Three years ago when The Great Flood of 2016 occurred, Sweet Baton Rouge at the time (SFT, Southern Football T-shirt) company was ready to lock arms in support of all who were in need in our great state down south. We created the now iconic “Cajun Navy” shirt that grew in numbers in support of our local heroes.
All the proceeds from this shirt helped us fundraise close to fifty thousand dollars in 2016 for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, our local food bank. They serve so many and during 2016 they were impacted by the flood in a big way, the night of the t-shirt launch, our designer Sarah Gibbens and I both knew what needed to be done but we had no idea heading into the night launching the Cajun Navy shirt what a difference it was going to make for our community and the re-birth of the Great Baton Rouge Food Bank.
In 2018, the company made the decision to change it’s business name from SFT, Southern Football T-shirt to now as you know it Sweet Baton Rouge®. Our heart is to help our local community whenever we can, therefore our fundraising never ended.
Today Sweet Baton Rouge has raised close to $80,000 in efforts to relieve those who were impacted by The Great Flood since 2016. The “Cajun Navy” tee is an iconic design that still lives to serve not only the community of Sweet Baton Rouge but extending our fundraising for Houston in 2017 and helping the Carolinas and Florida in 2018.
We remember the loss and hurt. We reflect on the efforts and changes we can make to help those around us. Meredith Waguespack, owner of Sweet Baton Rouge shares in this video “To us small local business to be so profound that at the time in 2016, we had donated almost $50,000 and Taylor Swift had just done the same, that our community could help us give back in the most astonishing way like that was unreal to not only Meredith but our team as well!” To see more about the 2016 story, visit the Cajun Navy video created by Bayou Wild helping us share our story! You can also read our interview with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, Giving Back In A Small Business World, thanks to the food bank for spotlighting our community fundraising efforts!
Below, is a chronological story that unfolds on how we, this small local business was able to give back over the last three years in a big way!
Below is how it all started on August 13, 2016. Our owner, Meredith was in Dallas at the Apparel Market when the rain started! Watching things transpire in a matter of hours on her computer via Facebook in Dallas, she was heartbroken for her friends, family, and community and was ready to get home. The leading days were unimaginable for the Capital City and surrounding areas and we can’t even imagine what that heartbreak feels for so many.
All of the profits from our “Cajun Navy” shirt will be donated to the Great Baton Rouge Food Bank from August 2019 in remembrance of The Great Flood of 2016 until the end of September.
We believe that giving back is one of the greatest gifts and we are honored to devote our time to fundraising for something we all have experienced firsthand.
I am overcome with the news of the devastating flooding in Louisiana. Waking up in Dallas this morning to a feed filled with family, friends, vendors, and customers affected by this flood has absolutely broke my heart. Sweet Baton Rouge has gone through so much this summer, but I do know one thing: our community is resilient and will weather this storm -M #sweetbatonrouge #prayforbatonrouge
The post that went viral
Hundreds of men and women have launched their boats into the floodwaters over the past two days searching and rescuing stranded families. The #cajunnavy truly makes me proud to call South Louisiana home. Help where you can #sweetbatonrouge: currently the shelters are in need of basic toiletries, clothing and toys for children. All local fire stations are taking donations as well as numerous area stores 💙 #louisianastrong #flood2016 [📷: Mikee Mayronne]
You asked, we deliver! Introducing ⚜CAJUN NAVY⚜! Hundreds of airboats and flatboats have and are still launching into the floodwaters searching and rescuing stranded families, this group is the self-proclaimed Cajun Navy. All profits from these tees will go to the immediate recovery efforts of the @brfoodbank, who took in over 4ft of flood water. Help us get our local food bank back on its feet so it can continue to #fighthunger in #sweetbatonrouge while also showing our support of the amazing #cajunnavy 💙 [link in profile] #louisianastrong #brstrong #flood2016
