A big thing I speak to people about is discovering the "why?" of their business. 
It crops up a lot in conversations I have.
But what is the "why" of a business you ask? Very simply it just breaks down why you do what you do and why customers choose to shop with you.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
Simon Sinek

So that begs the question... "Why the fuck do I do this?!"

And that is a great question and one that I have been thinking about for a most of this year. Below is the distilled "Why" and, I guess, the soul of the brand. Its mission statement. Its ethos.

I strive to create opportunities. Opportunities for myself, for my customers and for people who need it the most. I accomplish this through Abandon Ship by always challenging rules, by being transparent and by speaking my mind.

  Now if you read that you may think.. wait, that doesn't have anything to do with art or t-shirts?! 

And you are right. At this point creating art is a catalyst for what really matters to the brand and I. And that is creating opportunities.

Selling t-shirts gave me the opportunity to achieve everything I have, it was my catalyst. And that is why for the last year I have been focused on creating opportunities and positive change for others too. 

This can be seen through the companies Charitable work, raising thousands of pounds for various organisations in 2016. By continually holding a mirror up to the retail industry and denouncing the issues it has created, by championing independent businesses and by offering advice and solutions to our peers. And by openly and honestly discussing numerous topics including my ongoing personal experiences with anxiety and how it affects me, the adverse affects Social Media can have on people and the struggles of running a business. 

 Art is still very much a focus for the brand, especially now that I champion the bulk of the artwork for the first time in our 6 years as a company and have released over 60 designs myself this year. It is a learning curve and a hugely enjoyable aspect of the brand that I love. That will never change. BUT my main focus and that of the brands moving forward will be to create opportunities and help people, even if it is just making their day a little better because they are wearing one of our t-shirts. 

Thank You

Richard Davies
Abandon Ship Apparel 

"...the brand is for the customers, the lifestyle and the designs reflected that. Rather than being about the pound note..." 
"the fact that you are making something you love work for yo inspires me and shows me that one day I might be able to work in a job that's creative and that I love."
"The open and honest nature of Abandon Ship is a huge factor for me, feels like I am buying from real people, not just a business." 
"You aren't a dickhead."
"I know that you put your heart and soul into running ASA, and thats makes a big difference to me personally when it comes to buying pretty much anything."
"The brand is something bigger then a business. It's a movement and it gets people talking about issues that normally get swept under the rug." 
"You genuinely care about your customers, giving them the best quality clothing and service you can." 
"The message you use your brand to communicate, being positive in a world that seems eager to be negative."
"Your posts are touching, entertaining and quite often inspirational."
Sarah Magill 
"Fantastic artwork that feels like it comes from a place of real human experience."
Mark Goddard 
"The personal investment and obvious enjoyment you have." 
Sam Street
"I like that you stand for something and you make talking about anxiety normal."
Alexandra Foxley-Johnson
"The fact you are not a faceless business... that you don't conform." 
Bryoney Cook 
"The human touch and honesty sell, not to mention the humour." 
Ben Junker 
Thank you to all our customers and followers. Your continued support makes this all not only possible but something that I love.