When Donny Harper and his wife started Good Co. Apparel six years ago, they had three main goals: to connect with the community, send a positive message that solves a problem in the community and most importantly, promote good company.
“The company you surround yourself with is important to who you become or who you don’t become,” Harper said. “That message isn’t reiterated enough in our community so now every time you’re wearing something from Good Company you’re pushing that message but you’re also wearing yourself because you’re good company.”
And on Saturday, Harper had plenty of company.
FC Cincinnati welcomed a full capacity crowd to TQL Stadium for the first time. In honor of Juneteenth, FCC partnered with two Black-owned businesses to sell team apparel at the East Plaza entrance.
“A major league soccer team partnered with a small, black-owned business. That’s paying homage and saying ‘We want to support you guys’ which is amazing to me,” Harper said. “For them to let us come out here and vend today is amazing.”
Harper's partnership with FC Cincinnati has been in the works for around 10 months.
Khisha Asubuhi, owner of Originalitees, stood beside Harper’s stand. Asubuhi started her company just under 12 years ago and she creates city, state and neighborhood pride apparel.
“Here we are today selling shirts at the stadium,” Asubuhi said. “It’s been pretty good. We’ve sold a lot of shirts online and a lot here so it’s pretty exciting.”
Asubuhi's partnership with FCC began over the past year. When asked what it meant to her to be vending outside TQL on Juneteenth, a smile lit up Asubuhi’s face.
“It means a lot,” Asubuhi said. “It’s Juneteenth and this is a huge platform. They’re at full capacity so it’s a really good opportunity and I’m really excited for this opportunity and being able to put our brand on a different platform.”
MLS announced Thursday its plans to celebrate Juneteenth which were created in a collaboration between the league's clubs, Black Players for Change and an independent organization of Black MLS players, coaches and staff seeking to increase inclusion in soccer.
MLS will include a limited-edition jersey auction, and the playing of the Black National Anthem before matches on the weekend.