by Andrea Goulet Ford
The wolves are out at 804RVA in celebration of Wolf Shirt Wednesday.
We’ve all had a blast sporting our lupine pride, but we thought we’d let those of you who couldn’t join us in person in on the fun.
A (Very) Brief History of Wolf Shirt Wednesday
In 2008, Brian Govern, a law student at Rutgers University, noticed an advertisement for the “Three Wolf Moon” shirt while he was shopping for textbooks on Amazon.com and posted a parody review:
Pros: Fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women
Since he posted this original comment, over 2,600 similar reviews have appeared, clearly creating a buzzworthy trend.
The first instance of Wolf Shirt Wednesday we could find comes from Urban Dictionary in 2010:
The one day in the week where mere mortals can wear an alpha garment that symbolizes, you, much like the predator adorned on your chest, are a mysterious lone wolf who knows how to howl at the moon from time to time and are infact born to roam.
Today, the trend continues with proud wolf shirt wearers tweeting and instagramming about their wardrobe choices using the hashtag #wolfshirtwednesday.
Larkin Garbee, 804RVA Chief Imagination Officer, began the tradition in 2012 as a way to get members to know each other. As she explains, “People get to identify with a community and express themselves as individuals. It’s fun. Kind of like Halloween. You know you look silly, but that’s okay because everyone else does too.”
The first 804RVA Wolf Shirt Wednesday took place on September 12th, 2012.
“It was a really memorable event,” says Dan Kanatch, 804RVA member and owner of One Duck Creative. “After work we all went to Hardywood and I knew who was an 804RVA member because of the shirts. It really helped break the ice. In fact, some of the people who I hang out with all the time now were people that I first met on wolf shirt Wednesday.”
Some members even credit their productivity to their wolf shirts. “I never miss a wolf shirt Wednesday,” says Zach Sisisky with Richmond Autism Connection. “It really helps me feel productive and like I’m part of the community. I haven’t been in [the physical space] in weeks, so when I saw there was a wolf shirt Wednesday, I cleared my calendar so I could make it.”
Growing the Wolfpack
As with any trend, a good thing is bound to catch on. This year, 804RVA teamed up with Blanchards Coffee, brewing their special EagleWolf blend for the occasion. And, after work, both organizations agreed to celebrate their wolf shirt wearing by going to nearby Hardywood Brewery.
“Wolves are the 804RVA mascot,” Garbee explained. “It’s a common misconception that self-starters, like wolves, are solitary animals. In fact, they are extremely social, gregarious, and loyal to their pack. I hope other self-starters start wearing wolf shirts as a reminder that even though they’re working on individual projects, there is a vibrant community here to support them.”
Where to Get Your Wolf Shirt
If you’re interested in joining the wolfpack, here are some vendors that you’ll want to check out:
Robophilosopher, LLC told us that he prefers purchasing his shirts from Sevenly because he knows that a portion of the price goes to charity. “Designs are only up for a week,” Lendreth said. “So when you see a wolf shirt on there, you’ll need to decide quickly.”
As for our community, we’ve decided that activities like Wolf Shirt Wednesday are a reflection of why we all enjoy being a member. As M. Scott Ford of Corgibytes, LLC put it, “Wolf shirts are great. But at the end of the day, it’s a way to really get to know someone… and that leads to real business.” Ford attributes more than 75% of his clients to referrals through the 804RVA network and says he can’t wait for the next quirky event that 804RVA dreams up.