Passion for Legacy
● By Claudia Mosby
Carli and David Ray Love Redding
Los Angeles may have Griffith Park and San Francisco Alcatraz, but Carli and David Ray believe Redding, with its natural and historic wonders, is the place to be.
One summer day while driving around their beloved city, the two were inspired by an idea that married their passion for place with its unique features. “I told my husband, ‘We should have I Love Redding shirts available like the I Love New York shirts,’” says Carli.
He agreed, and the two embarked on their loveredding.com adventure, with Carli leading the motivational charge and David providing the website and T-shirt design.
First up: an original logo—a heart encapsulated by the letter R—and designs featuring local landmarks, including the Cascade Theatre. “We started with three shirts in August 2012 and the response has been amazing,” says Carli.
Although they began with her husband’s drawings, within a few months they were contracting with local artists.
In 2012, featured guest artist Tricia Kibler designed a rooster with paisley feathers embedded with the words “Love Redding.” More recently, Morgan Treat’s smart trademark design, “The City of Redding, CA., EST. 1887,” on a unisex hoodie has been flying off the shelves. Each design is available as a single color and style in various sizes.
“We hope to add two to three new designs a year to the collection,” says Carli. “It’s important to get someone who is passionate about their art and the object or landmark they are designing.” Artists earn a portion of the shirt sales for their design, and the Rays like the idea of promoting local talent.
Business proceeds also support a local charity, The Garden of Hope, which according to the Rays, provides about 10,000 pounds of organic produce annually to help neighbors in need. “As our business matures, we’d like to have a Love Redding workday and partner with them for other community events,” adds Carli.
After initial seed money from family members and friends launched the project, loveredding.com has quickly become self-sustaining. “We recovered our costs,” says Carlli, “but we have never looked at it as, ‘We’re going to quit our day jobs.’ This is for our passion and our pleasure.”
T-shirts are available online through the website, at Enjoy The Store and a few local markets and bazaars. Carli expects new designs in time for the Roses & Rust spring show and has plans to design for children.
“Redding is a community so willing to pass on its legacy,” says Carli. “We have our own little community culture here and we are so proud of it.” Sufficiently proud to brand it on one shirt at a time.