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TAYLOR SWIFT WEEK: How it went!!!

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

Oh my goodness, what a WEEK!!!


In the off-chance you haven't heard about the absolute mania we've been in for the past month preparing to see Taylor Swift's world-class Eras Tour, let me catch you up to speed:


The Plan


I was gifted a ticket to Taylor's last show in Los Angeles on August 9th (aka 8/9, *wink wink*). I began furiously planning to make the very most of the opportunity to be around so many people - not to mention that Taylor's "Swifties" are a famously friendly fanbase.


For this tour, fans were encouraged to make and wear friendship bracelets to trade with other Swifties at the venues, so what a more perfect way to help spread our campaign, LITERALLY, than to include our QR code on as many bracelets as possible!?


On top of that, costumes are HIGHLY encouraged at Taylor Swift concerts, so I knew I wanted to do something that would capture people's attention. These were my initial sketch ideas I doodled a month ago:


What's that fan thing, you ask?


Well, as a huge Taylor Swift fan, I'd come across tons of videos people were posting online from the concert, and there are these amazing huge fans/sails carried and moved by dancers as the introduction to the whole show:


If anything was going to be visible and draw people to us at this event - it was going to be something tall and Eras Tour-specific! Not only was this instantly recognizable to fellow Swifties, but I thought it would be an attractive photo op. This was perfect!


As for the bracelets...


You all came through in SUCH A BIG WAY!!!!


I thought we were likely to get a couple hundred, which could have totally kept us busy at the stadium.


But... you all sent us WAY MORE THAN THAT.


Our final count was 1,920 bracelets - each one with a tag that advertised our campaign!!



I've said it once, I've said it twice, I'll say it again, forever and always: THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!


I am so so AMAZED at the response we received from so many of you. I got emotional opening each package, some including the sweetest notes! There was nothing like the feeling of seeing all these beautifully made bracelets building up and piling up together over the past week and a half, knowing each one would help my Damian! Oh, I love you all so much!!


The above photos represent only a FRACTION of all the help we received!!


All in all we received bracelets from all over the United States, including:

  • Arizona

  • California

  • Idaho

  • Indiana

  • Kansas

  • Missouri

  • Nevada

  • Oklahoma

  • Oregon

  • Pennsylvania

  • Texas

  • Utah

  • Virginia

  • Washington

  • Washington D.C.

Aggggh I'm getting emotional just thinking about this!! I am so so grateful for each one of you!!!!! You made this event SO MUCH MORE than I thought it would be!


I also had some help on the receiving end of things, with a couple of absolutely incredible angels helping me to tag each one of these bracelets with a QR code tag (not a small task!). Even a group of missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were excited to help us tag them! How awesome are they??


There was so much prep needed for this day, not to mention I still needed to finish everyone's outfits!


My best friend from college, Nadine (yes the same friend I mentioned in my last post!), flew all the way from the East Coast so she could help me get all the last minute tasks done and help us on the big day - she could have been Taylor Swift herself for how excited I was to see her!! It had been several years since we'd seen each other, but we picked up right where we left off, as best friends do :) And as expected, Damian absolutely adored her!

Within 24 hours of picking up Nadine from the airport, we were able to:

  • finish tagging the remaining bracelets

  • bundle the bracelets onto shower curtain rings for easy carrying

  • finish my outfit (I sewed sequin fabric onto old boots and then cut up a QR code shirt and sewed the pieces onto a sequin T-shirt dress)

  • design, print, and cut 1,000 mini flyers

  • make the huge fan/sail thing and dye a small shirt for Damian to match!



It was a VERY busy 24 hours! But WE DID IT!


The BIG DAY


Oh my goodness, what a DREAM! We arrived at Sofi Stadium a few hours before the concert was scheduled to start, but I was still a little nervous wondering how Nadine and I were going to be able to pass out all the bracelets before the stadium gates opened, so we got right to work!


We quickly found our rhythm and went along the long queue of people lining up to purchase merchandise and asked them if they wanted a bracelet. Those with bracelets of their own wanted to trade, and those who didn't have bracelets were so excited to get one!


Everyone asked about Damian and our campaign, and everyone was STUNNED to find out we had brought nearly 2,000 bracelets made by all of you from across the United States - like, literally eyes widening and jaws dropping (many were even brought to tears when they found out that so many people had made bracelets at home and mailed them to us to bring)!


And the fan/sail (ok, I really need to come up with a proper name for that thing - any suggestions??) thing really worked! Brock was easily the tallest thing around and we caught people filming and taking pictures of him from a ways away - I hope a few of them caught the QR codes on our clothes in the process! A bunch of people asked to take photos with Brock, and a small media company even asked for an interview, which led them to ask questions about the campaign!