As a Baton Rouge based small business, we are in complete awe over the outpouring of support. Thank you to everyone who has shown their support and purchased a fundraising tee! We have raised over $10,000 for flood recovery in less than ONE DAY! 100% of the profits of the Cajun Navy tee will go directly to the @brfoodbank, who took on over 4ft of flood water in the storm. Help us get our local food bank back on its feet so it can continue to #fighthunger in #sweetbatonrouge while also showing our support of the amazing #cajunnavy 💙 #louisianastrong #brstrong #flood2016 #everylittlebithelps
We are absolutely overwhelmed by the love and support Louisiana is receiving after the flood. This past Monday evening we posted a shout out to the Cajun Navy on social media, which quickly and unexpectedly went viral. After numerous request to produce a shirt for fundraising, we put together a tee that not only will help the flood victims, but also show support of the incredible self-less individuals we call the Cajun Navy. ALL profits of this fundraising tee will be donated to the @brfoodbank, who took on over 4ft of flood water in the storm. This donation will be made in honor of the Cajun Navy 2016 recovery crew, our true heroes! #louisianastrong #floodof2016
Shout out to the wonderful team at @monogrammingunltd for helping us get these shirts produced in such a quick turnaround! We are excited to begin shipping the #cajunnavy fundraising tees tomorrow! Thank you for being so patient as we get these shirts produced, the response has been incredible! We will be donate $15 for each shirt sold in honor of the ⚜2016 Cajun Navy Effort ⚜ to the BRAF Louisiana Flood Relief fund, to directly help rebuild the @brfoodbank #SFTlocal #locallove
We were in the office bright and early packing #cajunnavy orders. The first batch is in the Saturday mail, and will be at it again tomorrow and continue to ship every weekday to get your tees to you! For each Cajun Navy tee, SFT will donate $15 in honor of the ⚜2016 Cajun Navy Effort ⚜ to the BRAF Louisiana Flood Relief fund. We are proud to have raised over $30,000 in their honor to directly help rebuild our local flooded @brfoodbank #louisianastrong #AllforLA
Hundreds of Cajun Navy tees shipped today! Major THANK YOU goes to these wonderful ladies for offering to help us today! 💙We’ll be at it again tomorrow and continue to ship every weekday ⚜ #louisianastrong #sweetbatonrouge #cajunnavy
As a small Baton Rouge based business, we are overwhelmed with the support we have received our fundraiser! We’ve sent tees to Alaska, Germany, and all the way to Australia! We are shipping orders out all day, everyday, so please be patient as we process these #cajunnavy orders! For each Cajun Navy tee, SFT will donate $15 in honor of the ⚜2016 Cajun Navy Effort ⚜ to the BRAF Louisiana Flood Relief fund. We are proud to have raised over $30,000 in their honor to directly help rebuild our local flooded @brfoodbank #louisianastrong #AllforLA #unBRoken #sweetbatonrouge
Thank you @vividdreamadventures for the extra hands packing #cajunnavy tees today! For each Cajun Navy tee, SFT will donate $15 in honor of the ⚜2016 Cajun Navy Effort ⚜ to the BRAF Louisiana Flood Relief fund. We are proud to have raised over $30,000 in their honor to directly help rebuild our local flooded @brfoodbank #louisianastrong #AllforLA #unBRoken #sweetbatonrouge
We are overcome with gratitude for the outpour of support the #cajunnavy fundraiser has received. Earlier today, SFT donated $38,235 to directly help our local @brfoodbank recover and restore their flooded warehouse and offices. Special thanks to our friends at #BRAF for coordinating the donation, @vividdreamadventures for documenting this moment and our wonderful Cajun Navy ⚜ #louisianastrong #unBRoken #fighthunger #shopSFT #sweetbatonrouge #letsmakeadifference
This August, $42,504 was fundraised in honor of the Cajun Navy to help our local @brfoodbank recover from flooding. We love seeing the reach these tees have made. Check out @theladylandy, showing her support across the globe in the Netherlands! ⚜We will continue to fundraise on our site through September 15th, donating $15 for each #cajunnavy tee sold. Thank you to everyone who has participated in honoring the Cajun Navy #louisianastrong #shopSFT #letsmakeadifference
One month ago, hundreds of men and women launched their boats into the floodwaters with one mission: to rescue stranded families in the Louisiana flood. As a Baton Rouge based apparel company, it has been truly incredible to see the support of the Cajun Navy spanning across globe. This #cajunnavy tee has raised $44,595 to directly support our local @brfoodbank that was flooded. We are so proud to call Louisiana our home and will continue to fundraise with this design to help our recovering community ⚜💙 #louisianastrong #flood2016 #sweetbatonrouge
This Cajun Navy tees has evolved into something much more than we expected. It has become a unique was to show appreciation for the heroes of the #LouisianaFlood. In the first round of fundraising, SFT donated nearly $45K to the @brfoodbank!
