Happy 2020, everyone! It’s truly a time of rediscovery and starting over: creating a better, more forward thinking SoFonda Tees.
One of the philosophies we’ve embraced at this point in the journey is a tough one. We love creating tees and selling fashion, but we also must acknowledge that the fashion industry creates an immense amount of waste and pollution. Globally, clothing has become largely a disposable product, discarded not because it’s worn out, but because it’s become tiresome. Manufacturing clothing traditionally wastes enormous amounts of precious water and natural resources, and countless tons of discarded textiles are literally clogging the waste stream. So first, we reaffirm our commitment to only bring you exclusive designs that aren’t replicated elsewhere ad nauseum. “I’m with Stupid” shirts can be found at lots of other stores; we specialize in only SoFonda Sass and Style that makes a more distinct statement.
Free Mom Hugs, Inc. has decided to take all their merchandising in house moving forward into 2020, so SoFonda Tees has been benched now, but it has been our honor to provide the shirts you wore this year on their behalf, and because we owners of SoFonda Tees are gay men, on our behalf. We’ve met and chatted with so many wonderful new friends, such lovely moms, we felt loved by every one of you. You can’t imagine how it feels as adults who grew up being told we were aberrations, sinful, going to hell, to have kind people shout out on our Facebook page, “We love you guys!” Your efforts make it a much easier transition to wholeness for every younger person out there. As long as there are bigots preaching hate, you are needed to cast a net of love.
It has been such a privilege and joy to be a part of the Free Mom Hugs movement in 2019. What a year! We thank every one of you who supported and participated in the effort to embrace the LGBTQ+ community at festivals and events. We thank every one of you who bought a shirt and made a contribution to Free Mom Hugs, Inc, and wore it in pride and advocacy, and loved the stuffing out of the rainbow children who need someone to affirm that they are just as they should be. You all do great work! And you are all, in some estimations, part of the most important movement to affect attitudes toward the LGBTQ+ community in the last 30 years.
If you were able to take advantage of our low cost Essentials shirts, if you loved our quality, if we did a good job with customer service, PLEASE take a moment to show us love on our Facebook page reviews or post us a testimonial to let others know we’re good guys to do business with. With Free Mom Hugs shirts in other hands now, we’ll be ramping up our custom designs, so keep an eye on us! And let your kids and friends know SoFonda Tees is a happening shop for LGBTQ+ and ally shirts and accessories. Whole new store design coming soon!
If you’re in Southern California, join us in the local Free Mom Hugs group in the Morongo Basin high desert. We love you!
Khrysso and I share a certain outlook on life: we believe in being kind, we believe in casting our net as widely as possible to help those in need, we believe in activism to change the world. We do the best we can.
When we began SoFonda Tees earlier this year, the development of the site kind of poked along as we investigated our options, like two old guys without a deadline. Go figure! Other matters had our attention, like volunteering to be local leaders in southern California for the explosively expanding Free Mom Hugs. As we spoke with Continue reading Feels so good!
Khrysso and I are as used to it as everyone else: we order from monster Amazon, we have Prime, it can be delivered tomorrow! We find it on walmart.com, they have warehouses bigger than Kansas, we can get it in 2 days! We bid on eBay: the seller is off-loading something he’s trying to get rid of, of course he can send it fast (for a hefty shipping cost)!
SoFonda Tees doesn’t work in any of the above scenarios. We’re not off-loading generic tee shirts at 5 for $9, we don’t have massive warehouses of ready-made stock waiting to fly off the shelves. Shipping is paid to the company that delivers the product; not a dime to us.
SoFonda Tees is a small company that sells highly rated shirts with exclusive designs from the Artists LeFey, and shirts on behalf of our dear friends, Free Mom Hugs. Every shirt is a custom Continue reading Why SoFonda never do rush.
We are so happy to be working on becoming THE provider for the official shirts for the not-for-profit organization, Free Mom Hugs. The growth of the movement is phenomenal, and I say there is no power like the love of a Mama Bear who has had enough, to change the world for LGBTQ+ people everywhere. As someone who belongs to that community, every order for a shirt that is going to be worn to a Pride Parade or other event by a Mom, Dad, Aunt, Nana, or Friend is a joy to me.
I’ve always believed volunteers can’t be thanked enough, and that’s why we make a basic white or grey Free Mom Hugs shirt available nearly at cost, to show our appreciation to all of you. Free Mom Hugs shirts are also a fundraiser for the organization, so we have a variety of colors and styles, with new products coming too. The majority of revenue after costs for each of those purchases goes directly to Free Mom Hugs, and I’m happy to say, you all love the colored shirts!
