7 Awesome Tech T-Shirts

Technology is a major part of my life and has integrated itself into nearly every aspect of my life imaginable. It has even begun to seep into the clothes that I wear! Back in the day, I remember sporting my favorite Napster tee, or that hard to find Apple tee (usually gotten from an OS release). Now, many tech companies provide tees for purchase making it easy for teach fanatics like myself to show on their chest their weapons of choice. 

Here are 7 different technology based tees that reflect innovations that I enjoy to use (or visit and read in the case of Laughing Squid). I’ll focus on “official” tees for this post and do a future post on some 3rd party tees (if you know of some cool ones let me know). 

Do you have a favorite technology tee that you like to use and show off? Post a link to the shirt so that others with similar technologoy tastes can buy and enjoy!

1. WordPress. Does WordPress run your blog (I do for this blog)? Then checkout this site for a selection of official WordPress t-shirts and other merchandise. You can pick up either a red or olive green WordPress tee for £9.50 GBP. The tees are printed on American Apparel. 

2. Google/Blogger. Is Google the first thing you see when you open your browser? Are you part of the Blogger faithful? If so, then you might enjoy some official Google gear. In fact, there is a wide selection of Google merchandise available in their store, from organic tees to recycle track jackets. They’ve even got tees printed on 70% bamboo and 30% cotton. They claim the bamboo component makes it antimicrobial and feel like a mix between cashmere and silk! The Wearables section in the Google store offers 36 different products! The tees are priced between $13.50 – $20.00. 

3. Laughing Squid. This is one of my favorite blogs to visit in InternetLAND and it just so happens that the Laughing Squid’s Scott Beale sells an official t-shirt printed on American Apparel and available for 20 buckaroos! 

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I’m A Hot Tee Connects with YouTube and … Mumbles?

I have said many times on this blog that if harnessed correctly, social networks can be a very powerful tool. T-shirt maker, I’m A Hot Tee has definitely made use of the prolific YouTube crowd by tapping into one of the sites most popular comedians (he’s in the top 60 in subscriptions), Ed Bassmaster.

Mike Martin of I’m A Hot Tee sought out Bassmaster by sending him a video (see video below) asking him if he would “like to help me promote my tees in exchange for us making him a one-of-a-kind “Mumbles is My Homeboy” shirt. (see video below)” Within an hour, Bassmaster phoned Martin and a business relationship was made. Within six weeks, Martin had produced an official Mumbles tee and Bassmaster posted a YouTube video (as Mumbles) promoting the new T-shirt. Martin ended up selling over 60 tees with the night the Mumbles Shirts video was posted on YouTube! And inevitably, people picked up other tees while they browsed for the Mumbles tee. 

Interestingly, Bassmaster decided not to accept any profits from the shirts sold, he instead opted to receive free tees for himself, family and friends. 

I had the chance to talk with Mike Martin of I’m A Hot Tee regarding his interesting business and marketing relationship with Bassmaster. 

Coty: You recently posted on the T-shirt website Emptees that you have worked with Ed Bassmaster, a popular YouTube based comedian. In order to market your brand, you decided tackle the YouTube crowd. Why did you decided to go with Bassmaster?

Mike: I had been a fan of Ed’s for a long time, mostly because I really appreciated the fact that I could watch his stuff with my grandparents without feeling embarrassed. I had initially only contacted Ed to try to get him to participate in our Hot Tee of the Month experiment, and you can actually see the video I sent him on YouTube. Synchronistically, around that same time Ed had been wearing an iron-on transfer that just said “EdBassmaster,” and people had been going nuts for it. So when he saw the Mumbles shirt design we were going to give him for free if he helped us with the Hot Tee of the Month, he said he wanted to team up and sell shirts to the public.

Anyway, the reason I decided to go with Ed is that he has the same mission with his comedy that I have with my t-shirts: He wants to supply clean laughs in an increasingly yucky (technical term) world to as many people as possible. It was a perfect fit.

(Sidenote: Various family emergencies have delayed Ed’s being the first “Hottee of the Month,” but he should be able to do it sometime soon!)

