Spreading Christmas cheer through merch this year

In Insights by Lucy Ford December 24, 2019
create merch, creator, merch, mississippi golden gurls, story, Success Story 

RowanOak, Remington, and Idgie Ruth aren’t your average golden retrievers! These three golden girls (along with their humans–known to their social media family as Oz and Bean) have brought joy to thousands of people around the globe by sharing uplifting and adorable videos on social media. This Christmas the family was able to create an extra special moment through merch…continue reading to learn how!

How it all began

After being involved in a car accident in 2012 and sustaining life changing health issues, Oz and Bean’s lives were completely turned upside down. They spent a lot of time at home with their dogs–who brought them immense comfort and joy through the difficult times. It was after this that they decided to start their page.

“They are so attuned to our needs and emotions. All they want in this life is to give love and to receive love. Because of the joy they give to us on a daily basis, we decided it was only fair to share that same joy with the rest of the world. And that’s how we became, ‘The Mississippi Golden Gurls’”- Oz

When the couple first decided to share their family on social media, they had no idea how much positive impact the page would cause. They’ve been able to connect with people from all around the world and create lifelong friendships in the process.

“While we thought we were the ones who were going to be blessing others with our page’s content, it’s been our Mississippi Golden Gurls Family who has blessed us the most.” – Oz

The Mississippi Golden Gurls page originally began as an electronic scrapbook of their three dogs. Since 2015, the Mississippi Golden Gurls community has grown to over 500K across Instagram and Facebook. Oz, Bean and the girls’ aim is to bring a smile to everyone who comes across their content online: 

“Our Mississippi Golden Gurls’ Facebook and Instagram pages have never been about achieving a gaudy follower count, garnering “Instagram or Facebook fame,” or chasing whatever it is so many people measure social media success upon. It’s always been about sharing the love we have for our dogs, and the love our dogs have for us. Our priority and our mission is for our Mississippi Golden Gurls Family to always know they have a safe place to come where they will feel loved, accepted, and regardless of what they are going through, we will deliver the joy they need to help them get through the day.” – Oz

Merch that makes a difference

As their community of followers continued to grow, Oz and Bean got countless requests from their fans to create merchandise. After much contemplation and research the couple decided to create their store with Teespring. The main reasons they chose Teespring was due to the ability to donate sales profit to charities near to their heart, as well as offer international shipping for their global fan base. 

In 2015 Oz and Bean devastatingly lost their 5 year old golden retriever, Rush, to Osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Because of this heart-wrenching situation their charity of choice to benefit from merch sales is the Morris Animal Foundation, which benefits canine cancer research. 

A special Christmas surprise

One of the most special friendships the Mississippi Golden Gurls have developed is with a 3rd grade class and their teacher, Mrs. Dina Christman–from an inner city school in Pennsylvania. In October 2019, Oz received an email from Mrs. Christman explaining how her class had fallen in love with the girls, and the highlight of her students’ day was when she’d allow them to watch the Mississippi Golden Gurls’ videos in her classroom.

“When I read how much joy RowanOak, Remington, and Idgie Ruth had been able to bring these children, I was truly overwhelmed with emotion, because this is precisely why we do what we do. This is the reason we share our pets and this intimate part of our lives with the world: to bring joy to those who need it the most.” – Oz

As part of a school assignment, the children had to write a letter to someone who has made their heart happy. Without hesitation, Mrs. Christman said her students excitedly and unanimously chose, “The Mississippi Golden Gurls!”

Receiving these letters was a special moment for Oz and Bean—seeing and reading first-hand how their page has impacted these children’s lives in a positive way.

As the conversations between Oz and Mrs. Christman increased she learned about some of the hardships the students faced. Oz and Bean were both inspired and moved by the students and how despite the life obstacles, they make a conscious effort to choose joy everyday. It was then that Oz and Bean decided to send each child a Mississippi Golden Gurls t-shirt as a Christmas gift. As the children live over 1,000 miles away in Pennsylvania, this idea was the perfect way to give them a real piece of the Mississippi Golden Gurls love. 

Working with Teespring, Oz and Bean were able to get their bulk order of T shirts shipped to the school before Christmas. When the shirts arrived, Oz FaceTimed the class to see their excited responses whilst they opened the box, which she says was overwhelming! The children were overjoyed to receive these gifts from their favorite golden girls. 

“These children have brought us far more joy than I believe we could ever possibly repay. Being able to give back to them this way, is just a small token of our love, support, and appreciation for the impact they’ve had on our lives.” – Oz

“Both the Golden Gurls along with Ms. Oz and Mr. Bean have shown my students unconditional love and kindness. Their laughter, smiles and oohs and ahhs could light up a room when they watch the videos. What seemed to them a simple assignment of writing cards to those they admire was responded to with such selflessness; a human characteristic most of us have witnessed little in our lives. The joy at hearing their names gave them such a sense of purpose and importance. The gleeful screams at actually receiving their shirts was just priceless. The spirit of giving with kindness and love was truly realized this season, an experience they will never forget.” – Mrs. Christman, class teacher.

Mrs Christman and her class wearing their T shirts

We love seeing how products bring creators and fans closer together—and how it can make a difference in the real world. Thank you to the Mississippi Golden Gurls family and to Mrs. Christman’s class for sharing this incredible story.