My somber note here: it’s been a mad flurry to fill orders for the Free Mom Huggers who are going to be hugging at events across the country during this June month of Pride. Some of those orders are asking for miracles and it truly makes me sad that we’re not going to make their deadlines. But as a wise woman reminded me today: “A lack of planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on mine.” As much as I’d like to fill an order and ship it cross country in 3 days, I can’t. Even though Wonder Woman and I have never been seen in the same room together. So we do ask for understanding and we’ll make it happen whenever we possibly can.
In the meantime, Khrysso and I were organizers for a Free Mom Hugs group here in the Mojave Desert in Southern California. It was just a weekend of love, and our huggers were spreading it everywhere. We’re so grateful for the time they gave, to the organizers, and to all straight folks with their families who helped celebrate our diverse pride. It was wonderful!
SoFonda Tees! is absolutely delighted to be a partner with Free Mom Hugs™, supplying low-cost shirts to the volunteers who provide affirming hugs, education, and loving support to the disenfranchised and outcast members of the LGBTQ+ community who have been hurt by the church. Let me tell you how this came about.
A number of years ago in the depth of my despair at trying to live an inauthentic life, I read the biography of Randy Roberts Potts, the gay grandson of evangelist Oral Roberts. He had faced the expectations of his über religious family and come to this conclusion: “I had been suicidal for years, and I eventually realized that my children needed a father who wanted to live, who looked forward to tomorrow, and the only way I could be that man was to… come out.” Those words resonated in me. I was tired of trying not to be a disappointment, a failure at being someone I wasn’t. My daughters deserved a papa who was happy to be alive. And so I started the process of coming out myself. But every step was fraught with guilt over the pain I was causing the person I loved most, and fear over those I would lose.
I went to the Gay Christian Network national conference in 2015, and after the big concert on Friday night, I was sitting alone in a corner of the center’s lobby, trying to come to terms with what I needed to do for my own survival as opposed to how much I desperately wanted to please others and keep their approval. It was about 11:30 at night, the lobby empty except for a few stragglers. This woman who
reminded me every bit of Annie Lennox walked by and smiled, then paused. “Are you ok?” she asked. I mumbled something about being fine and gathering my thoughts, and she went on her way.
About 20 minutes later she came back by. She paused by the sofa where I sat and asked if she could sit with me a minute. And then Sara Cunningham shared some of her story, and then generously listened to me pour out my heart for the next 2 hours or so.
Sara had a wonderfully different perspective. She was a straight Christian mom who had come to a parting of the ways with the evangelical church that persecuted her gay son. She had reconciled her faith with her mama bear instincts to fiercely love and protect her gay son every bit as much as her straight son. She had come to believe every person deserved love for their authentic self. And she gave Mom hugs to those who needed them. She was the first straight Christian I spoke to candidly about my circumstances, my fears, and my needs, and she gave me insight and her blessing. And yes, a hug. Sara changed my life that night.
So fast forward 4 years. Free Mom Hugs has exploded into a nationwide organization that delivers Mom, Dad, Nana, and Friend hugs at Pride and other events where LGBTQ+ individuals gather. Any person who needs the affirmation that their own parent or church refuses will get it from one of Sara’s team.
So my huzzband, Khrysso, and I were starting an apparel and accessories store online to feature our art and creativity at about the same time that Free Mom Hugs was looking for team leaders for events in southern California. Khrysso and I volunteered to be team leaders in the Morongo Basin and Coachella Valley. And it so happened that Free Mom Hugs was looking for a new tee vendor to supply their volunteers. We were absolutely delighted The Artists LeFey LLC was able to offer shirts at nearly cost for a mission so dear to our hearts.
I don’t believe things like this happen by accident. Love allows us to meet up with others who spread light and warmth, and lend our efforts to theirs. So we help the volunteers to be easily identified at events: if you see the shirt, a hug and an ear are coming your way. And the love comes through the heart of every hugger all the way from Sara. Learn more about Free Mom Hugs™ and join Sara team.
Welcome, welcome, welcome to the online saga of the SoFonda Affair. We’re so glad you joined us here!
SoFonda Tees! is the apparel and accessories shop that offers visual cheer bits, available in forms to decorate you and your surroundings, and be really artfully useful. SoFonda showcases the twisted humor and funny pictures of Grey Forge LeFey, and the dynamic colorful designs of Khrysso Heart LeFey, collectively the Artists LeFey!
Our goal is to lighten and brighten your space with fun and flair. We are always researching to find quality materials to bring you great products, and we strive to keep our prices competitive. Our original designs are exclusively SoFonda’s! We’re also happy to partner with wonderful friends and organizations that are working to bring the world healing, safety, and peace, so please give them support and share their message.
Thank you for joining us. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter so we can dish up special offers and happy deals, but we never serve spam. Shout it with us now: “SoFonda!”