Howler x Helms Workshop Collection 3.0 : Watering Holes and Giving Back

Posted on March 26, 2020

When Howler founders Chase Heard and Andy Stepanian were dreaming up the concept for Howler way back in 2008, they reached out to Austin creative Christian Helms for assistance creating the brand’s identity and icons. Christian and his designs of everything from music posters to craft beer packaging are well known around Austin and beyond. That original collaboration produced our now iconic monkey logo and primary Howler Electric logo.   

About three years ago, we decided to revisit our creative relationship with Christian and his design squad at Helms Workshop in order to create a capsule collection. The purpose was just to have some fun and reconnect. The result was our runaway hit Old Friends, New Horizons capsule featuring a bad ass coral snake graphic.   The launch party and hat giveaway were events for the ages. We even made our own custom beer for the occasion thanks to our friends at Austin Beerworks. So, we kept it going for a second year in 2019 with our Texas Flora & Fauna collection.  

This year, we decided to keep it rolling once again to pay tribute to our local watering holes with a design featuring a stylized tribute to our favorite establishments to eat, drink, hang with friends and listen to music. It’s our deepest collab with Helms yet with three hats, a T-shirt, boardshorts, a printed H Bar B, a special version of our Inspector Jacket and even a beach towel and handkerchief. We wouldn’t have gone this deep if we didn’t love it.   

Truth told, we didn’t even plan to put this collection out for a few months. All the goods were just sitting comfortably in our warehouse ready to roll as soon as summer hit full swing. But, then along came everyone’s new nemesis, COVID-19.   Like you all, we can’t believe the impact this virus has had and we are constantly wondering what happened to the normalcy we were enjoying just a few weeks ago.  Cancelled. Postponed. Closed. Those are the words of the day.  

These cancellations have wreaked havoc on all of us but the bars, restaurants, musicians, servers and bartenders around the country have taken one of the biggest hits. In Austin, the cancellation of our annual city-defining event, South by Southwest, has compounded the problem. Income and business that is an annual expectation vanished overnight.   

When something like this happens, we try and look outside of ourselves and find a way to give back. We quickly identified the Stand with Austin Fund and the Austin Relief Fund at Southern Smoke as folks who were doing good work benefitting our local community. Our first instinct was to do a simple T-shirt to benefit the cause as we did in the past with our Hurricane Harvey relief effort. But, then the lightbulb went off. We already had the PERFECT thing in the pipeline to use in the relief effort - our Howler x Helms Workshop Watering Holes Collection. Of course, Christian and the crew over at Helms Workshop fully agreed.  

A significant percentage of the proceeds from the sales of the collection will benefit two great causes: the Stand with Austin Fund at the Austin Community Foundation and the Austin Relief Fund at the Southern Smoke Foundation. Please take time to click the links and learn about what they have going on for those in need right now. We sincerely wish we could do something big enough to benefit service industry and creatives throughout the country but, at the end of the day, we thought it was best to focus our efforts at home. We absolutely encourage you all to support your own community in whatever way you can.  

Our best to everyone during these times. Our company ethos is built on community, so we are missing it badly. But, we have faith in what we will learn and how we will all emerge from this. In the meantime, check out this collection. It’s cool and you’ll want some in your closet when your favorite watering hole reopens