Coty: Do you plan on continuing this form of “viral” marketing with future tees and other YouTube Comedians to help market your brand? If so, who?

Mike: I definitely plan to, and I hope to have some YouTube celebrity appearances on our own channel, HotTeeTV (www.youtube.com/hotteetv). At the moment, I’m in contact with some other YouTube comedians – some even more subscribed to than Ed – who are going to wear our shirts and promote them. One guy is particularly excited about our Hoverboard and Weeevolution! shirts.

But I’m going to play this one a little close to the chest for now :]. I’ll send you an update as soon as their videos are up.

Coty: What is it about Ed’s comedy that made you think that your brand, I’m A Hot Tee, would be a great match?

Mike: It’s really a couple things. First, I think he’s an incredible undiscovered talent (though I don’t think he’ll be undiscovered a year from now) because he’s such an original voice in comedy. The various characters he does – Marlin Woods, Tequila, Larry, Mumbles – all have a unique persona, so much so that it’s hard to believe it’s the same guy under the wigs and funny voices. What’s more, Ed’s extemely unique on YouTube, in that he takes these characters public for his pranks: The interactions people have with them are priceless.

All that said, however, it really comes down to Ed being a great guy, and someone who likes clean humor as much as I do. That’s what I’m a Hot Tee is all about: “Hot Tees You Can Take Home to Mom!”

Coty: You invested a few days in preparing a video that you used to pitch your idea to Ed and then spent about $60 to give Ed and his family/friends free tees and in return you received over 60 orders of the Mumbles Is Your Homeboy tee within a few hours of Ed wearing the tee in one of his video. How does this compare to others investments you’ve made in marketing your brand (i.e. CPC Campaigns, etc.)?

Mike: The YouTube stuff is the main thing we’ve done for advertising, honestly, so it’s difficult to compare. However, it’s nearly impossible for me to imagine many other strategies online that would yield similar results. Like you said, it was more or less free, and Ed had many fans just waiting for him to make t-shirts. Moreover, people were already invested in Ed as a person and a comedian, because his fans really do love the guy so much. So there were multiple layers of built-in incentive for them to get our stuff. With all that in mind, you can imagine how much more effective it is than a CPC campaign.

Coty: How would you describe your partnership with Ed? Is Ed the official I’m A Hot Tee Spokesperson or do you sponsor Ed (similar to how many brands sponsor bands)?

Mike: Well, at this point, we’re really just good friends. Ed is the sweetest, humblest guy I’ve ever met, and he refused to be paid for the shirts: He just wanted to get his name and face out there. That said, in the next couple months, as he sets up his own website and his popularity continues to skyrocket, we’re going to move into more of a sponsorship relationship, and he’s definitely going to be getting a substantial amount of all profits. We’re also going to be expanding the EdBassmaster line to include more of his characters. (I’m hoping it will be Tequila or Marlin, personally).

I Wear Your Shirt

How does this sound for an idea: wear a different shirt every day for a year and have people pay you to do it.

That’s exactly what Jason Sadler is doing at I Wear Your Shirt. The concept is very simple, you buy a day that you would like your tee to be worn, you ship the tee out and it’s gets worn by Jason and marketed on his blog, YouTube, Ustream, Flickr and Twitter. The hope is that for a day, your tee will go “viral” and thus putting your brand or company in the spotlight for 24 hours.

I personally think that this is a great idea and even wish I had thought of it! But will people be intrigued long enough to follow Jason for an entire year? 

“Days are sold at “face value” so January 1 is $1 and December 31 is $365.” Jason has already sold out of tee days up to March 2009. That means that the starting day price is at $90+. Someone has even bought the last day of the year, December 31, 2009 for, you guessed it, $365. If you do the math, and if Jason sells out every day in 2009 then he stands to make over $60,000!

Does the price tag warrent the rising day costs? Potentially. Especially if Jason becomes an Internet celebrity and is paraded all over old media (i.e. News stations, radio and magazines).

