Together Alone: How Instagram Brought Together All Bad Days and Tea Leigh

All Bad Days and Tea Leigh photo by
All Bad Days’ Jess Ackerman and Breyell Payne and Tea Leigh
photo by Ian Whitmore

Much in the same way that peering in somebody’s medicine cabinet is endlessly fascinating, so too is looking at the contents of somebody else’s inbox, right? Maybe! Unless, you know, it’s my inbox, in which case it’s generally not all that interesting, inundated as it is with endless PR emails, most of which have nothing to do with anything I’d really like to write about (a book centered around an astrological reading of 9/11? nooo!!). Sometimes, though—sometimes—an email comes along about a book or a product or an event which has me pause and hover my finger over the delete button, and it’s actually kind of a beautiful thing. Such was the case recently with an email I received from Tea Leigh, an artist, musician, and stick ‘n’ poke goddess, who is involved with an event tomorrow night that promises to be pretty amazing: Together Alone

Together Alone is the Brooklyn launch party for Portland-based company All Bad Days, owned and operated by Jess Ackerman and Breyell Payne. The company makes everything from T-shirts to underwear to accessories, and is involved with several collaborative projects with other artists, all of which highlight All Bad Days’ ethos of being “100 percent driven not by feelings, but productive negativity.” The launch party will not only feature the new summer All Bad Days line, but will also have merch from artists like Leigh, Tuesday Bassen, and Got a Girl Crush, with the added bonus of a raffle with prizes which will include something from all four designers, as well as an opportunity to win a free tattoo session with Tea Leigh. And the launch will be hosted by The Daily Show‘s Jessica Williams, who will be capping off the night’s festivities with a toast to all the ladies involved.

The party itself invokes the same kind of DIY-mentality with which Payne and Ackerman launched their line. Payne told us over coffee the other day that All Bad Days “started organically without any real idea of what we wanted to do… the whole project started as a matching tattoo.”

Ackerman adds: “Yeah, it started as an inside joke between the two of us.”

But that inside joke soon became much more, and the duo launched a full fall line last October, for which they reached out to Instagram-buddy Tea Leigh in the hopes that she would come out to Portland and tattoo party guests. And because social media can accomplish just about anything (no, really!), Leigh agreed, and a friendship and work-partnership was born.

Leigh explains, “Between my brand and their brand there’s been this really natural, symbiotic relationship, and it’s an example of how Instagram really helps small businesses. It’s been amazing to watch our brands grow at the same time.”

But while the friendship and collaborative partnership has spawned some really great things, the trio found themselves sharing something not so great when they were all robbed during a chance meet-up in California not so long ago. They explain that they “weren’t even travevling together—we were just in San Francisco for a night, and we were getting coffee for ten minutes, and we had everything in the car,”

Before they knew it, everything in the car was gone (Payne details: “computers, iPads, all of [Leigh’s] drawings… all of [Ackerman’s] dirty underwear… the most tragic of all!”) and they were at a real loss. But they reached out to friends and acquaintances through GoFundMe and further realized the power of the community they were not only a part of, but which they’d also helped form. It was an experience for which they’ll be forever grateful, and one which they kept in mind once they decided to reach out to sponsors and partners for their New York launch. In essence, the women behind All Bad Days now know that the roots they’ve planted in the their creative community run deep, and that there are always people out there wanting to help each other, if only because one day they might need help themselves. It’s a spirit that has allowed All Bad Days to put together a kick-ass launch party, sure to be full of amazing people, who all share the same DIY collaborative ethos that Payne, Ackerman, and Leigh have too. And it’s one which might belie the whole “productive negativity” aspect of the All Bad Days motto—because there seems to be an awful lot of positivity going on here.

For more info about Together Alone, visit here, but the party goes from 6pm-10pm April 18th at Throne Studios 29 Wythe Avenue


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