Local company encourages people to ‘Plug Out’

In today’s day and age, technology is very prevalent in one’s daily life. Everywhere one turns, it is hard to escape from it. 

Sometimes it’s nice to take a step back and focus on the world around you as opposed to the world inside of your cell phone. PlugOut, a brand with a cause, is located in Petaluma and dedicated to helping people take a step back from technology. 

The company is a clothing brand founded by Anne-Claire and Ray Decker right out of Petaluma. The clothing is mostly athletic style wear, focused around being active and getting outside more often. 

Their website states, “PlugOut’s mission is to encourage a healthy balanced lifestyle in a fast-paced technological world.”

The idea for the company actually came from the daughter of the Deckers. The family was vacuuming the floors, and one day their 4-year-old-daughter asked Mr. Decker if he had unplugged the vacuum, but instead said, “Have you plugged out?” 

The Deckers thought the phrase was catchy and decided that they wanted to do something with it. The brand really took off last October when the Deckers first hired an intern and has been running strong since.  

Kevin Kinder, a senior at Sonoma State, became an intern for the company last fall. “People are glued to technology. Sure, we see it as a tool but the brand was created as a reminder to ‘plug out,’” Kinder said.

The owners of PlugOut took on two interns this year who were both paid for their work. 

“They didn’t want to just give us busy work like getting coffee,” Kinder said. 

Interns aren’t given busy work, but instead work that really helps build their skill set. The Deckers also work closely with the interns to ensure communication and understanding.

The company is part of an organization called “One Percent For The Planet,” meaning that they contribute at least one percent of their profits to environmental causes that help maintain the planet. 

Their website states “PlugOut donates one percent of annual net revenues from the sale of PlugOut merchandise to a network of more than 1,500 environmental organizations around the world;” meaning that every sale goes to help a good cause.

Gilly Hegenbart, a senior from Sonoma State, is an intern whose work is based solely around marketing for the company. 

“We are kind of like a lifestyle brand similar to the ‘Life is Good Brand’ in other words, a brand with a message,” Hegenbart said. “Our message is to plug out of technology every now and then in order to reconnect with life, so basically put down your phone or whatever technology your using and do something.”

Hegenbart said she started to put down technology more and more when she became an intern for the company. 

“It felt really good. I definitely became more aware and decided that if I was going to represent this brand I too should take a step back from technology,” said Hegenbart. “What I like about the company is that it is local to Sonoma County and started from scratch. I really like the message behind it all.”

The company is currently looking for an intern. “It’s really a cool internship and I definitely learned a lot from it,” said Kinder. 

PlugOut’s website has many different t-shirts and hoodies as well as athletic accessories such as water bottles and bags. Find out more about Plugout at Facebook.com/PlugoutToday, or on their website at www.plugouttoday.com.