Holstee’s Manifesto for Change

A design company’s mission statement goes viral.

Photograph by Michael Radparvar

Do what you love. Do it often. Repeat. It’s not something you’d expect to hear from a for-profit company in its start-up days. But you also wouldn’t expect a company to go viral before its shelves were fully stocked.

That’s what happened to Mike and Dave Radparvar, who, along with co-founder Fabian Pfortmüller, created their sustainable design company, Holstee. Founded on a name that portmanteaus two aspects of their first product—a t-shirt with a pocket holster—Holstee didn’t become an overnight sensation. The 2008 recession prompted the brothers to become entrepreneurs. They quit their jobs and brainstormed their manifesto: How do we live our lives, and what’s most important?

Ever since The Washington Post dubbed Holstee “the new Just Do It” in 2011, companies have been asking Holstee to help them craft their own manifestos, in the hopes of similar viral charm.

Here’s Mike talking to Mindful’s associate editor, Carsten Knox, about why he thinks the Holstee manifesto took off:

If you’re looking for a manifesto to go viral, we don’t have a recipe for that. If there are any rules, don’t have any expectations. Write it only for yourself. Maybe that’s why it happened. It was 2009,…