Due to overwhelming request, we are now offering your favorite gameday colors in adult and kids tees! We will continue to fundraise with each and every #cajunnavy tee ⚜ #louisianastrong
We’re so honored to have these local heroes in our #CajunNavy tees! 💙 @225batonrouge recently published a touching story featuring the reunions of the rescuers and evacuees since the flooding. These men and women are truly amazing and make us #LouisianaProud! ⚜ AND thanks to YOU we’ve been able to raise nearly $50K in donations for the @brfoodbank from our Cajun Navy Tshirt sales! That’s #LouisianStrong!
Join @spiketv’s BAR RESCUE for the Grand Reopening of Big Mike’s Sports Bar & Grill in Denham Springs tonight at 9 p.m! 🍻 SFT is thrilled to announce that we outfitted the ENTIRE Bar Rescue Crew with our #CajunNavy tees! 💙💙⚜ Big Mike’s Sports Bar & Grill is inviting ALL to attend!
Raising $50K through the #CajunNavy sales has been a significant part of our year here at SFT. But seeing the community rebuild and come together has made the shirt much more of a symbol of South Louisiana’s strength, resilience, and kinship. ⚜ You can read all about the Cajun Navy tee and the exciting places you’ll see it in 2017 in our latest blog post! 💙
For each #CajunNavy purchase in August, we will donate $10 to the @brfoodbank 💙💙 The #Louisiana flood was almost one year ago — but even a year later, it’s still very much a part of our community’s daily life. Many continue to live in FEMA trailers and put the pieces back together, but we’re all #LouisianaStrong! ⚜
This design will forever be an iconic tee for SFT. 💙 Since the August 2016 flooding, you’ve help us donate more than $50,000 to the @brfoodbank in honor of the #CajunNavy. We’re continuing to donate $10 from each sale the entire month of August — including our original tee, our NEW purple & gold game day tee and kids tees. ⚜💜💛
In celebration of all your volunteer efforts and donations one year ago, we are re-releasing our purple & gold #CajunNavy tee! 💜💛 Remember that for the month of August, $10 of each purchase of any Cajun Navy tee will continue to go to the @brfoodbank — who has made a tremendous recovery since the August 2016 flood thanks to you!
Our heroic #CajunNavy is making its way to Texas to help our neighbors. They were here for us, and now we are here for them. Follow our social media in the upcoming days on how we can all band together to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. #TexasStrong
Twelve years ago, the so-called #CajunNavy rescued thousands stranded after Hurricane Katrina.One year ago, our community was underwater and the Cajun Navy came to our rescue. Now, they’ve arrived in #Houston and are currently performing search and rescue. To honor them and their brave efforts in Texas, ALL proceeds from our Cajun Navy tees will go to the Houston Food Bank starting TODAY. Click the #linkinbio to be directed straight to our Cajun Navy tees. #TexasStrong
Last year, you showed your #CajunNavy support all over the state, country and even all the way from Germany! (📷: @theladylandy) And we’ve already seen another order from Germany and all across the US to support our neighbors in #Texas this week! We’re continuing to donate proceeds from our Cajun Navy tees to the #Houston Food Bank in their time of need. Keep showing us you’re #TexasStrong and keep your thoughts & prayers with our friends who have lost so much the last few days.
Take a look at how AMAZING our community is! You raised over $17,500 for the #Houston Food Bank — all within our first round of #CajunNavy and LA x TX Strong tee sales! 💙💙 We know it comes from the heart of a community who knows all about support, recovery and leaning on your neighbors in a time in need, so THANK YOU! We will continue to donate all proceeds of these two tees through 9/30. // We’re also working around the clock to process and ship your orders, so thank you for being patient with our small team! #TexasStrong
Praying for all our friends and family in #Florida this morning. 🙏 You are not alone! We are all praying for your safety and sending positive vibes your way. 💙💙 #FloridaStrong
A HUGE thank you to our #CajunNavy supporters for helping us donate to the #Houston Food Bank for Hurricane Harvey relief! Swipe through to see some of our amazing customers who are really making a difference! 💙💙
Did you know we offer #CajunNavy tees for kids too? 💙💙 We were able to donate over $17,500 for the #Houston Food Bank — all within our first round of #CajunNavy and LA x TX Strong tee sales! And we’re keepin’ it going through the end of the month!
