November 27, 2020

My time is up. I’m leaving Proletariat.

Six years ago my girlfriend Leslie got a scholarship to Boston University in order to pursue a PHD in English. At that moment we decided to take an adventure together, so I sold my two vintage shops, packed up the U-haul and moved to Boston. I spent the first few months here scouting locations and decided to re-open in Harvard Square next to Planet Records. Within the first year of business, I lost $30,000, my truck, and my apartment, and moved into the storage closet of the shop. I worked 360 days straight that year with no days off, except for the 5 to get married to Leslie. We left for our honeymoon having no idea what we were coming back to and that is when the landlord of The Garage came calling. He offered me our current space at less rent than before and we were back in business. The shop has changed tremendously since 2004. First of all, we became a brand. A brand that believes in pointing out the wrongdoings of the world and celebrating the underdog. A brand that puts people over profits by making our t-shirts 100% in America, from the shirt – to the printing – to the labels – to the instore sewing. Secondly, we have built a sizable community in a world that keeps trying to separate & categorize us. The beauty of Proletariat is it is truly diverse – yet within these walls we are all safe and appreciated. We have done our part to keep skateboarding alive in Boston bringing new kids into the scene every year and taking care of the few who were already here. And we were the first store in Boston, and one of the first in the United States, to give graffiti ARTISTS a home where they are understood and celebrated. (R.I.P. Biscuithead) We have made denim, Canoraks, shirts, hats, posters, guitar picks, pins, KingPen Markers, inks, bags, Hoverboards, cd’s, R.U.N. Magazines, etc., but most of all I hope we have made a difference, because unfortunately my time in Boston is up. My wife is finishing up at B.U. this summer and it is time to take off for our next adventure. As for the fate of Proletariat that is completely up to you. I would love to have one of you purchase the store so this project can thrive and continue to support the community that supports it. We can work something out, with the understanding that you keep the same code that I have tried to keep over all these years: People First, Profits Second. Anyways, thank all of you for your continued support, I hope you know none of this would have been possible without your enthusiasm, creativity, and obviously your purchases.

Now, I know some of you might be depressed about this so I am going to throw down a 25% off t-shirt sale on the website to get you fitted for the summer. Offer ends Monday June 14 and items and sizes are limited, just use the coupon code “summer” at check-out. And for all you vintage hounds we got a ton of new tees and westerns in this week as well as a fresh crop of snapbacks. Remember, time is running out to get many of Proletariat’s limited edition tees so if there is one that you have always wanted now is the time and you are getting 25% OFF!

12 thoughts on “My time is up. I’m leaving Proletariat.

  1. I remember when the store first opened. My girlfriend I were totally psyched to see a great vintage place without crazy prices. I bought a lot of stuff there over the course of two years before we moved and I still have and wear most of it today. You were always super friendly and excited to talk about the clothes and whatever else. Im sure you’ll be missed in Boston. I live in Miami now and wish there was a place like Proletariat here. Maybe a southeastern adventure is in your future 😉 I know the city would love to have you. A great store and a great guy!

  2. Craigslist Boston:
    Awesome paint/skate shop in the garage: complete with vintage tees, original prints, and a loyal community of artists to buy all this shit!

    You will be missed Kerry!

  3. Kerry,

    If you recall a while back, we tried to figure out who a particular street artist was whose tag my friend had seen in Indianapolis over and over and randomly on Huntington Ave. You asked around about him, but no one know who he was. My friend moved back to IN and randomly met someone who knew him and he has been identified! I told him about how you gave him a shout out on the site and he says he always comes by your shop when he’s in town and loves it. I’ll let him down gently about this news. I know I’ll miss the shop when it closes. It’s one of only two reasons I can see to visit Harvard Sq.

  4. SAY IT AINT SO!!! I really hope someone buys the shop, otherwise you may see the (already dying and on the low) Boston Graff practically disappear. Proletariat helps keep it alive! Not to mention the fact that they have kick-ass T-Shirts and a sweet skate section too. Only reason I ever set foot in cambridge and ever will.

  5. Thanks y’all. It is definitely a bittersweet move. I’ve grown to love Boston and obviously the people who make it such a great place. Boston is one of the few places in the USA that would even support a place like Proletariat – let alone help it thrive. That’s something in itself to be very proud of and something everyone here needs to protect. You don’t want to end up like Providence or my hometown of Dallas or countless other places in the USA that have become strip-mall laden suburban wastelands with no culture and no diversity and few if any independent businesses.

  6. true… we thank you for all you have done for boston.

    Out of curiosity… have you talked to anyone who is seriously interesting in buying the shop????? I hope so… if I had a bank to back me and wasn’t in college I would! haha

  7. Will you still be selling designs on the website or at a store where you’re moving to? What about this blog?

  8. I’m sure I will be making designs until the day I die. And the blog will go on…in fact I might actually have time to post on it 🙂

  9. I would LOVE to buy the place, and I can’t think of anywhere better to start off my life! A couple of issues thou: 1) I am still in high school, but I take the diploma in the end of January. 2) I have never had real business experience, but I am looking into owning a small business of my own, so taking over would be perfect for me to gain knowledge in this field 3) I have no money being that I am currently unemployed, and 4) taking over would mean giving up the chance to go to college, and no college degree means that the options of employment become limited. beyond these 4 basic issues, I am a bright, creative, and artistic individual who can bring a lot to wherever I go. Anyone who would like to contact me can do so through my e-mail. Best of luck to where you go. Peace, and keep painting the streets. thanks for your support in the Boston art scene.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *