Posted by Claire Brandon on

Two years ago I was listening to The Weeks “Brother In The Night” and the line, “I’ll bury my money in the mighty Mississippi mud” kept tripping me up. Of course, it hits at the peak of the song and I could be found yelling it to high heavens long before I realized those words encompassed the range of emotions I had towards the region: pride, fear, defeat.

Whether it’s the trend or the swagger that comes alongside them, I love gold teeth and the idea of the people that wear them. Letting the memories, smells, and textures of the Delta flood back in, I began drawing up sets with a sharpie and daydreaming of what else is most definitely buried in the Mississippi mud.

Daughter of a brand strategist, I fumbled around with what I then thought was bumper sticker material adding words and mocking them up in different varieties. I didn’t quite know what it was, but I liked that it was masculine and that I hadn’t yet seen it.

Cut to today and this artwork is now on the sweatshirt and tote bag I use daily.

The only way I was going to sell anything under the name Delta Vintage was if I had relationships of my own and identified a way to directly instill confidence in the people that live there. That being said, I had just quit my jobs, spent my savings on the road out West, and didn’t know a soul in the region. How was this supposed to come together? Freshly in Nashville, I did as I always do and hit the road. Long drives through Lieper’s Fork lended me the brains behind most of what you currently see and who I am, screen print collection included. Whether you think it’s the Holy Spirit, the stars or Kid Rock, things seem to take care of themselves if we let them.

I met Phil Schank of C2k Ministries, Rori Herbison of Delta Arts Alliance, and Emily Havens of GRAMMY Museum Mississippi in the fall of last year. Somewhere between hope and insanity, I got the guts up to call and ask for their willingness to take a bet on me, my product, and partner with my company site unseen. Each of them did — a compliment of the truest kind.

A unisex sweatshirt and tote fit for any and all were printed, photographed, ordered, and shipped.

I am thrilled to have found the product met with appreciative customers and partners. It’s taken a village to get the screen print line together, be it mentors, my dad’s co-workers, friends, or film developers. You name them, I owe them.

A month in, I am thankful I had the presence of mind to set up that delayed, freezing cold 80’s video camera in my car that I would wreck the following month and give myself a few moments to reflect on how things were falling into place. Thank you to each and every one of you who has purchased one of these items. What a gift you have given us.