Born and bred Port Macquarie local Shaun Gregory and his wife recently relocated to Sydney to expand their dreams and family, and one of those was to develop his own clothing label … he has succeeded in doing so, with the birth of “Yeah The Dads”.
Introduce us to yourself; what’s your connection with Greater Port Macquarie?
I’m Shaun, 29, father of three little legends and founder of Yeah The Dads Clothing Co. I was lucky enough to grow up in the Port Macquarie area, after my family made the move from Sydney to Wauchope, just before I started high school when I was 12. I lived in Wauchope for 15 years, met my beautiful wife and started a family, before we made the decision to move back to Sydney for my work.
It is such an awesome part of the world that I now realise I took for granted at times since moving; getting back to see family, friends and enjoy the coast is something that is always on our priority list.
Since moving, you have embarked on a journey creating your own clothing label; what’s the story behind this?
YTD started out as a bit of fun and slowly morphed into a real thing. The idea really came from enjoying being a dad and wanting to celebrate fatherhood with others. I wanted to create a label that dads could be proud to wear and also one that gave back by supporting a foundation linked with Men’s Health, specifically depression and suicide prevention.
I was lucky enough to be introduced to and link up with The Chad Robinson Legacy Foundation, whom we now support in the bid to fight one of the biggest killers of men and fathers in our society. In the first month of being live, we were able to raise over $550 to support the foundation.
Not only is it a clothing label, you’re also blogging about a number of topics relevant to men …
Yes, I believe it is an awesome opportunity to connect with other dads and also show people there is a face behind the business, rather than just a website you buy a shirt from. I started putting together blogs and vlogs which have been centred around fatherhood, parenting, documenting things that are happening in the business and things we do for fun as a family. It’s been rewarding and interesting so far.
What has the feedback been like? And from whom?
The feedback has been positive and it’s well received so far, with the majority of the feedback depending on what the content is about coming from dads – which has been encouraging! Some of the messages I have received from other dads off the back of them have made my day.
The whole dad blog/vlog scene isn’t as big as what is happening in the mum-verse on social media at the moment but as the label grows, it will be awesome to hopefully be able to create more conversation around men’s health and fatherhood with a wider audience, along with sharing the knowledge I have got from starting a clothing line/small business with anyone who might want to as well.
As a man, do you feel it is important to be able to express yourself and follow your dreams?
I think it is important for anyone to be able to express themselves, especially men, as there is still some stigma around not doing so. I have always been a big believer in doing what makes you happy and chasing dreams that are one size too big; no matter how other people perceive what you are doing.
I think a lot of men in particular might want to try something new, different or express themselves in some way, but don’t due to the fear of being judged. Nothing negative will come out of pursuing your goals, dreams or putting yourself out there if you choose to focus on the positives and doing something that makes you happy. I think as men today we have the ability to make a significant impact on the current stigma that doesn’t enable us to express ourselves by supporting each other and setting the right example for our boys to follow in the future.
In the age we live in we have almost everything at our fingertips; we are spoilt for instant knowledge and have the ability to communicate to wide audiences with speed. If there was a right time to follow a dream, learn something new, express yourself or do something that makes you happy, it’s now.
What have you discovered about yourself through this project?
That I have had to put my values and way of thinking into action! There have been times when I have been nervous about launching the label or publishing a blog or vlog, because of a fear that it wouldn’t be accepted or that I would be judged by people who know me.
I’ve discovered vulnerability, which I didn’t really think I had in my personality, and that as a dad and a man it’s OK to feel that way at times. It’s normal.
Where can our readers purchase a piece of YTD clothing and follow you?
You can find all YTD merch and our first collection over at yeahthedads.com.au and you can follow the label and myself on;
Instagram – @ytd_clothingco
Facebook – Yeah The Dads Clothing Co.