I would definitely say that if your company has some “change” to spend then this might be an interesting way to market your product. But for the rest of you, you might be better off spending 30 bucks for a months worth of ad time on a good t-shirt blog.

PleaseDressMe Opening Sequence

Have you seen the new animated opening sequence for the PleaseDressMe show? Well here it is! It was recently posted on Vimeo by creator Jeff Peak. Apparently it was made as a gift to the PleaseDressMe guys – how cool is that. I saw at least one shirt that I own in that video, did you see any tees that you own? By the way, Episode 1 of PleaseDressMe TV was released a few weeks ago, when can we see Episode 2 or am I just looking in the wrong place? 

This is an opening animation I built for the online show PleaseDressMeTV. PleaseDressMe is a search engine for t-shirts created by AJ and Gary Vaynerchuk. These guys are quite inspiring and for that I created this as a gift. – Jeff Peak


Please Dress Me TV Animated Open from Jeff Peak on Vimeo.

Black Week at Goodie Two Sleeves

In appreciation of being featured in Indie Tee Spotlight #10 (or it could be a Black Friday thing but I’m inclined to think otherwise, LOL), Goodie Two Sleeves has announced an AWESOME sale! They will be offering a staggering 50% off your entire order. You want even awesomer? OK, the sale lasts a whole week! Want more? Every time you make a purchase your are entered to win 7 free Goodie Two Sleeves tees! The sale kicks off on November 28 and will run through December 5. 

Indie Tee Spotlight #11: Goodie Two Sleeves

It’s time for Indie Tee Spotlight #11, yes, that’s right my friends – number 11! It is so awesome (most appropriate word, you’ll understand if you read on) that for the big 1-1 I got to talk to Gabe Connor of Goodie Two Sleeves!

The guys at Goodie Two Sleeves have spent the last couple of years building their brand and company. Goodie Two Sleeves specializes in humorous and light-hearted tees that are positive and fun. They pride themselves in producing not only quality products but quality products with original designs. Since the company began in 2002, Goodie Two Sleeves designs have appeared in many large retail chains, the hands (and torsos) of some very famous celebrities and of course the many faithful Goodie Two Sleeves fans.

Coty: You recently made a blog post mentioning that Goodie Two Sleeves was officially a federally registered corporation. What was that process like? Has it sunk in that you now run your own “corporation”?

Gabe: Haha, well the Goodie Two Sleeves ® brand name was trademarked several years ago and as far as being a corporate entity, it’s sort of like turning 18. You grow up thinking ‘I can’t wait! It’s going to be awesome!’ and then it’s your birthday and you don’t FEEL any awesomer (or older), and your parents want you to pick out a college and stuff. Well, it was cooler than that maybe. We made a giant ‘®’ shirt to commemorate the occasion (which we’re re-releasing soon), but I don’t think there’s ever really a moment where you go ‘This is it! We’re finally a real company!’ because this business is a rotating door and there’s always room for improvement.

 

Coty: In that same blog post you mentioned that you also recently held the Goodie Two Sleeves 2009 Gameplan/2008 Review meeting. What exactly are some of the goals that Goodie Two Sleeves has for the upcoming year? Do you feel that your goals from 2008 were reached?

Gabe: 2008 has been an awesome year for us. We’re already doing better than ’07 and the year isn’t even over yet. Considering however that people are having so much trouble making their house payments and filling their gas tanks, we really wanted to go into next year prepared for anything. We went over everyday stuff like new designs and turn around times but we also paid attention to what we can do better for our customers, especially online. We have some really great friends and fans who shop online and we really want to make that experience awesome for them. For that matter we want to make our retail experience even better too.

Most of our business is in retail. You mentioned in an earlier post that something you can learn from Johnny Cupcakes is to avoid the mass market, but you can also do really well with them. I wouldn’t say that one way is better, they’re just different. Since Goodie’s M.O. was to reach a bunch of people and try and be a positive influence, our aim was at larger retail chains.

