"Stay Home" wasn't enough. Nova Scotia's premier really wanted the message of social distancing to land. Now, his proclamation that people should "stay the blazes home" really caught on. It's gotten so big that one company is using the phrase on a t-shirt, and the proceeds are going to a good cause.
East Coast Lifestyle has created two separate shirts with the phrases "Stay Home" and "Stay The Blazes Home" printed on them.
The money made from sales of the shirts is all going to the Make-A-Wish and QE2 foundations.
"We really wanted to have a positive impact on our community in Nova Scotia, and we wanted to give back to an organization impacted by COVID-19," the company's founder and CEO Alex MacLean told Narcity, "Make-A-Wish was at the top of the list."
Cheryl Matthews, Regional Director of the Atlantic Region for Make-A-Wish Canada said the organization is grateful for the donations from the sales.
"ECL is an example of a local organization that wants to do something to benefit the broader community and that speaks to the strength of relationships," Matthews said in an email to Narcity.
"The next few months are going to continue to be difficult for people which is why support for one another is so important," she said.
The shirts emblazoned with the now-iconic words from Premier Stephen McNeil saw a surge in popularity once they were introduced for pre-order, with 500 units sold in the first day.
1500 shirts have been ordered overall, and MacLean predicts that there will be 2000 of the shirts sold by the end of the week when the sale ends.
All proceeds from these shirts will be donated to @QEIIFoundation & @ChildrensWishNS ✨ https://t.co/pUBExlezzB Av… https://t.co/dCzHP6PVOf— EASTCOAST LIFESTYLE (@EASTCOAST LIFESTYLE)1586372214.0
It's not just Nova Scotia that's loving them. He said they are getting orders from across the nation, including in Alberta and Ontario.
"It's going to be our biggest way of giving back in seven years of business."
McNeil will be receiving a shirt, as will NHLer Dion Phaneuf and even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who have all supported the initiative with orders.
MacLean said that he thinks the phrasing Premier McNeil chose to use stands out, especially among young people.
"I think the word blazes resonates with people," he said, it's more serious than just 'stay home.'"
MacLean was very happy that his company chose to add the phrase to their line-up along with the original "stay home" design, as it has proven to be the most popular of the two.
"I think he nailed it exactly how he put it," MacLean said of McNeil's statement, "It is a nice, light, humourous, but serious way to put it."