"1791.com is in business," Glenn Beck announced on his radio show this morning.
Put simply, 1791 is a clothing line with a story to tell, Beck said.
The 1791 theme—the year the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution—has been in Beck’s mind for few years, said L.J. Herman, who runs Mercury Radio Arts merchandise. But only last January did Beck decide to create a clothing line around it, he added.
The main thrusts of the 1791 line are to remember where we came from as Americans—to revisit that “original blueprint” of our Founding Fathers—and to restore values and efforts that have made America great. The 1791 designs “will be a constant reminder to those that wear it that we are a people of merit,” Beck said, and that maintaining those rights we’ve cherished since 1791 don’t stick around without “great responsibility.”
All net proceeds from 1791 clothing line will fund Beck’s Mercury One nonprofit philanthropic organization, which looks to restore America “one town” at a time. The relationship between the 1791 clothing line and Mercury One in many ways mirrors the Newman’s Own philanthropic arm, Beck has often said over the course of 2011.
And as the Mercury One will “help neighbors help neighbors” in the American family, Beck declared, the 1791 clothing line will fund it by employing the same philosophical approach—by depending on the craftsmanship and artistry of Americans (i.e., jobs for Americans in America), using high-grade materials made in the U.S., at a price people can afford—yet with the quality that Beck demands.
It was “almost impossible” to find that combination, Herman said, adding that he’d been searching and trying all sorts of options since last January with no success. It was a “constant pursuit,” Herman continued, to find American companies with the “institutional knowledge” to create clothing of high quality—the way clothing used to be made in the 1950s and 60s. Clothing that was crafted to last. ("We don't do it anymore," Beck said this morning.)
Until American Mojo came along.
Herman said that American Mojo was the “one company” that met all the prerequisites Beck wanted in the clothing line—including that it employs "people who want to work, not take a handout, and have a story."
In this case, single mothers.
Indeed, American Mojo does it all, creating “sustainable employment opportunities in the apparel manufacturing sector” for single mothers and is “utilizing proceeds from your purchase of a MoJo product to provide better than minimum wage salaries, a chance at a new career path, and more importantly, freedom from the prohibitive daycare costs that keep so many mothers from re-entering the work force and being able to support themselves and the families that need them," its website says.
American Mojo has created a few initial products for 1791, Herman said, including the “Merit” and “Death to Tyranny” fleeces.
And one of the major design elements—the purple "merit badge"—tells a unique story, too, Beck explained. What we know as the Purple Heart began with Gen. George Washington, who awarded them during the Revolutionary War to "ragtag American soldiers," Beck said, based on their "virtue or merit. Men who would do the right thing and go the extra mile."
"I hope you will be proud to wear your heart on your sleeve," Beck said to his listeners this morning.
Beck said he recently met with American Mojo to discuss mutual goals and values and found much in common.
“We finally found a small group of entrepreneurs that wanted to fill this void of American product while putting Americans to work that want to work," Beck said this morning. "Single moms that want to make something of themselves and teach their children that earning an honest dollar for an honest days work makes one a person honor and Merit. We don’t know their politics nor do we care. We do however know their spirit and intent: To work together to restore our nation by reclaiming quality and honest and honorable capitalism.”
Mercury One looks to operate on local levels, Beck said, and not rely on tax dollars or donations—and the 1791 clothing line is the first thrust of Mercury One’s mission of giving while completely sustaining itself through good ol’ American ingenuity and hard work.
“Now it is America that finds itself in need,” Beck said, explaining the mission of Mercury One. “And there are no rescue ships crossing the seas, no countries offering to erase our debt or feed the hungry, give shelter to our homeless, or rebuild our towns and cities destroyed by catastrophe. We—you and me—must save America by saving ourselves. And we will.”
Beck acknowledged this morning the enthusiasm of the people of Mount Airy, N.C., who've been wanting to him to set up shop in town and be a part of creating the 1791 line. While Mojo will be making the fleeces, the full long-term production strategy is still evolving, Beck said.