years ago that I would later find a way to combine three things that I love: Pit Bulls, Art, and Entrepreneurship.
We started a screen printing shop here in Baltimore in the summer of 2011, picking up a few local bands and talents, then proceeding to make “funny shirts” that were really quite general but we thought people would like them. One day we were setup at a local festival and I seen somebody wearing a hoodie about dog fighting. Suddenly a blinding light was cast on a vague shadow– That’s it! We weren’t printing what we loved… if you’re in this business, you know that making clothing is a labor of love, and if you don’t love what you’re making, then you’re doomed right from the start.
Every night I would come home from work and cuddle Lula Belle like it was the first time I’d seen her in months. A good deal of my free time was dedicated to her. I would show people pictures of her, talk about her constantly, stand up for her in countless arguments about Pit Bulls, and even go so far as to challenge local legislation that attempted to ban them.. I was and am still very passionate about bully breeds, yet there we were without a single pit bull shirt…
So it all had to change…
It dawned on me that I could utilize our screen printing shop to accomplish a variety of goals– self-employment, artistic and creative expression, and most importantly, fighting for a cause that I truly believed in!
We have a big fight on our hands combating the sensationalism of the news media and the already existing hype about Pit Bulls.
These garments are more than just something that can be worn around the house on a Sunday morning. They are more than just a way to pay the mortgage or to fund rescues or events. They are political and social Armour– tools we can use to promote the fight for pit bulls and keep our message in the public eye EVERY DAY.
If you’ve bought a shirt or tank top or hoodie from us, and you wear it in public, you already know how powerful it can be. I’ve met many of pit bull lovers and activists just by wearing these shirts, even to the grocery store or post office. It allows us to have a say in daily life, to answer questions about pit bulls and to inspire others. We’ve received hundreds of compliments and have had many people racing up to us to tell us how much they love their pit bulls…
It lets them know that they are not alone. It lets them know that others are out there fighting too.
Our shirts are politically and socially charged for a reason. We want them to stand out, and we want you to stand out while you’re wearing them. We always appreciate your business, but what’s even more heart-warming for us is that so many people out there are ready to stand up for their pit bulls every.single.day!
Never underestimate the power of social change.
Visit our clothing line @ Pit Bulls are for Lovers