Tee Maniacs Contest by T-Shirt Magazine

T-Shirt Magazine announced their 2nd Tee Maniacs Contest, this time with the support of online tee giant Threadless! This is the contest for all T-Shirt crazed maniacs. If you’ve got a closet filled with tees and need more room then this contest is for you! 

What do you have to do? Simple. Submit a photo or video showing how much of a tee maniac you really are. That’s it! Be as creative as you can because the competition will prove to be fierce, considering that the first Tee Maniac Contest drew over 1000 entries. 

You can start submitting your entries on January 23 and continue to do so until February 20. Five finalist will be chosen from all of the entries and will go up for voting by the tee community. One winner will be announced on March 21, 2009. 

The newly crowned Tee Maniac will win the following, courtesy of Threadless and T-Shirt Magazine:

  • 15 t-shirts
  • A hoody
  • A 24×30 print
  • $150 cash
  • $50 Threadless gift certificate
  • A feature interview on T-Shirt Magazine 

I’ll surely be throwing my hat into the mix and submitting an entry – will you? 

Tee Maniacs Contest

Crazy Sale at Loyal To Your Soil

Our pals at Loyal To Your Soil is having a crazy sale at their online store! Buy products now and you’ll get 40% off your entire order. The sale ends on January 18 – so you have 2 days to save some cash. It’s a great time to buy that tee that you’ve been holding off on. Even better, you’ll receive a free Loyal To Your Soil hat if you spend at least $40. Are you Loyal To Your Soil? 

sale40

They also sent me a sneak peek of their upcoming spring line. You’ve got to use your imagination a bit – but hey, that’s part of the fun of sneak peeks! I’m digging the colors so far and I can’t wait to see the full designs.

springsneek

Want Your Product Reviewed?

I recently received an email from a regular reader here, who has decided to take the plunge and enter into the apparel business. He sent me a a nice email asking me how he might go about having his product reviewed, talked about and posted on my site. I decided that I would do a general post based on his question for others that might be interested in doing the same. 

I basically break my blog posts about apparel brands into three different categories: brand news/sales, brand reviews and brand interview. The best way to let me know about any of these things is through the contact form in the above menu. Many of my posts originate from tidbits that I find myself through other blogs, forums or social networks. However, a lot of the time, bands will contact me directly.

If you decided to contact me directly then these are some things to remember:

General Brand News/Sales. Any changes to your brand? Big sale? 

1. Be as specific as you can about the news about your brand/company. Provide a link to the news if you made a post about it on your site.
2. Be as specific about the sale as possible. How much is the discount? How long does the sale last? Are there specific products on sale? 

Brand Reviews. Most of the emails I receive are from different indie brands wanting me to check out their online store/site or to review a product. Here is some insight as to how I decide what to review. 

1. If you send me a physical product to review (i.e you mailed me something) I will almost always do a post about your product (I’m 100% so far). I have been more inclined as of late to do video reviews in conjunction with a text review of the product you shipped to me. Needless to say, products that are shipped to me typically receive the most attention – since you took the time to send it, it’s the least I could do. You can find my shipping information in the contact menu above.
2. If there is a particular product you want me to check out and possibly review then please provide a specific link to that product. Or include an image of it as an attachment. 
3. If your brand or a specific tee design jumps out at me (i.e. I really like it) then I will be more inclined to post about it.
4. If your story and/or background excites me then I will be more inclined to post about you.

Brand Interviews. These are a lot of work and I try as hard as I can to pump out at least one Interview a week. Interviews on this site come in two flavors: the Indie Tee Spotlight series and one-off interviews. 

1. Most of the time, the interview will be a part of my Indie Tee Spotlight series. The Indie Tee Spotlight is always reserved for brands from which I have been sent a product for review and have really enjoyed or that I have purchased from and have really liked. These are usually my biggest posts, in terms of word length, and I try my best to promote these as best as I can. 
2. Other times, I will do one-off interviews, for instance, if a brand has big news then I might interview them about it or if I really dig a particular brand I might send the them a few questions. 

That’s it! I look forward to all of your wonderful emails and products. Keep up the great work!

Linty Fresh Live Chat #3

Linty Fresh’s Eric Terry announced the date for the 3rd of his Linty Fresh live chats. He’ll be available once more, Sunday January 25, to answer any questions you might have live via ustream. He’ll also have a special guest this time around, a friend and SEO specialist. This should be great for those of you wondering how you can best optimize your blog or online store for search engines like Google. It’s a two hour live show, so come ready with questions to ask, bring some snacks and get ready to gain some knowledge!