Coty: Goodie Two Sleeves was born a couple years ago and like many other indie tee brands, you sold tees out of the trunk of your car. What were some of the growing pains that Goodie Two Sleeves experienced? In retrospect, would you do anything differently?

Gabe: Well, that’s kind of a long story. A friend and I created the brand in 2002 after seeing some raunchy shirts in a huge store (that rhymes with Yarget). We thought ‘We could do this’ and so we tried. Even since then we’ve had an affinity for the word ‘awesome.’ We didn’t know what we were doing at first and it was back breaking work for a long time. I mean sleepless nights, $4 a day food budgets (to split… at Burger King…), no social life. We hit the pavement for weeks with these silly shirts, selling out of our trunk trying to get some sales. It was all really difficult but we ended up with so many awesome stories and we loved every minute of it. One night (and day, and night) in particular I stayed up for 52 hours preparing for a trade show, printing shirts, driving for hours, going to meetings. It was nuts.

After a couple years Goodie Two Sleeves was like this crazy monster out of our control. The brand was being carried in Hot Topic, Urban Outfitters, Delia*s, Nordstrom, Zumiez, Journeys, a whole slew of places, but I was only nineteen when we started and we were sort of learning as we went.

Well, our growth was sort of like locking a teenager in a mall with mom’s credit card. It was the coolest ride until we got home and saw the bill (and the 26% interest). We were still pretty much kids and we just couldn’t figure out how to make it work even after several years. It strained our friendship and the company closed in 2006, my friend and I going our separate ways.

That was a pretty terrible time actually because it all coincided with some awful news at home. I can definitively say that was the worst time in my life, but amazingly it gave me perspective about the everything. The purpose of what we do, of the company, is to try and be a positive clothing alternative to all the low-brow, crass t-shirts out there. I’m personally very motivated by my faith in Jesus and I feel like he really saw me through that time because in January of 2007 the Goodie Two Sleeves® trademark was able to come back under a different parent company. That year it did better in every way then it ever had under the old set up. Just remembering the unlikelihood of Goodie rising from the ashes is staggering and pretty amazing (dare I say, awesome?). I wouldn’t do anything differently only because the bad times give us perseverance, and perseverance builds character; and character, hope.

Coty: If someone were to ask you what your brand was all about what would your response be?

Gabe: In an industry filled with easy outs and sometimes scandalous content, Goodie Two Sleeves is on a mission to ‘keep it clean.’ We want to make people feel good on the inside and out (our shirts are really soft). More then that we just want to make people laugh and use encouraging humor to do so. Furthermore, we love what we do and we have a lot of fun with the company.

We are also big advocates that you can do anything if you try. Goodie started with two people and as much as we’ve grown we still operate with only a few more. If Goodie Two Sleeves could come out of that, I am so excited for the ideas that other people have!

Coty: Captain Awesome is one of my recent favorites from the Goodie Two Sleeves collection (I’m thinking about picking that one up!). What are some of your favorite Goodie Two Sleeves designs?

Gabe: Man, that’s difficult. We’ve cataloged over 600 designs over the last several years so picking one is a tall order. I really loved this one we did of Motorcycle CHP officers riding giant goldfish and it said ‘FiSH & CHiPs’ on it. ‘This Is Prolly My Awesomest Shirt’ is a fun one. I also like the stomach ache tee we did that shows you the stuff you ate, and some stuff that’s been in development for a while. My all time favorite might be ‘There are cooler ways to die’ just because it’s one of our oldest. Oddly enough it’s one of our most ripped off shirts too.

Coty: One of my favorite parts of the Goodie Two Sleeves website has got to be the celebrity sighting blog posts. What’s it like seeing your tees in a major periodical like Rolling Stone and InTouch?

Gabe: That’s one of our favorite things too. For me, it’s the same feeling seeing Danny Masterson wearing one of our shirts as it is seeing someone I don’t know wearing one of our shirts. It’s so encouraging to know that someone liked what you do enough to invest in you, to wear your idea and artwork… It’s just an amazing feeling.

Coty: What has been your most memorable experience, so far, running Goodie Two Sleeves?