Bracelets are obviously super small, even 2,000 of them, so I knew something big and eye-catching like the "thing" Brock was wearing would be our best bet to attract any cameras, and I was right - there were a lot of big cameras that came up to us while we were speedily giving out as many bracelets as we could! Most of the photographers with the big lenses did not talk to us, but they were listening as we talked to the people who were asking questions, and I saw many of them quietly crouching down to take pictures of Damian and of the crowds of people who would sometimes grow around our group, all sifting through the bracelets! Fingers crossed that whatever they were taking photographs for, it was for a big audience!


By the time we were down to the last 200 or so bracelets, the gates of the stadium had already opened and swarms of people were entering the arena. So we stationed ourselves between the parking lot and the gates and the bracelets started going really quickly!


One lady who came by yelled to Brock, "Hey, just so you know, you're going viral right now on Twitter!" Of course we had no idea what she was talking about, but pretty soon, we were starting to get a lot of people shouting at Brock (and often taking a photo):


"Hey, you're the guy from Twitter!"


"I saw you on Twitter before I got here!"


"Are you the guy from Twitter??"


Oh my goodness, YES!!!! This was so exciting to find out we were going viral!! In fact, as of writing this blog post, the tweet that I'm assuming everyone was talking about has been seen by 3.2 million different accounts.


3.2 million.


Maybe even more exciting is the fact that one of our latest Instagram reels, showing off the cloud sail thing, was viewed, liked, and shared by one of Taylor Swift's tour dancers!!!! EEEEEK!!!!!! No word yet if he has shown the video to his boss Ms. Swift, but OH my goodness does all of this give us a lot to cross our fingers for!!!


Y'all.


We did it.


WE. DID. IT.


We handed out every single bracelet, a bunch of the mini flyers, and even received a bunch of donations in cash! We went viral online, we did an interview, we got a lot of photos taken of us. We did everything we could think of to do. And it was absolutely worth every effort.


The Results


So, how did we actually do??? Here's the report:

  • New followers on Instagram since August 9th: 55

  • Traffic to SaveDamian.com on August 9th & 10th: 632 visitors

  • Donations raised from the Eras Tour (so far!): $1,108.00

The day after the concert, I invited everyone in my Instagram Stories to ask any questions about the Eras Tour extravaganza! Here are the ones I haven't already answered:

  • Did each bracelet go to one individual or did some people take more than one?

For the most part, each person only took one. There were just a couple times where kids took a couple. It's crazy to think that we talked to nearly 2,000 people!!

  • How receptive were the Swifties to your message? Was it always positive?

It was always positive! I know this topic can easily become a heavy thing to talk about and depending on how it's framed, it could bring an energy that people aren't necessarily looking for during what should be the night of their lives, but I think our story is actually one of hope and optimism and can easily be uplifting. The conversations I had with people usually went something like this:


"Do you want a bracelet?"


"Sure! WOW, you have so many!"


"Yes! We're raising money for treatment for my son and when people on social media found out we were coming here today, they mailed us bracelets. We got bracelets from all over the United States and we started off today with about 2,000!"


"WOAH, 2,000?? That is incredible!"


"Yes, people are so good!"


People would then usually ask what the treatment is for, or what the QR code led to, or ask how they could help. At the end of our conversation, they'd usually say "thank you" for the bracelet and "good luck with everything" or "this is such a cool thing you are doing!" It was always very positive!



There are multiple ways to present our cause to people. We can focus on the hardship of it and our desperation for help. Or we can focus on the fact that we're making a huge positive impact and for anyone to play a part in it is something very special and worth celebrating. I think both strategies have their place, but more often than not, I've found that positive-focused messaging is more contagious and memorable. For most people, it's easier for them to tell a friend "I heard about something really inspiring today," rather than "Hey, let me tell you something really sad." And selfishly, it's much healthier for me to repeat something positive over and over than something heavy.


I always want people to feel good about helping. After all, it's a very heroic thing to help someone, let alone someone you don't know!

  • Had anyone heard of Damian's disease (ASMD) before?

There was one person who had heard of Niemann-Pick Disease (the old name of ASMD) before. A few had heard of "Baby Alzheimer's," but often connected that nickname with a different disease (there are other diseases, like Batten Disease and Sanfilippo Syndrome that have some similarities, and sometimes get the same nickname). I met a few people who were active advocates for treating other diseases and we bonded and shared gratitude for the work that was being done by so many parents fighting diseases on behalf of their children.


One heart-wrenching meeting happened when a lady speedily came up to me to ask about Damian. Her eyes were already welling up and she explained that she had just lost her baby at the start of the summer. We both cried and hugged - and I honestly was in absolute awe of the way she was anxious to learn what she could do to help. Could I have done that in her shoes? Or would I have been too triggered to even approach someone going through a situation that reminded me of my own very recent tragedy? I hope I would be like this lady. What an incredibly compassionate heart.

  • You were gifted a ticket, but what about Nadine? Did she go to the actual concert with you?

