By Hayley Crandall
After noticing people proudly wearing the bright red “Make America Great Again” baseball hats, Guy Fiorita realized they were so much more than just hats – they symbolized a team.
“It just made me realize that he [Donald Trump] put it on to like send out a signal, ‘This is our team, I’m on this team,’” Fiorita said. “And I thought the other side needs that. We need some kind of symbol that unites us and something to show we’re just as American as anybody else.”
And then, as Fiorita puts it, it just hit him: True Blue American. Blue baseball hats, just as prideful and unifying as the other sides, that was going to be his contribution.
“It’s blue, it’s the Democratic color and I thought it was a nice thing to rally around,” Fiorita said. “If I could make some money and donate some money to help get out the vote campaigns, great. I just wanted to do my little part.”
And so, with the creation of solid blue baseball hats embroidered with True Blue American, a brand was born.
The message has resonated with people, Fiorita said. They’ve sold to 40 states including the District of Columbia, and according to Fiorita, battleground states have been some of the best sellers.
“I don’t know if there’s something behind that or not, but it sells really well in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin,” Fiorita said. “Those seem to be really interesting tidbits.”
True Blue American has even expanded to produce t-shirts and face masks. Masks are just behind the hats in interest, Fiorita said. He doesn’t have plans to expand the brand further. Fiorita said that 10% of profits are being donated to various voting campaigns.
Fiorita is very proud of the reach the symbol has achieved and enjoys the thought that people across the country are using the message.
“I’m proud it’s sold as well as it has,” Fiorita said. “It’s kind of nice to think there’s someone in some small town in the middle of Idaho wearing my hat, using this as their symbol.”
Some unexpected challenges have presented themselves along the way, specifically on social media, Fiorita said. While promoting True Blue American, he has had to deal with angry and personal comments, and it’s been tough.
“Of course, not everybody is going to agree with this but the nastiness I’m receiving from some people is just mindboggling,” Fiorita said.
Fortunately, everything else about the business has been pretty straightforward, Fiorita said.
He believes the hat has given people a voice and is glad it can garner money towards good causes. Seeing others out there wearing it, feels great, Fiorita said.
“I saw somebody in Riverwest. I was driving and saw somebody wearing it. It’s a great feeling. I honked at him and gave him a thumbs up. I’m sure he didn’t know why but it’s very nice to see,” Fiorita said.
But when it comes to the presidential election, Fiorita isn’t totally sure if these hats have played any role.
“I think for some people it gave them a little bit of pride and a little bit of a voice, but I don’t think I’ve swayed anybody,” Fiorita said. “I’d like to think I did, but I don’t think so.”
Ultimately, Fiorita hopes to show that the left is just as unified as the right and possesses the capability to rally.
“We’re just as American. We don’t agree with them but that doesn’t mean we’re not patriotic,” Fiorita said. “We’re a team, we’re together, we’re united. We’re trying to put forward American values we believe in.”
The blue hats, along with the and entire True Blue American line, can be purchased online at www.trueblueamericans.com.