This tee has done amazing things within the past year thanks to you! Share your #CajunNavy pride with us by tagging us in your photos — and grab tees for the whole family through the end of the month. All proceeds continue to go to the #Houston Food Bank.
We were able to donate over $27,000 to the #Houston Food Bank during our September fundraising. Helen Keller said it best, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much!” Thanks for your kindness and generosity, we all together play a larger part in the recovery of our neighbors in Texas. We will continue to donate $5 for every LA + TX Strong tees sold to the Houston Food Bank.
We are continuing to donate $5 from each purchase of the LA + TX Strong tee and our #CajunNavy tee to the @houstonfoodbank until the end of the month for ongoing Hurricane Harvey support. You can find these tees and more on shopSFT.com 💙
August wasn’t pretty for most of South Texas, but having the opportunity to fundraise with our Cajun Navy tee to help our neighbors was a big SFT moment. We have such an AMAZING community & because of all of you, we were able to raise $24K for the Houston Food Bank.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 2 years since our community experienced a flood like none of us had ever seen. To see our community come together to help one another was not surprising, but truly inspirational. Our fundraising evolved from a social media post to creating the #CajunNavy tee and donating over $50,000 to the @brfoodbank in 2016.
In 2017 we took our efforts to our neighbors in Houston and raised close to $24,000 for @houstonfoodbank in honor of the Cajun Navy 2017.
This year we are giving back locally by restocking the design that will forever be an iconic tee for SFT. From now till the end of August we will donate $10 from each Cajun Navy tee to the @brfoodbank. Join us in sending our gratitude for every southerner with a boat, some grit, and a big heart!
“We go where the weather goes” one Cajun Navy volunteer expressed as they stocked their boats to head to the Carolinas yesterday. With the uncertainty of Hurricane Florence we pray for safe travels for the Cajun Navy as well as anyone in the path of the storm.
A little over two years ago, we created a Cajun Navy tee that went on to raise over $75k in flood relief funds for both Baton Rouge and Houston. This time we’re here to help the Carolinas. For each Cajun Navy shirt sold this month, SFT will donate all proceeds to the @brfoodbank who is currently preparing relief efforts for the Carolinas.
Here at SFT we believe that giving back is one of the greatest gifts and we are honored to devote our time to fundraising for something we all have experienced firsthand. Find the Cajun Navy collection on shopSFT.com
We are in awe over how incredible our community is. In September we committed to donating all proceeds of the Cajun Navy shirts to #hurricaneflorence relief, and with the help of all of you, we were able to donate $2300 to help the carolinas recover through the efforts of our local @brfoodbank.
Here at SFT we believe that giving back is one of the greatest gifts and we are honored to devote our time to fundraising for something we all have experienced firsthand. Find the Cajun Navy collection and the story behind the tee on shopSFT.com
12/27/2018 Making the shift from SFT, Southern Football T-shirts to Sweet Baton Rouge
Over the past 8 years, we have adapted and adjusted the SFT Brand as we’ve grown, conforming it to fit as our Louisiana Lifestyle mission evolved. After lots of team meetings and the success of the @LocalPopUp Shop, we knew the time has come to change our name. Starting today we will OFFICIALLY be known as Sweet Baton Rouge!
We always knew Sweet Baton Rouge is where our hearts have been all along, & leading into 2019 we knew we were ready for the big name change! You will still be able to find all of your favorite tees and accessories from SFT past: now all under the Sweet Baton Rouge Brand!
Cultivating community was one of our BIG goals of 2018 and through the year we saw the signs pointing us to make the shift to merge SFT into Sweet Baton Rouge. We will now be a one stop shop for ALL of your favorite Louisiana and Southern apparel & accessories! We will bring back ALL of your favorite tees while also adding to the mix with exciting new designs focused on celebrating ALL things Louisiana Local – all right here on @SweetBatonRouge!
We look forward to 2019 and all that it will bring to our Sweet Baton Rouge community. Be on the lookout for updates on @localpopup, @sweetbatonrougeinsider, & @lagniappebox as we continue to share Local Love with our community!