Gabe: That’s hard too. It seems like something happens every other week that’s crazy. Getting to hang out with Relient K on warped tour was awesome, meeting P. Diddy was memorable (his diamond earrings were as big as grapes), and even really old stuff like when we use to sell shirts at concerts and getting our first warehouse. We had a book keeper steal some money from us which was more funny than anything, we spun out and got turned around on a freeway in Mexico (which was wicked awesome and terrifying), we hand printed shirts for rad bands, our ‘Wall of Boxes’ in our garage before we had an office, convincing our roommate we got robbed while he was out of town, starting an acoustic band to help fund the company, getting into our first real store, seeing a ‘cat-owl’ in the middle of the night on some feeder road and freaking out like we were 4 year olds…. The entire journey is full of experiences that I will never forget.

Coty: Finally, any words of wisdom for aspiring indie tee designers?

Gabe: Do what you love and do what you want. No matter how much work it takes, if you believe in or enjoy what you’re doing, it will be immensely rewarding. Be confident in your choices, but be humble if they work out. If you’re going to work with friends, be sure you treat each other like colleagues and not buddies. Do your best not to borrow money from loans or IOU’s, but reinvest what you earn back into your business, even if that means you’ll need to keep your day job for a couple more years. Try to stick to your word. If you know something will be late, then say so from the get-go. Also, enjoy it while it lasts because we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow.

Even the really difficult times can be rewarding. Wine grapes grow best in dry, rocky soil because they have to work harder, thus giving the grapes more character, but lazy grapes make for crappy wine. Those struggles help us become awesome grown ups.

Number of times the word ‘awesome’ was used: 15!

I’d like to thank Gabe for 1. making the most out of the word Awesome and 2. giving us some insight into the Goodie Two Sleeves history! I wish you and the rest of the Goodie Two Sleeves gang all the best.

Be sure to check to check out the Goodie Two Sleeves website to browse and purchase some awesome tees!

Johnny Cupcakes Releases New iPhone Cases

Johnny Cupcakes recently released some new Apple gear, and you know how much I dig Apple gear! The new Johnny Cupcakes iPhone cases are 100% rubber and fit both the first generation and 3G iPhone. The cases sport the classic Johnny Cupcakes fork logo on the back with the classic bones and cupcake. You can purchases the cases now in Gray and Pink color options for $24. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick one of these cupcake cases up next week when I am up in Boston – you know I’ll be hitting up the Newbury Johnny Cupcakes Store!

The Linty Fresh Video Series

Eric Terry of Linty Fresh fame has started a series of very informative (and funny) videos that deal with the t-shirt business. His most recent video discusses the intricacies involved in preparing for an art or craft show. His past videos have looked at the art of professionalism and how to fulfill and ship online orders. The videos themselves are very well organized and well edited. Eric offers a wealth of information for the novice and some tips that might even help the seasoned veteran. 

Check out below video #4: Tips for Art/Craft Shows by Eric Terry! I’ll be posting these as he makes them! Keep the goodies coming, Eric!


Tips for Art/Craft Shows from Eric Terry on Vimeo.

Indie Tee Spotlight #10: Fuzzy Ink

Welcome to week 10 of the Indie Tee Spotlight series! I can’t believe I’ve been at this for a whopping 10 weeks now! I have to say that I appreciate all the brands and designers that have worked with me on this for the last 10 weeks and I look forward to working with more of you in the near future! 

This week I am happy to say that I am featuring one of the “funnest” and arguably the most hairy brands around, Fuzzy Ink! They recently made huge splashes with their Series Two shirts featuring the artwork of Craig Watkins aka Wotto in the tee design world. John Paul, Mike Paul and Justin Stimmel of Fuzzy Ink were kind enough to chat with me about how Fuzzy Ink was conceived, why mustaches are a requirement for Fuzzy Ink employees (maybe) and some of the highs and lows of working in the tee shirt business. 

