History of wilson
If you're not familiar with music festival culture, then look at most pictures and you'll notice some similarities. Large stages, massive crowds and flag poles, or as we call them- totems. These playful symbols aren't just there for giggles while I'll admit, most are hilarious. These devices are the difference between salvation and abandonment. For without a totem, your chances of finding your friends if split up, are overwhelmingly slim. Inside the festival cell phones, due to the enormous amount of people, might as well be tin cans attached by a long piece of string...
Rewind to May 2016 in Tampa Florida. Our friend Adam Wilson was lost amongst 60,000 people roaming the Sunset Music Festival grounds outside Raymond James Stadium. It was in this moment we realized we needed our own totem and, the idea was born. Jump to September 2016, Imagine Festival kicks off at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Wilson totem was unveiled, and the iconic symbol warranted calls of WILSONNN among thousands creating joy and laughter among anyone that saw him floating through the crowd with his silent smirk.
Over the course of that weekend our group of friends began to grow. While we had all come to the festival for the same reasons there was something deeper drawing us together. Wilson represented something we're all looking for that is hidden in between the music and lights. Like Tom Hanks story in Cast Away, Wilson represents an unconditional love & friendship even when you feel like you are alone. We all deserve to be loved for who we are and the greatest commandment of all is to love one another. However, many people are not as blessed to experience this kind of love and acceptance and to be surrounded by a group of friends that embody it. Having realized this, we decided to use the Wilson totem as a symbol to spread that love and acceptance to everyone we meet.
Wilson serves as a reminder for everyone that you are not alone in this life. While the Wilson totem is still used for its original purpose, it now helps raise awareness for anxiety & depression, one music festival at a time.
We are not mental health professionals, if you need professional assistance we are happy to direct you to professionals in your area that can help.
We wanted to do more than just raise awareness, so we partnered with festival retailer Electric Family to give back financially to people affected by anxiety & depression. Electric Family manufactures 5 custom designed products for Where's Wilson? that we sell. All the revenue generated is used to spread our mission and financially assist those who suffer from anxiety & depression. Where's Wilson? has no employees or independent contractors and is completely volunteer based. 83% of our revenue is used for carrying inventory, marketing and administrative costs. The remaining 17% is donated to registered nonprofits in Atlanta that help those suffering from anxiety & depression and educate people about them.
Dear Adam Wilson,
To an adventure that started with a long rainy weekend at TomorrowWorld. Thank you for being the inspiration for our idea and more importantly, an amazing friend.
What We've Achieved TOGETHER
In December '16 we raised over $1,000 allowing us to partner with Electric Family to create our first Where's Wilson? bracelet.
In January '17 we formed the Wilson Totem, LLC.
During our first year we sold $4,731 worth of bracelets.
In December '18 Where's Wilson? was able to donate $800 dollars to the Georgia chapter of N.A.M.I.
Where's Wilson? has now raised awareness for anxiety & depression at 35 music festivals across the U.S.
Partnerships with 17 major music festivals have led to promotional contests that have spread our mission to over 2M people on Facebook alone.
Since their first appearance at EDC Orlando our Snapchat filters have appeared at 14 festivals and been used or viewed by over 1.2M people.
We now offer 5 custom Electric Family products that generate revenue for us to donate to mental illness non profits.
Where's Wilson? is now made up of over 120 beautiful souls!
We now have 4 Where’s Wilson? groups in Atlanta, Columbus, Philadelphia & Phoenix.