Speaking of incredible hearts - is my bestie the best of all the besties or what?? Nadine flew all the way from Virginia to come the day before the concert and left the morning after. She did not have a ticket.


She did go and see the concert in Chicago (remember this reel from Instagram?) but she literally flew across the country just to help me prep and make these precious few hours be the best they could be!!


By the time I picked Nadine up from the airport, I had totally given up on making the cloud/kite/sail thing - I was convinced it was a week's worth of work and there was just too much to do otherwise! But around 3pm or so the day before the concert, Nadine pushed and pushed, "we can do it! Let's just try and if it's a total disaster we don't have to bring it." So we have Nadine to thank for the viral Twitter content!!


When we finally gave out the very last bracelet around 7:30pm (a very exciting moment!!) Brock and Damian went home and Nadine waited outside the stadium through the entire concert. According to her, there were a lot of people outside listening to the concert, but I mean... what an amazing friend, right????



  • How was the concert???

Oh my goodness. WOW.


To be honest, I was so anxious and full of anticipation for the bracelet extravaganza that when it was finally time to pull up my ticket and go through the gates, I was in a bit of disbelief that there was actually something ELSE to do that day! I had from the time I waved goodbye to Nadine, Brock, and Damian to the time that I got in my seat to let it set in that I was actually going to see my favorite singer perform live.


This was my first ever concert (seeing anyone!) and I FULLY appreciated that this was about as good as a concert could get! I watched THE TAYLOR SWIFT perform all my favorite songs for 3.5 hours and I easily could have watched her keep going for 3.5 more hours!


It was incredible! And I couldn't believe she was singing and dancing without an intermission - the athleticism and stamina of all the performers was so impressive! The last song sounded and looked as good as the first song.


I've heard others say this about the Eras Tour and they are right: Taylor Swift somehow made the concert feel very personal and conversational even for people high up in the nosebleeds! I think a huge part of that is due to these elaborate performances being something Taylor truly loves doing. You could just see and feel how elated she was the whole time. We were watching her in her element. And there is a distinct energy that comes from watching someone do and excel at something they were meant to do. I loved it. LOVED IT.

See the cloud/kite/sail things???

Not to mention that that night (8/9) was the night she announced the release date of her newest re-recorded album "1989," so everyone was extra excited and there was a lot of added blue colors (lights, costumes, etc.) added to the show! (Fun fact: Taylor is almost exactly 11 months older than me - her birthday is Dec 13 and mine is Nov 12).


To the most generous lady who gifted me this once in a lifetime experience: thank you so so much. I will never ever ever forget this night. Like, ever ;)


THE SWIFTIE SURGE CONTINUES


Nadine and I ended up getting back home by about 2am and I sadly took her back to the airport in the morning (come back soon, please!!). It took me a couple days to feel not like a zombie again, but when Saturday came around, I was alert enough to have a stroke of inspiration.


In Santa Clarita (where we live), every summer the city puts on "Concerts in the Park" and has a different cover band perform every Saturday night for the whole community. Guess who they chose to perform that very Saturday? Yep, a Taylor Swift cover artist. The ads for this event did mention "bring your friendship bracelets," and we had a TON of bracelet-making supplies left over and in our city Saturday nights during the summer.


Rather than making a bunch more bracelets, I thought it would be fun (and much quicker) to make kits so that little kids at the concert could have a fun activity to do while they waited for the live music to start. I spent the rest of the Saturday prepping each little Ziploc bag with theme-coordinated beads, string, and our mini flyers!


Damian and I made sure to arrive at the park a couple hours early, but I didn't even finish setting up our little spot before people were literally starting to gather behind us so they could get a kit! I sold them on a donation-basis and most people paid $10-15 per bag. We made an extra $500 or so that night!



Like I said, WHAT A WEEK!!!


It's a little weird to have it all in the past now - but I'll still share some fun videos this week from all the excitement we had! AND... by popular request, I have decided to make a limited-edition run of a very special and very appropriately-themed QR code shirt! I just got the first samples yesterday and they look AWESOME!!! Keep an eye out, I'll be putting them on our shop soon!


THANK YOU AGAIN.


I have received so much support, encouragement, and love from so many people throughout this campaign, but these past couple weeks preparing for this event was next level. I am so blown away by you. I really hope you don't get tired of me saying "thank you" because I'm never gonna stop saying it.


I love you all so much. Thank you so much for caring about our family, and for all of these children fighting this rare disease. It is making such a difference. SUCH a difference!!!!


That actually reminds me, I need to catch you all up on all that was talked about during the National Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation (NNPDF) annual conference last month! We have been so busy with all the fundraisers that I haven't had a chance to tell you how the treatment development is going!! I'm going to try and prioritize that next!


And then... we are going to start the NEXT BIG THING! Stay tuned <3

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