I have to be honest: I absolutely despise shopping, especially the blatant commercialism that floods the holiday season. I hate the onslaught of promotional emails that scream BUY ME BUY ME! It makes me sick to my stomach.
But the truth is, as a small business, I depend on people buying my stuff, so I too have taken part in these email blasts, and yes, I will be coming up with a bunch of special offers to entice you to choose GEARHEAD products when you consider gifts this year. I love coming up with new products, but if you’re not buying them, then I can’t make new stuff, dig? I don’t have the ubiquitous “start up” venture capitalist backing me like so many new businesses these days. Gearhead is run the old-fashioned way—by bootstrapping. You know the phrase “S/he pulled him/herself up by the bootstraps”? Well, that’s what bootstrapping means. As money comes in from fine folks like yourself buying the products I’m selling, that money goes back into manufacturing and paying the bills so I can make new stuff, or restock the stuff that sold out.
But part of that money is put aside for causes I believe in. Call it charity or donations or whatever. I call it moral capitol. I believe deeply in giving back to the community I live in and organizations that support those less fortunate. Over the years, I’ve passionately supported non-profits that I myself have personally used: the food bank when I was experiencing extreme food insecurity during my bankruptcy, or the local women’s shelter who helped me when I was trying to get away from my abusive 1st husband many years ago.
Ever since I was a little kid, I have been animal crazy, and incredibly sensitive to abuse and neglect that many animals experience. Even now, I can’t watch commercials about abused animals; I burst into tears, literally. And since I’ve become a dog-mom three times over (Dooly, Twix and Luci) I’ve become committed to raising awareness and funds for animals in need. In my spare time, I also volunteer as a Master Gardener, teaching the local community about what plants to use to enhance their homes and gardens. That has led to my deep commitment to also supporting organizations that benefit our rivers and oceans, and the animals that depend on them for survival.
So what does any of this have to do with hot rods and rock & roll? Gearhead is all about passion, about being engaged, whether it is freaking out about a band or cars or publishing something.
And any time you buy something from Gearhead, whether it is a CD, a T Shirt, a magazine or even a sticker, 10 % of Gearhead profits are donated each year to a variety of non-profits I am passionate about
Today is Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday). It is a movement to celebrate an international day of charitable giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season, and if ever there was a day to share your good fortunes, today is the day. Many non-profits have match or double programs to help increase the amount of donations coming in. This is the day each year I choose to make my donations on behalf of Gearhead, because that money goes so much farther.
You may have heard about the horrible fires that have laid waste to Butte County and the tiny town of Paradise in Northern CA. While Gearhead HQ was not in harms way, for several weeks, smoke was so thick it was dangerous to go outside. Many of our friends lost their homes and businesses. And now that the fire is contained, animal shelters are overwhelmed trying to reunite pets with their families, as well as provide medical care for animals injured during the fire.
Dooly Twix and Luci’s vet, VCA Elk Grove, is doing a special fundraiser for the animals affected by the Camp Fires of Butte County. Please consider donating directly to them this Giving Tuesday, and make sure to designate your donation "CA WILDFIRES RELIEF" in the instructions area. I will be making a special one-time donation to this fund to help our friends and neighbors get reunited with their lost and injured pets. You can read more about the other non-profits that will be receiving donations from Gearhead right here.
Today, please consider buying something from the Gearhead Store after you read this newsletter. World Wide Free Shipping continues until Friday, Dec. 30, (Just enter code THANKS18 at check out) so not only are you getting a great deal (because trust me, shipping in NOT cheap, especially overseas), but you are helping me follow my heart and support worthy vetted non-profits as part of my mission for running GEARHEAD.
But remember, wherever your passions lie, share your resources today, Giving Tuesday, and help make this world a better place.
Sorry for getting so serious, on you. But thanks for helping Gearhead and me kick off this holiday season on a positive note.
Keeping the rubber on the road,
Michelle Haunold Lorenz
Rock 'n' Roll/Automotive Journalist, Influencer, Editor and Publisher of Gearhead Magazine,