April 26, 2013 - When word spread of the tragedy impacting the community of West, it didn't take long for the owners and employees of Dripping Springs-based ATX Mafia apparel company to mobilize their resources to help raise critical funds for their fellow Texans in need. ATX Mafia, which operates by the mantra of "part apparel company, part movement, all fun," is known for its signature clothing and accessories that celebrate young women who love who they are and are proud of where they come from. Within 24 hours of the plant explosion news, owner Jill Beerman assembled her team, designed an inspirational T-shirt and began printing the first batch of T-shirts for sale with 100 percent of net profits going to the West, Texas Victim's Fund, care of State National Bank's West, Texas branch.
The response ATX Mafia has received to its "Small town, big hearts, Texas strong – West, we've got your back" T-shirt has been staggering. After only five days, the company had raised $35,000, and the company will not stop until it reaches the $50,000 mark. Orders have been received from retail outlets and individuals in Canada, Germany, Japan, UK and 49 U.S. states.
"We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of not only Central Texans who are familiar with our company and designs, but also of families across the state and U.S. who are eager to help the families in West return to their homes as soon as possible," said Beerman. "Whether you are from a small town or big city in Texas, you can understand the impact an incident such as this has on such a close-knit community. We are all Texans at heart, and helping people is what we do best."
Beerman, who also owns the Oh Yeah! boutique in Lakeway, Texas, started ATX Mafia after two decades with Austin advertising agency, GSD&M. Her goal was to design western inspired casual clothing that reflected a southern soul - honest, good hearted and sincere. ATX Mafia has supported a number of charitable causes including the Texas Volunteer Firefighters Relief Fund following the Bastrop wildfire, the Open Arms organization, the Miss Austin Rodeo Scholarship Pageant, Maverick's Mafia (Austin Arthritis Walk Hero) and numerous others.
Those interested in supporting the victims of the West tragedy may purchase the ATX Mafia relief T-shirt for $20 at www.atxmafia.com.