Linty Fresh Live Chat #3

Pastry Tries To Imitate Johnny Cupcakes?

Johnny Cupcakes recently made a post on Emptees regarding some very very very similar looking items being released by Pastry, a brand owned by Vanessa and Vangela Simmons. Some of you might recognize the Simmons girls if you watch Run’s House on MTV – they are the daughters of Rap legend Reverend Run of Run DMC. 

Johnny posted the following message:

“Last Spring I was alerted by a customer who happened to work at a popular mall sportswear store. This customer of mine caught a glimpse of his manager’s catalog which had various items that were being released in the near future at all of their mall locations. One of the items in this companies catalog was a “Make Pastry Not War” t-shirt. Not only was it a very similar slogan, but it had the same EXACT placement, font, EVEN A CUPCAKE in the center of the t-shirt. This was no coincidence. Weeks later my inbox was flooded with furious Johnny Cupcakes customers who saw this same catalog with the ‘Pastry’ design in it. I could of made a big deal about it online, making everyone else aware of it. Instead, I decided not to be a cry baby and post it all over the internet, so I sought out a different route. I decided to contact my trademark attorney, who then contacted the owners of Pastry / Pastry Kicks. We got in touch with the President of a certain mall chain-store who ended up declining the order of all ‘Make Pastry Not War’ t-shirts.”

 Make Cupcakes Not War

“Recently I’ve received several e-mails from confused and upset customers of mine. Now, 2 other designs have appeared on their website. You be the judge…”

Support Your Local Bakery

Freshly Baked

Johnny caught them on this once before last year, with the Make Cupcakes Not War tee. It looks like the girls didn’t learn from their previous mistake. The new Pastry tees are too similar – way too similar. It is so shameful that they are doing such blatant rip offs of an already established brand. Shame. On. YOU!

Here is the information that you need if you want to voice your concern to Pastry. Let them know this is wrong and lame in every way. 

 

Customer service toll free Number 
1-800-970-0776 
212-246-1900 
Mon-Fri 9AM-6PM. Sat 10AM-5PM (ET).

http://www.pastrykicks.com/contact/ 
http://www.myspace.com/pastrykicks

help@pastrykicks.com

hr@adjmi-apparel.com

Here are a few emails of Pastry representatives:

dennisd@vidagroup.com 
kimsnow@vidagroup.com 
kevinstorch@vidagroup.com 
davidm@vidagroup.com 
alharris@vidagroup.com

Sale at MNKR Clothing

Here’s a sale I learned about at T-Shirts Around The Internet – it’s called the Super Recession Sale and its taking place at MNKR Clothing, a tee brand based out of California. The sale runs through February 1st. I’ve included a couple of my recommended pick ups, including one that would be semi-fun to wear at your local Wal-Mart.

MNKR Clothing

MNKR Clothing

MNKR Clothing

MNKR Clothing

More Coupon Codes!

I’m happy to announce that there are a couple of new additions to the Attack of the Coupon Codes! You can now find the following indie brands (see below) in my coupon section along with the fine bunch already there. Check out each of those links as each page talks a little about the company and I also share my favorite picks from their online stores. 

Arkaik Clothing: 10% off
CEER!US Apparel: 10% off
Disturbia Clothing: 15% off
I Came From Nothing: 30% off
Jon Wye: $5 off
Of Rome Clothing: 20% off
Prestigious Clothing: 10% off
Quakerninja: 25% off
Shifted Image: 10% off
Snakes & Suits: 10% off

This is just the tip of the iceberg, my friends! I hope to get a bunch more coupon codes for you to use at your favorite indie tee shops. Beware of the Attack of the Coupon Codes!

T-Shirt Coupons

23 Great Apparel Related Design Articles

Here’s a great article from My Ink Blog that I found on Twitter (thanks to @designforum) that features 23 apparel related design articles on the web. The post features some of my favorite tee sites, including Pop Culture Tees, Taddict and The Art of Apparel. Some of the topics covered include:

15 Awful Mistakes Made by Designers in the Music and Apparel Industry

How to Take Your T-Shirt Artwork From Good to Great

47 Essential Resources for T-Shirt Designers

The Big List of T-Shirt Blog Feeds

Also check out these articles from this site:

10 Tips From 10 Great Indie Brands

5 Tips That Will Improve Your Online Store

5 Ongoing T-Shirt Design Contests (Part II)

My Ink Blog

Indie Tee Spotlight #14: Jon Wye

In this weeks Indie Tee Spotlight I feature Jon Wye, a belt and t-shirt designer based out of Washington, D.C. who has been doing his thing for four years now. You might remember that I recently featured the Jon Wye designed Homemaker belt in my last Glorious Nonsensities video review. Jon is the ultimate do-it-yourselfer as he has developed his own methods to produce his signature graphic design belts and buckles. He also has developed a unique method for taking 3D product shots, providing a unique experience for the potential buyer.

