Concrete manifestos: Holstee

Values as an ecosystem

© Holstee

We are passionate about bringing more meaning and inspiration into people’s lives. Over the years, it has become clear to us that living with intention and reflection is an ongoing practice, not a destination.

Holstee’s manifesto created in 2009 © Holstee

Holstee is one of those rare companies who spark your minds, hearts and encourages you to live life mindfully with passion for what you do and believe in. I discovered them years ago and they have stayed a reference as a company that grows and thrives by its vision and manifesto.

Founded in 2009 by three friends, brothers Mike and Dave Radparvar and their friend Fabian Pfortmüller. At first, Holstee was created as a tee-shirt company with sustainability in mind, the founders wanted to create an impact in their lives and beyond. So what did they do?

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.

© Holstee

A startup idea and foundation

Holstee is a company that promotes creative and intuitive motivation for everyone. From their tee-shirts debut to creating a series of products that encourages you to live your life mindfully, their values stated and claimed, remain the guideline. In their offer, you find a membership, cards, and recently-launched an application named Reflection.app.

For Holstee, the manifesto is a foundation for collaboration and entrepreneurship. The founders decided to think over their vision of success but also what it means to be happy and enjoy life. Those conversations they had resulted in this empowering set of phrases enticing each one of us to look at our values and check if we are ready to match them.

They played and orchestrated the manifesto in an inspiring way! From the series of posters to the videos created to promote the manifesto, they showcased People as their main focus: a smart and innovative way to story tell a brand.

Story = tell a brand from your manifesto

I imagine the thrill of the Holstee team when creating their promotional campaign for the manifesto, I remember when I saw it for the first time years ago and even today, it still has that powerful present voice for change and action. It’s pretty rare to master the expression of a manifesto in such a light, welcoming yet engaging way.

They show their city where everything started, they show people, some they know or walked by. They show active people, from all works of lives, gender and places in the world. A simple movable way of filming an active and sustainable lifestyle.

Lifestyle is the word because it’s all about choices and values in our lifestyle. They do not say it’s the best choice, they show how ‘’them’’ as Holstee want to move, connect, interact and grow within cities and the world. Every city in the world can resonate with the message and adapt it to its culture and progression.

© Holstee

The key phrases are integrated with humour and mindfulness in the film, implying that such messages can be a wake-up call anywhere and at any time. Spreading these empowering messages in the city, the manifesto turns into an urban voyage into change made by and for people.

The Manifesto is a setting stone for your project and you can never know which market opportunities may come. You can sense from their content the harmony and balance from the manifesto to their current branding but also their feel as a company and people. They show their process and invite other creatives to respond to the brief: help conscious people along their journey to live more fully and mindfully.

They started in a niche with a manifesto

From that inspirational start, they have been growing into a global ambassador for mindfulness and wellbeing. Keeping close their core beliefs and expanding to tech and more.

It may have started as a niche but the wave of attention, support and viral use of their manifesto definitely show how your project and vision can expand beyond what you imagined. Their audience is defined by the values they share, like-minded people who are in the quest of finding balance and peace in their journey.

© Holstee

An ecosystem-based on values

The manifesto was a catalyst for their business ecosystem. Their use of the manifesto is a real example of the way you can play and communicate with authenticity with your manifesto, for it will define and give the tone to your company.

From their Manifesto based on values, they made a choice of a business that at the time could have been quoted as not scalable enough.
We all have to defend our values in an economy that can challenge them at every step of our journey. It is possible and scalable to run a business that promotes values and encourages its audience to do the same. The products created are a reflection of the vision and values they defend in their manifesto.

So many companies lose track of their core message, with a world full of anxiety, interrogations and uncertainty, Holstee has been growing for more than 10 years, they keep adapting and proposing new mindfulness tools.

A real lesson in their manifesto is how they express it visually, in voice, film but also as branding and storytelling.
From your conversation with yourself, co-founder, or whoever person you want to embark on your entrepreneurial journey, a powerful tool for growth can be created, one that could set your company and idea into an intuitive path.

Can the Manifesto be a mission statement?

© Holstee

As a company, startup, entrepreneur a lot of you may be familiar with the mission statement. Both manifesto and mission statement have the same goal, one is more business-centred and the other benefits from a more visual and incarnated expression.
The manifesto has this more visual and declarative voice that many mission statements could miss. The objective is more than just sentences or keywords. The power of the manifesto is in the ‘’how you express it’’ and how you keep on expressing it.

Manifesto guide © Keva Epale studio

7 prompts: what about your poster?

  1. Write 5 to 11 sentences that align with the values you defend
  2. Professional or personal manifesto, would you create and design both
  3. Log in on Canva, XD, sketch or any design platform and start placing your sentences
  4. Choose a type that is readable and start playing with scale, layout and space. You can add whatever fits (image, paint, gif, video…)
  5. Voila! You have your first draft, now what? You can keep tweaking and why not share for feedback
  6. Happy with your first draft? Print it out and place it in your office for a few hours or days. Remove or add new elements if needed
  7. How does it feel? Do you want an advanced version now?

If you want to test and try that first draft of your manifesto visually expressed, I can only advise you to do so. Keep discovering the theme!

On my website, you can discover more goodies and tips to help you create your manifesto.

👉 Next time, we will explore the importance of being daring and proactive with your manifesto.

I like storytelling and capturing stories. I use graphic design, illustration & co in order to do it! www.kevaepale.com

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