The Background

“Most people that I talk to about I GET DOWN always ask how it started, where it came from, and more importantly what it means. Well, here it is…

When I graduated college from Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ) I moved back to Iowa to work for my father and utilize my Bachelor’s Degree in Construction Management.  Seemed like the safe move.  Seemed like the smart move.  So I spent weekends with my folks and worked in Chariton, Iowa for a construction company at a grocery store distribution center.  Real exciting.  The town was roughly 4,000 people.  The people were very friendly and respectful, very hardworking and passionate about their little town.  But for a 22 year old that recently graduated, it was not what I was looking for.

At this time I was making very amateur electronic mixes with the very computer I type at today.  I learned from my great friend, Gabor, the simple workings of a free software and somehow made it work, along with his help.  So that summer of 2011, I actually played 2 shows at Mojo’s Bar inColumbia, Missouri, where my brother CJ had an “in” with the event manager.  It wasn’t a big deal, maybe 115 people at both shows, but it was just fun for me!  The first show that I played in Columbia, CJ actually made me a shirt at a local shop that said “I GET DOWN” in big black letters on a Hanes basic t-shirt.  That folks, is where it all started. 

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 I still remember the conversation between CJ and I prior to the infamous first t-shirt.  He basically told me that the entire year before that my response to every question was not “yes”, definitely not “no”, but always “I’ll get down”.  Over time we had always talked about having something develop from the classic phrase, but after some time it became clear a potential path for our future.  With that shirt on, it was one of the best nights of my life.  For once I was the one on stage making folks dance and controlling the mix.  It was invigorating.  I can’t thank CJ enough for the opportunity.  That night I GET DOWN was truly born.

As I worked the construction job all summer I became unfulfilled.  I envied a life of ultimate freedom and in all honesty, missed some of the “college life” freedoms I had months prior.  One day I walked into my boss’s office and said “Dad, I gotta quit, man.”  I was extremely grateful for the job and opportunity he gave me, but it was time to move on.  I had planned on teaching English inBarcelona for only a couple of weeks before this.  I applied, got into the program, got lined up for a flat and that was that.  The look on my father’s face was pretty rough, but at that point as a young, dumb kid, what the hell?  You might as well take a shot right?

The following months were some of the best of my entire life.  I met great people, traveled to amazing places, and had some of the greatest experiences I could’ve ever asked for.  I got certified to teach English in Barcelona after a month, which was nice.  After that I found a relatively easy job as a substitute teacher for an Irish lad that broke his ankle and needed surgery.  If you ever have any desire to live abroad, look into teaching English, it’s the key to many doors!  All in all I went to 9 countries in 9 months.  I lived in Barcelona for a little over 4 months, and Phuket, Thailand for over 3.  Over the course of that time I experienced Spain, Amsterdam, Portugal, Morocco, Italy, China,Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.  It was truly wonderful.

Every single country I visited got to experience me as well.  I sported the sameNew Balance 420 shoes, North Face backpack, and I GET DOWN white t-shirt.  It seemed like no matter where I was, no matter the language, I always had people coming up to me and saying “I GET DOWN, too!”  It became something more to me at that point.  Something greater.  Something bigger than me.  It became a movement.  That folks, is where it came from…

After I traveled for almost a year I found myself in Denver, Colorado for a wedding in May of 2012.  I had learned of a Project Engineer position at my old company that had a branch in Denver and was able to score an interview the day before the wedding.  That next Monday I had landed the job and was moving to Denver one week later.  Wow.  

For three years I worked at a high-rise building in downtown Denver doing engineering work for a major building renovation.  When it was challenging, I liked it.  When it got repetitive, I bailed.  I don’t want to dog the corporate world too much because I know a lot of our society works for corporations, but it just wasn’t right for me.  I wasn’t enjoying my days at work.  I wasn’t thriving under the millions of tons of steel and concrete above me.  I was trapped.

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In January of 2014 I made the decision that ultimately started I GET DOWN Clothing & Apparel.  I sat down, cranked out a business plan, talked to a bunch of designers, assembled a team and started brainstorming ideas.  Over a few weeks we were cookin’.  Obviously a lot more went into it, but we’ll leave that for another time.

I GET DOWN has transformed from being a simple phrase to a clothing company, but more importantly it’s transformed into a movement. It is now a movement of like-minded individuals that strive to radiate positivity, inspire creativity, and motivate people to make the world a better place.  The movement is about living your life to the fullest and carrying out your passions.  I GET DOWN is a way to bring energy to every day life and make even the most minor of experiences fun and positive.  Whether it’s skiing, longboarding, and music or reading, knitting, and baking; everyone gets down in different ways, and we should be proud of that!  Each and every one of us is different.  Different likes, dislikes, passions, pursuits, dreams, goals. Those differences are what can make us better as individuals. Learning about different people, ideas, experiences, ambitions, truths, cultures, lies and stories may be the easiest way to explore what one’s individual happiness in life is. The path to get there is the best part.

So I encourage you.  Yes, you!  Start thinking about ways to not only help yourself and your personal journey, but also your friends, family, and their personal journey’s.  You get out what you put in from this world.  The more you are negative, the more negativity you will bring on yourself.  When youradiate positivity, smile, be thankful and helpful, you will see how your life gets better in a hurry.  Put yourself out there to the world.  Do things you’ve never done before or that scare you.  Better yourself not only for yourself, but for the people around you.  Read a book!  Give someone a compliment!  Pick up 1 goddamn piece of trash!  It’s not hard people.  The world needs positive,energetic, fun people to even out all the chaos.  I know you can do it.

I want to thank Aryonna, Bobby, CJ, Courtney, JJ, and Rory for all their hard work, support, love and effort in making I GET DOWN what it is today.  I love all of you and can’t thank you enough.

My passion is to encourage people to do what they love and love who they are.  More than the clothing and apparel you see from us, more than the social media presence, we want you and everyone you know that we have nothing but love and support for you and your journey.  Being true to yourself and what you love to do is a great gift to the world.  If you embrace what the world gives you and strive to make yourself and the world a better place, I assure you that happiness will be present and promising.  I GET DOWN is not about the clothing, hats, stickers (even though those are awesome), it’s about the culture and the movement that has been created to provide love, support, positivity and passion to every aspect of life.  We will always support you and your passion, so don’t ever hesitate to contact us if we can make that happen.

Now ask yourself, reader.  What did you learn from this?  Did you just learn about me?  About I GET DOWN?  Or something about yourself?

Keep being awesome, people.  I hope you’re ready for big things!  Cheers.

Tom.