In the summer of 2009, brothers Dave and Mike Radparvar decided to quit their jobs in the heat of the recession to go all-in on their passion project — Holstee, a functional and sustainable t-shirt company they had started with their friend Fabian Pfortmüller. Without a business plan or experience in fashion, they reasoned that in the worst-case scenario, it would be the most memorable summer of their lives.
More than anything, Dave, Mike, and Fabian were looking to build a company that would allow them to live their dream. They wanted to create a company that aligned with their personal values and allowed them to have a positive impact on the world around them.
So one of the first things they did was take time to write down why they were starting Holstee. They sat on the steps of Union Square in New York City and, together, they defined what success would look like if they took the financials out of it.
Dave, Mike, and Fabian put that message up as the “About” page on their new website and called it the “Holstee Manifesto.” They couldn’t have imagined how much these words would resonate! Since then, the Holstee Manifesto has been shared millions of times, translated into over 14 languages, and called the next “Just Do It” by The Washington Post -- not something they could have predicted when their top t-shirt customer was their mom :-).
Since writing the Manifesto, the biggest question Holstee has received is what it means to actually live those words. They’ve spent the last eight years trying to answer this question, jumping headfirst into the literature of a life well lived, from classic philosophers like Aristotle, Seneca and Nietzsche to modern thinkers like Martin Seligman, Carol Dweck, Tal Ben-Shahar, and Brené Brown (just to name a few!). They decided to create the Holstee Membership as a way to share what they’ve learned and help others explore what’s most important to them.