Coty: The Fuzzy Ink brand is so interesting; it’s built around, of all things, the manly mustache! How did you come up with this concept? Where’d you get your mustache inspiration from? How long has Fuzzy Ink been in operation?

Fuzzy Ink: I wish we had a compelling story to blow you out of the water, but the formation of Fuzzy Ink can be illustrated in a few short sentences.  December of ‘07 John and I were back home in upstate NY for the Christmas holiday.  As entrepreneurs at heart, we were throwing around random get-rich-quickly schemes.  One of us mentioned just throwing a bunch of mustaches on random objects for enhanced comedic value and the idea just seemed to resonate.  It was one of those situations where we silently looked at each other, smirked and realized that maybe the idea was worth some additional brainstorming.  (I also think it’s worth noting that our father has had a mustache since he was 21 and we have literally never seen his upper lip free of fuzz).

Over the next month or so we put together an overwhelming list of ideas and then approached Justin, a graphic designer we knew through the lovely sport of soccer (futbol for the Europeans).  From roughly February ’08 until the end of May, we spent our time making heaps of purchases (screenprinter, shirts, ink, screens, loads of shop towels, etc. etc.) designing and skinning the website and learning the significant tricks of the trade.  Finally in late May we launched our baby to the masses with bated breath.  So to answer your question, currently we’ve been in operation a few days over 5 months.

Coty: Many of your tees have featured the artwork of Craig Watkins, better known in the t-shirt design world as Wotto. What has it been like to work with Wotto and why do you think his artwork matches so well with the Fuzzy Ink brand? 

Fuzzy Ink: We honestly have nothing but positive things to say about Craig aka the Wottster as he has been an absolutely phenomenal person to work with.  Although our initial collaboration started as a more professional-based endeavor, we quickly realized that Craig was better suited as a friend.  With regard to his artistic styling, he produces amazingly unique pieces that are whimsical and playful in nature.  As kids at heart ourselves, we were instantly attracted to the brilliant Scotsman’s creations.  Additionally, although he lets his imagination run wild on the canvas, in the business world he’s a spot on professional.  Not only has he shattered our expectations with his nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic, but he has also provided endless promotion for his design contributions.  Craig truly is an unbelievably caring and kind-hearted gentlemen and we’ll certainly be combining forces again in the very near future =)

Coty: On the topic of mustaches, it would be a bit hypocritical if you didn’t sport one yourself! So the million dollar question is does the mind behind Fuzzy Ink sport a thick mustache much like the ones he promotes and sells? Do you require all Fuzzy Ink employees to sport mustaches as well?

Fuzzy Ink: Is it a crime to be hypocritical (slowly backs out of the room).  The proper answer is yes…unfortunately the honest answer is no.  We have definitely attempted to grow the ‘stache on a number of occasions, but none of us seem to have been blessed with a lovely plethora of magical mustache locks.  You will be excited to know though, that all of us are currently participating in Movember and thus are showcasing the patchy, pedophile look for the time being; there’s definitely no guarantee we’ll make it through the 2nd week though.  With regard to employee ‘staches, we’d like to think that if we actually had other team members, we would indeed crack down on their facial hair habits and require a strong, majestic soup strainer.  Yes, yes you should practice what you preach, which is why we would all be wearing beautifully hand-crafted fake mustaches as we gave any order ;).  We’re still giving thought to the female option though…

Coty: The Fuzzy Ink catalog of tees is growing. If you had to choose your de facto favorite design, which would it be and why? 

Fuzzy Ink: Because tastes and perspectives vary with each individual, we’ll list the specific favorites of each Fuzzy member:

Mike:  Tough question, but I would have to choose You’re Nick’d Guv; I was immediately drawn to this older Wotto design and as John can vouch (please forgive me Craig!!!) I crossed my fingers that 90 days would be reached before Threadless picked it up.  It’s just a really fun design and I could honestly rock that shirt every day of the week.

John:  For me, Striking has that simple yet complex look to it that makes it my favorite shirt in the collection. Everything about that design just works for me, from the contrast of the cyan and asphalt to the placement of the composition on the t-shirt. Definitely a shirt that I wear more than once in a normal week.

