This is one of the first images I created. It’s one of the designs with which I launched Little Hippie in early 2003, a year before I became a Grateful Dead licensee, back when my art was more about my beliefs than it was about music.
The word hippie has a lot of connotations, and, as someone who has been identified for most of her adult life as “Little Hippie,” believe me, I’ve heard all of them, good and bad. These days, like everywhere, there’s no unifying language behind the term. Hippies are as fractured now as any other social group, and there are some days I’m not sure anymore what it means to me. But in the beginning it was simple – hippies were protestors of war; proponents of peace, love and understanding. Where has that gone? I don’t know, but I do know that’s what it meant to me too, at first.
I started my business as a direct result of and response to 9/11. I was twenty three years old living in New York City that fateful day, and like my peers, it shaped who I would become and what I would do with my life. I knew I had to find my own path of peaceful resistance.
I remember marching down Broadway in March 2003 in protest of the Iraq War, with a backpack full of kids t’s and onesies with this peace logo printed on them, one of the first batches of shirts I ever made, selling them like I would later sell t shirts in the parking lots of shows of my favorite bands. 100,000 people attended the protest, and that night I danced for hours in Washington Square Park where a crowd had gathered at the end of the march, feeling a sense of hope that has long since left me.
Today I am full of questions and overwhelmed by fear, in which I know I am not alone. Mostly I find myself wondering, has peace ever stood a chance? I have to believe that it does. That is a hope I cannot give up.