Finley's Fighters Helps Raise Money and Awareness For LCA

Posted by Mongo

Usually, I try to keep it light and funny.  Or, I like to be angry.   But even that is the persona of Mongo, not of myself, the author/designer.  It's a character.  A brand.   But, I'm also a friend, a father, and a big softie when it comes to kids.

So, I'm going to get a little serious for a moment.  I need to ask you a favor. I need you to reach back into that memory bank of yours and remember what it was like to be four.  What did you experience?  I mean that from a visual standpoint.   So, let's put on our thinking caps and look back at our lives, picking out some high points, along the way.  Back when life was fresh and new and full of wonder.

I turned four years old in 1979.  

From that point on, I experienced the following in no particular order.

  • Seeing The Star Wars Trilogy (Episodes IV-VI) in the theatre for the first time.  (Technically, Star Wars was released in 1977 but I saw the re-release in 79.)
  • Seeing two of my teams win their respective championship titles.
  • Seeing the beach.
  • Seeing Disney World.
  • Seeing fireworks on the fourth of July.
  • Seeing my own birthday cake with four candles.
  • Seeing Saturday Morning Cartoons, when they were good.
  • Seeing the Christmas Tree with tons of presents underneath it on Christmas Morning.

Now, let's look at what I've seen since I turned four.
  • All the Indiana Jones movies, E.T., Ghostbusters, and Jurassic Park
  • The sights and sounds (good and bad) of the 80s through Miami Vice and MTV.
  • The evolution of video games.
  • The Internet
  • All the things a adolescent sees and some they shouldn't as they approach adulthood. ;)
  • High School and College graduation.
  • My first car.
  • My bride walking down the aisle.
  • My child being born, taking her first steps and writing her own name.
  • My child's first experience with all the things I've already mentioned.

You get the idea, right?  
The point is that we are a very visually influenced culture and a lot of our experiences are shaped and remembered by the images burned into our minds.  But what if we didn't have those images.  What if we never got to see the fireworks or the movies we loved growing up?

That's the reality for a friend of mine when it comes to her daughter, Finley.  Finley has a rare form of Leber's Congenital Amaurosis.  It is caused by the mutation of a gene called RDH12.   She is four years old and losing her sight to this condition.  She has a very great chance of missing out on all the visuals we have take for granted because our own sight is a given.

But instead of wallowing in self pity, my friend Jen and her husband Matt have taken to making a difference in Finley's life as well as those who come after her.  As much as they want to find a cure for their own daughter, they want to raise awareness and moneys towards research to help anyone with LCA.  Finley's Fighters was established to do just that.  Through donations and getting the word out they are making that difference.  They are also offering some pretty neat shirts to help.

Now, I am in the unique position to help because, for one, I am an old friend of Jen's.  I am also a t-shirt designer and have some contacts in that business who are always willing to send up the Tee Bat Signal, as I call it.   So, I'm here, not to sell my own stuff but, to point you in the direction of some great shirts created just for Finley's Fighters.

Along with selling shirts with the Finley's Fighters logo, you can also purchase custom made Braille shirts.  The shirts are handmade with black or silver, lead free Precosia rhinestones for girls, and fabric paint for guys.  You can chose from just about any color shirt and also what you want them to say.  Below is a small sampling of some of their work along with size and price information.

Custom Shirts are priced as follows
Adult shirts (long/short sleeve from Small to XL) are $15
Kids (long/short sleeve from Onesies to 10-12) are $10
PayPal accepted. 

Besides shirts they also sell coffee and travel mugs as well as other products with the Finley’s Fighters logo on them.

Because the shirts are custom made, you are getting a worthwhile product that contributes to a good cause.  Also, you're getting a shirt that can be personalized and not just another "work out" or "painting" shirt.  It tells a story.  It tells Finley's story.  It makes a connection.  It's for a good cause.  Think of the four year old who may never see the things we got to see growing up.

Let's help Work To Knockout Blindness!

If you want to see more about Finley and other ways to help, I suggest checking out Finley's Fighters website

Miss Me?

Posted by Mongo

Probably not, but I understand.  Here’s what’s up.  I had to take an unannounced and extended hiatus from Mongo Blogging.   One part was due to the holidays.   The other, more exhausting part has been moving on to a new job.  After nine and a half years with the same company I took on a new role with added responsibility and risk.    That also meant a longer commute, three times longer.    Luckily, December was a good month for me and I kind of left the shop to run itself.  I appreciate all of the fans and friends who helped make this December better than last year. 

I kind of got my wish in that I gained more exposure from various sources in the Pittsburgh area and across the globe.   Unfortunately, the stars aligned into a perfect storm and not only did I get more exposure, I had to kind of disappear to get my house in order once I left my old job after the New Year.    Being that this not my main source of income I’ve had to push it aside so that I can focus on making sure I have the bandwidth to continue.  I’m still juggling my time and keeping the Mongo Marketing Machine on autopilot.   HootSuite rocks the hizzouse.  Did I spell that right? [throws awkward gang signs]

That doesn’t mean I’m throwing in the towel just yet.   I’ve still been doing some designing and there has been a lot of stuff that has come out in the last month that will show up here to be discussed.  I’d also like to partner with some of my peers for some exciting projects.   I just have to figure out my timing and find a rhythm.   Life, like business, can thrive once you figure out what can become a repeatable process.   Then you can let that run its own course and focus on the future.

Mongo is getting in my head and he wants to speak up more.  Originally, Mongo was the voice of the shirt designs and I got away from it.  But, now that I’m a little older and a little wiser, Mongo may get his chance to go apeshit.  First up, here is a new logo for you all to shoot holes through.

Mongo Angry Mongo Smash shirt
See more Mongo madness here

Now, here is the new logo side by side with the old one.  It’s a little more geeky, with an emoticon motif, but kind of speaks to a monosyllabic style of thinking Mongo has.  

Why the change?   Well, when I first started out, the brand Mongo represented had no voice.  No one knew what Mongo was and I had to build up awareness somehow.  The pop culture stuff kind of filled a niche and then took over.    It’s been awesome to see it all take off,  but there is also a great deal of Mongo type of designs that I originally intended to do.  Now that I have the exposure, Mongo wants to be the center of attention.   So, I kind of had to take a step back and thought, it’s not the image, it’s the message.   And there is plenty of messages coming.   More on that later.   Just take a few moments to let it sink in.     Look out, world.  Mongo is coming with a vengeance.  Embrace the angry.