810 Day in Flint aims to highlight positivity in the city
- by Bau House
FLINT, MI — A holiday created to celebrate Flint and other areas will unite the community on Tuesday night with culture, food and fellowship.
James Thigpen Jr., owner of Eight One Zero clothing brand, has always had one goal in mind when he started his business and implemented an unofficial holiday to celebrate the pride of Flint: uplift the city.
810 Day is scheduled to take place from 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 10 at Sol Collaborative, 511 Buckham Alley, in Flint.
Thigpen is collaborating with friends, Lee Grant Allen and Antonio Forte II, co-owners of Sol Collaborative.
The holiday, launched about three years ago with an area code that pays homage to Flint and other communities, was created to celebrate the city, the people in it and the city’s culture.
“We’re culture creators, but we didn’t really have anything, a specific thing or holiday or anything that represents our city, so Sol Collab and I collaborated to uplift the city and I believe it’s been happening over the course of the last three years,” Thigpen said.
810 Day is a free event featuring tacos prepared with fried tortillas, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and tunes from DJ Hype. Other businesses in alley will also participate in the day such as Comma Bookstore and Social Hub.
Thigpen, 35, started his clothing brand back in 2016 to fill a void in the community that stemmed from Flint not being solid in its cultural image, he said.
He referenced how New York City has the iconic NY logo for a lot of different items and he wanted to create an emblematic logo for the city.
Through Thigpen’s business, he was able to implement the well-known “F” logo that became the centerpiece for the clothing items and helped to create something many citizens cling to as a piece of Flint culture.
810 Day is an extension of what the business owner started five years ago.
“That’s the representation of Flint, Thigpen said. “We really try to make sure that everyone knows that 810 includes multiple cities, multiple people, all races, both genders.”
Thigpen said he’s grateful for the collaboration with Allen and Forte because they understand his vision and mission to give back to the city.
The intimate event is estimated to draw 50 to 100 people based on engagement analytics from social media, Forte said.
Sol Collaborative, a new sneaker and streetwear boutique, was eager to collaborate with Eight One Zero because they also wanted to highlight the culture in Flint.
“Our store, that’s what we want to embody, art and fashion, so it was only right for us to come together and celebrate a day which means a lot for all of us because we’re all from Flint,” Allen said.
Thigpen emphasized that the business aspect of Eight One Zero comes second, and the main focus has always been to celebrate Flint.
Most of the positive news spread by the clothing brand can be found on it’s Instagram feed, he said.
“I haven’t asked anybody for anything. I haven’t asked anybody what they can do for me,” Thigpen said. “I just came in and figured out what I can for my city and I think Sol Collab is doing the same thing and that’s the unifying factor that - if you’re from Flint, you’re really family. We look at each other and we know what we love and we know what (we) don’t love and we’re all very unified.”