Artist D.J. Barry is clearly on a mission: bringing the world closer together. His World Cow brand can now be found in dozens of countries around the globe, proudly proclaiming his “we’re all spots on the same cow” message.
You can find his iconic cow on the sides of houses, overpasses, sidewalks, mailboxes, cars, and just about anywhere you can think of. And if you live in his home state of Vermont, don’t be surprised if he shows up at your front door – yes, dressed as a cow to spread his word in person.
Here at Signs.com, we were happy to hear that the World Cow message had also made it onto a 36 x 60-inch double-sided flag, flown at Lake Groton, Vermont.
Tell us about yourself:
I’m a Vermont-based artist and founder of World Cow – a global brand and movement promoting unity. Our message is: “We’re all spots on the same cow.” We’re creating a culture that is kind and loving. World Cows have been painted in 20+ countries by a network of artists who support our message. World Cow supports a variety of charities worldwide, and we make bumper stickers, greeting cards, t-shirts, home décor, and more! My passion is to make people feel good, and I’m doing my part to bring the world closer together.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
The only class I failed in high school was painting.
What does your company do?
We sell World Cow products, which can be found in stores across Vermont, Pennsylvania, California, and Massachusetts, and online. Our products help us deliver our message of unity into homes around the world and several of our shirts benefit a variety of charities across the USA. We make public art and inspire the world to be kind and loving.
Where did the idea of your company come from?
A photograph of a Holstein cow I took while driving around Vermont.
Cows for a Cause
What sets you apart from your competition?
World Cow is a US registered copyright and trademark owned by my company, DJ Barry Art, LLC. Our iconic image of a Holstein cow has been painted in 20+ countries by some of the world’s most famous street artists. I’ve been featured by national and international news media, and there has never been a movement in the history of art like ours where hundreds of people are painting the same image worldwide to support our cause and come together for unity. Across the USA, people are getting World Cow tattoos and tagging their own vehicles with our cow. By the end of 2021, my products will be in 100 locations across the USA, and I’ll be expanding my IP portfolio into other countries while we continue to grow our message and partner with large companies. This fall, we’ll be making a 20-acre World Cow Corn Maze in Pennsylvania.
How do you market your business?
Via social media and by dressing up as a cow, going door to door in Vermont.
How do you “wow” your customers?
Just one example: I made a 20 x 30-foot inflatable sculpture of a World Cow that transforms landscapes. I commissioned Landmark Creations in Minnesota to make the artwork. Although I had booked every major festival in Vermont in 2020, they were all canceled because of COVID, so I did pop-up installations around the state without any advertising. I installed it outside Rumney Elementary School in Middlesex, at Conants Farm in Richmond, and in front of the state house in Montpelier.
What are one or two strategies for gaining customers that you have been successful with?
Many years ago I started a campaign called Lost And Found, where I made woodcuts of pop-culture icons like Looney Tunes, Frozen, Star Wars, The Smurfs, etc., and hand painted them using spray paint and stencils. I’d hide the characters around the state and then post clues on Facebook that people needed in order to find them. Hundreds of families began coming out for them – people were finding them pretty fast no matter where I drove too. Each woodcut had a message painted on the back: “This artwork is free under one condition: you promise to do one good thing for the world.” The idea was that each artwork would create a wave of good deeds. I don’t know what people did, but I’m sure a lot of good things happened because I did this for many years and will continue to do it as time permits. This also received a lot of media attention on WCAX News, the local papers, etc., and helped grow my popularity as a rising artist from Vermont.
How do you compete with competitors that are bigger than you?
We don’t have any competitors.
Everything Happens for a Reason
What is one of the biggest challenges you have had with your business? How did you overcome it?
Capitol startup for my IP portfolio and inventory. I withdrew my retirement and life savings to get things going. I’ll let you know how it turns out!
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. Everything happens for a reason, and I’m flowing with my lessons learned and will continue to grind it out for as long as I need too.
What is the one thing you would do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Believe in yourself and grind it out. I’ve always known I was meant for greatness, and as a kid I used to dream of being on a stage in front of thousands.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
How to Train Your Dragon, by Cressida Cowell, because it’s the only book I’ve read in a long time.
Unity & Borders
Can you speak to your growth to this point? Why do you think it will continue?
World Cows are everywhere, especially in Vermont. We’re attracting all generations to our movement and our products are selling in retail stores. Unity is in the spotlight these days and we have a long way to go to bring those borders down and unite the people. Our cultures and differences need to be celebrated, but yet everyone is only concerned about their own culture. Recent politics in the USA have showed us how much hatred and divide is still happening within our own borders. We have an uphill battle, but I know we’ll continue to rise. I’ve already booked some major walls for 2021 and now other countries are trying to fly me out to do the same.
Where can you be found on the internet?
Our website, www.worldcow.earth, and @worldcow / #worldcow