Chalkin' Social® was founded and invented in 2016 by David Schoonmaker, a 47-year old marketing professional who realized he was socializing much less face to face and making less new friends each year. He would sit on flights and immediately put on headphones, take a cab to the airport and pray that the driver wouldnt get into a lengthy discussion, or sit at a bar and stare at his iPhone screen instead of conversing with others sitting just inches away.
David watched a Ted Talk presentation by Robert Waldinger called, 'What Makes a Good Life?”, an ongoing 75-year Harvard study on adult development in which he concludes, "Socializing with friends, family, and the community makes people happier and healthier". After just loving this presentation, David knew it was time for change, so, he created a prototype mesh trucker hat, with a small DIY chalkboard attached to the front, with "HELLO" written on it. He wandered around downtown Manhattan and realized people ‘got it’ right away and would smile and say "Hello!", "Great idea!", or "I miss meeting people!” The results were 100% magical.
Then one evening, David was having some fun texting with a friend where he would send photos of his replies written on the hat chalkboard. She laughed and said this is way more fun and creative than texting and, within minutes, the company name, Chalkin' Social and catch-phrase, Get the world talkin' by chalkin', rolled off David’s tongue and were quickly submitted for trademark protection. Today, the name and catch-phrase have been granted registered ‘®️‘ trademarks.
The catch-phrase is very meaningful since any language throughout the world can be written on a chalkboard, so, everyone can socialize more by Chalkin' Social. The top-of-the-line hats, World Mingler Collection, include a luxurious silk world globe interior that reinforces this important worldwide detail.
While submitting for trademarks, Chalkin' Social, LLC also submitted for design and utility patents which are currently pending and they’re expected to be secured by Q1 2019. This process takes anywhere from 18 - 24 months. Often times business owners wait to secure patents prior to starting production, but due to the abundance of positive feedback, David’s optimism and personal funding helped get 20,000 hats and accessories into production and also started the Chalkin' Social Foundation, which is a non-profit, 501(C)(3) corporation.
The initial production was magically expedited all because of a face-to-face discussion that Amir Elshafy, Headcrack.nyc, requested, after David purchased ten cool hats, with an embroidered buddha, off his website. During their face-to-face meeting, David and Amir realized they had many things in common and became immediate new friends. When David came up with the Chalkin' Social concept, he knew Amir was the guy to call to help expedite the production of the hats, and, ,secure all of the custom accessories that are included in each hat kit. Ten weeks later, Chalkin’ Social hats and all accessories arrived at the warehouse and we were ready for business. Keep in mind, this is all because of that initial face-to-face meeting between David and Amid and the reason why we're proponents of real social interaction and connections, over texting.
Below are two quotes that David always stresses during presentations:
"It's important to always remember the moments, the people, and the conversations that were instrumental in helping to reach each important milestone of your vision.
"The most important events and turning points in life happen face to face. A marriage proposal, an important consultation with your physician, a discussion about your child's performance in school, an interview, and, a business presentation are not accomplished via text messaging."
The 20,000 hats originally produced are still being sold to customers via our website store, used during partnerships with other foundations to add more 'social' fun to their events, donated, whenever special needs fit our criteria, and will soon be available on AMAZON for the ease of adding to your cart and taking advantage of their Prime 2-Day Delivery which 60% of Amazon customers are members.
Over the past two years Chalkin' Social has gained standing applause "proof of concept" in so many areas, which is crucial in launching a consumer product-- especially apparel.
Chalkin' Social focuses more time and resources on education and special needs since these audiences consistently provide the most incredible feedback that is so heartwarming, it's hard to explain. It feels like we're changing lives and wehn you get that feeling, you know these are the right areas to focus on. The rest of the opportunities typically follow organically.
Our fans and customers who wear our hats around the world keep us motivated to Get the world talkin' by chalkin'®!
A radio DJ from CA with an autistic younger brother told David, “A proven and helpful product like yours should not be rushed, because it'll be around forever." That comment was immediately written on the office chalkboard and will never be erased.
Chalkin' Social Foundation, Inc. is currently funded by David and 10% of Chalkin' Social chalkboard hat website sales. Your personal, school, and/or corporate purchases will make a huge difference and help us commit and follow-through on many more special need inquiries for our chalkboard hats.
If your school, family, or business has a budget for unique educational tools, communication tools, or advertising tools, please don't request donated hats, but, instead, find out if you have a budget so that you can purchase hats on our site and 10% will go to the Chalkin' Social Foundation, so that we can provide hats to schools and families on our growing donation waiting list.
For those of you who may require a bulk or large quantity order, for a group event, multiple classrooms, or an entire school, please click Contact and David will personally get back to you to discuss your needs and can also provide a discount if necessary. Since foundation board meetings are held quarterly, this is often the fastest way to start Chalkin' Social.
The photo below was taken back in June 2016, at the time David was testing the first prototype hat. Since that day, Chalkin' Social has come a long way, donating over 7,000 hats, starting a non-profit foundation, securing 4 prestigious and incredible Board Members, gaining positive proof of concept, attending, sponsoring, and presenting Chalkin’ Social to large audiences at healthcare seminars, special needs events, schools, corporations. and, most importantly, making many new wonderful friends--like you.
Thank you for Chalkin' Social® with us!