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Values matter in the Middle

St. Louis Apparel

Recently there’s been a lot of talk about this billboard that a clothing company in LA put up. It’s obviously a publicity play, and it was a good one. The company got a lot of attention and was the number one trending topic on Facebook. I had a chance to look at the company, and I wish them a lot of success.

We were brought up to never root for another's failure. “Someone else’s success does not limit yours” was a principle ingrained in us. This blog is not about one clothing company or another.

The point is to respond to their message: “Los Angeles > St. Louis.”

I won’t deny that LA is a fun city; I’ve been there many times. As a young man, I can appreciate their beautiful people, great sushi, and fun night life. They have incredible weather year round, and it’s not uncommon to see Hollywood stars at your local grocery store. As an enormous Rocky fan, if I saw Sylvester Stallone at the deli ordering some pastrami, I would lose my mind. There is something very cool about that – no doubt about it.

But, after every single trip to the city of Angels, I say to myself, “Get me home.”

Now I’m not a homebody. I’ve been blessed to be able to travel all around the world. I know from experience that some of the prettiest sites, best food, and most enjoyable weather happen in cities outside of the Midwest.

But that doesn’t matter.

When I call for a reservation to a restaurant in the Midwest, I don’t get asked who I work for. When I meet new people at a bar, I don’t get asked what neighborhood I live in. When I pull up to a valet, I don’t get funny looks for driving an old truck. And when I walk into a store with my nine brothers and sisters, I don’t get asked, “Why would your parents ever have so many kids?"

There are some truths in life. People matter. Authenticity matters. Loyalty matters. Honesty matters. Trust matters. Relationships matter. FAMILY matters. The danger with a blog like this or a billboard like that is in painting everything with a broad brush. LA has a ton going for it: weather, beaches, Rocky, raw fish, etc. And I’m sure there are trustworthy, authentic, loyal, honest, family men and women in LA. There have to be.

But I will say this: when it's all said and done, we have the values. And I’ll take that 10 out of 10 times. In the heartland, we help each other out. Our handshakes are as good as a contract; our families are the backbone of our culture; our friends are there for life.

I love living here, and will never move.

Oh yeah, one more thing, keep em – the Rams (and their mustaches) suck.

-Jimmy Sansone, Founder

The Normal Brand


  • Angel: March 31, 2016

    People Keep forgetting that those of us that were season-ticket holders, we had to pay for Psl license to buy our season tickets.

    I don’t see the Rams offerering to refund those PSL’s to the people who helped build a stadium for them to be in St. Louis. All I see is mr Walmart taking more money and trashing those who supported him.. Good luck in LA .. No longer a NFL supporter go Blues go Cards
  • Danny Sooks: March 31, 2016

    Thanks for saying this. Thanks

  • Beans: March 30, 2016

    Thank you COUSIN!

  • Judy Arnold: March 30, 2016

    Here, here!! Beautifully, said…love the last sentence. :)

  • Mitch G: March 29, 2016


  • Greg : March 29, 2016

    Well said Jimmy! I lived in SoCal for 4 years and loved a lot about it. But there’s no substitute for the Midwest values that you celebrate at The Normal Brand. Thanks for reppin’ us in the middle.

  • Mitch Meyers: March 29, 2016

    Powerful message Jimmy Sansone. I’ve never been prouder to be a Midwesterner!

  • Ryan Venturi: March 29, 2016


    So very well stated. Pure class, and as a fellow Midwesterner, I applaud your authentic approach to respond while channeling your values. With regard to the values:

    It shows in the clothes. The Normal Brand is my new go-to beginning now.

    Mighty Proud-


  • Dave: March 29, 2016

    You’re good people Jimmy!

  • Tom Shelby: March 29, 2016

    Well said Jimmy!!! St.Louis is like no other city. We stick together and support one another. While it isn’t perfect, people’s values are in check. My very best friend ( who recently passed) was a St. Louis kind of guy. He and his family loved visiting The Lou. Ted Drewe’s, The Hill, and The Smokehouse were their favorite’s. They took their daughter to her first baseball game, Opening Day. They were speechless. Keep doing what your doing Jimmy. You were raised with FAMILY values, and you can’t buy those!!!

  • Laurie Schlaefli: March 29, 2016

    Well, what can be be added? Simple. Pure. Heartfelt. Thank you Jimmy Sansone.

    St. Louis = HOME

  • Tina : March 29, 2016

    Couldn’t agree more! Thanks My Normal Brand for representing our great city

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