Justin:  Sometimes the best designs come about when you’re not trying to design anything at all. That was the case with Striking. It started out as just digital doodling and ended up being my favorite simple yet striking design in the Fuzzy fleet.

Coty: I just wanted to add that my favorite has got to be I Got 99 Staches… (though I am reaaaally thinking about picking up Striking!). 

Coty: You currently have a new zip-up for presale; is this the beginning of Fuzzy Ink moving beyond selling just tees and faux mustaches?

Fuzzy Ink: Absolutely!!!  We don’t want to spill all of the beans on our surprises in production, but we fully intend to embrace the cooler seasons of the year.  Additionally, in the very near future we’ll be introducing more accessories, some of which probably haven’t been seen in quite a few years (wink wink).  The current market is so saturated with identical products that the only way to distance and separate yourself from the competition (besides getting your hands on a few venture capitalists) is to offer unique and uncommon merchandise.

Coty: What has been the most challenging part for you in terms of running Fuzzy Ink? What do you like the most (and least) about the t-shirt design business? 

Fuzzy Ink: Hands down, the most challenging part about running Fuzzy Ink is literally having our hands in every aspect of the process.  Early on in our brainstorming, we decided that it would be most efficient to actually purchase a screenprinter and make the shirts ourselves in-house.  Throw into the mix all of the designing (website and apparel), screen setup, button-making, marketing, blogging, shipping, etc. and you have a very complex amalgamation of tasks.  Although things have been very daunting at times, it has definitely helped us to become immensely well-rounded with regard to the t-shirt environment as a whole. 

As with just about anything, there are highs and lows in the t-shirt business.  The most rewarding experience for us is two fold.  For starters, I don’t know if there’s a better feeling than when you make a sale (well maybe 30 sales =).  Much like myself, there are millions of professional browsers that do wonders for website hits, but just never seem to make that important transition to the checkout.  Knowing someone donated their hard-earned (assumed) money to sport one of our shirts, belts, buttons, etc. gives you great pride and motivation to crank up the production even higher.  Secondly, the launch of Fuzzy Ink has introduced us to an amazing number of people.  Sure networking can give you a leg-up with essential constituents and partners, but aside from business needs we’ve also gained a lot of quality friends.

At the other end of the spectrum, we’ve had the unfortunate luck of meeting some not-so-lovely individuals as well.  One in particular helped us to initially sell a certain shirt and things were going brilliantly.  Fast forward a few months and this bang up character is nowhere to be found, much like a large chunk of our change.  Although this current situation is still pending, we’re definitely a bit smarter when it comes to collaborating because in much of business the typical rules can be thrown right out the window. 

Coty: As an independent brand I am sure that you received fan mail from people that love Fuzzy Ink. Has there been any one fan in particular that has stuck out in your mind or maybe a particularly interesting photo submission?

Fuzzy Ink: Well we have had a number of interesting submissions, but probably the most memorable feedback we’ve received came at one of the craftshows we attended.  Probably about an hour or two into the show, a younger female approached our booth with an enormous smile.  She absolutely adored the Stache Anything shirt and we proceeded to have a wonderfully detailed conversation about John Cusack, our favorite movies growing up and of course loads of other nonsensical things.  Additionally, the same day we met a grizzled man who although probably a bit on the tipsy side, shared with us some great nostalgic stories about famous mustached men and their claims to fame.  Overall, it’s great to receive feedback through all mediums.  We welcome constructive comments and hope people continue to critique our unique creations. 

Justin, John and Mike: An overwhelming thanks to you Coty for the opportunity to share some of the Fuzzy Ink inner workings.  You do a phenomenal job with your blog and I hope we can help to bring you some unique visitors.  Safe endeavors my friend…

I’d like to thanks John Paul from Fuzzy Ink who contact me and was a blast to work with on this and the rest of the Fuzzy Ink team (Justin and Mike) who helped with this interview! I wish all of you the best in the future and many many tee (and mustaches) sales!