I had the opportunity to get to know Jon more and am happy that he was able to share a little about himself and  the company that he has poured his entire self into for the last couple of years.

Jon Wye Photo Dome

Coty: Your signature products are your custom made leather belts and buckles. What was your first experience in working with leather and what propelled you to start a company focused on making original and custom made belts?

Jon: It all started with a girl. I think that’s how a lot of good stories start. One of our first dates was making belt buckles out of wax carvings, plaster casting, and melting craft-catalogue pewter into the mold. And when she moved away to Barcelona (pre-planned before we met) I had a lot of time on my hands and so I kept creating. I didn’t want to be the person “left” behind, I wanted to strive for something. So I started making more belt buckles and eventually moved to belts. And the initial ideas for the graphic belt process came about a year into my brand. It was one of those ‘ah ha’ from a dream moments. And it kind of consumed me until I perfected it.

Connected Graffiti Leather Belt

Zombie Leather Belt

Men's Sixshooter T-shirt by Jon Wye

Coty: All of your products are custom made in your shop that you’ve named “the funkfactory.” How did you learn to work with the metal and leather mediums that you use for your belts? Did you learn by trial and error or do you have some formal training?

Jon: It was all trial and error. A lot of error! I worked as an Office Manager (glorified receptionist) at a PR firm for about 4 years. I spent a lot of time researching everything on the Internet. A tidbit here, a tadbit there. No one source spells it all out for you. I simply became a good disseminator of information, coupled with an unquenchable thirst to learn more and more. There is so much knowledge available on the internet for the taking. The key is being able to sift through it. And then once you think you’ve sifted through all you can handle you take the plunge and start to put your money on the line and test things out. So my whole shop, process, everything came from being willing to learn and never be too set in my ways, which is something I think a lot of people get hung up on. You have to be fluid.

Junk-baby-blue-2

Coty: We cover a lot about marketing and branding techniques. Have you done anything, either locally or online, different or unique to market the Jon Wye brand? What techniques have worked best for you?

Nothing, absolutely nothing beats getting out into the public! I spent the last 3 years selling at various outdoor events in the DC area, building my name. Every time people saw my display it was bigger and better. When I made money it went right into new displays (all custom built) and new products. People love to see you growing, and love to know that the money they spend on you is helping to build something special… that they had a hand in your success.

I once took out an expensive add in the back of Rolling Stone magazine… worst mistake ever! I spent $2000 thinking I was going to be selling belts and tees like crazy! I think I made about $250 back. I took the spanking and walked away from paid advertising. I started doing what I learned at the PR Firm. I wrote press releases, and came up with unique twists for announcements. And that led to some feature articles in the Washington Post that people still remember to this day.
And I talk about the brand. As one PR person told me, if you don’t talk about you, no one will. It’s true! It might feel odd at first, but if you truly believe in what you are creating it will come across as sincere when you tell people about you creations.

And lastly, my Pink Ducky sticker. One of my supremely talented artists, David William, helped me create a JonWye iconic image. My Pink Ducky sticker is known around DC and is included in every order from online. It was a big risk to create the stickers considering I give them away for free, but I have seen my return 100 fold. People love the darn thing and are shocked that I give it away for free. It’s waterproof and really durable. I made sure the quality of the sticker matched the quality of my brand.

Coty: You’ve been building the Jon Wye brand for three years now. What has been your greatest experience so far? What has been the most difficult or stressful part of running your own small business?

Jon: Actually I’ve been building it for 4 years as of January 2nd. YEAH… 4 year Anniversary! That’s why the JUNK buckles are on sale for $10. It was the first buckle!

I used to look for that great moment, the tipping point (BTW, I highly suggest reading ‘The Tipping Point’) but it’s been more of a slow and steady build. Each year is better than the last. Each year has great moments, but all in all it’s been the whole of it, the journey, the mental game of creating something that has been the most rewarding.

The most difficult or stressful part? OYE! Sticking to my ideas even though every sign around me said it wasn’t right. There were many moments where I didn’t know if I was going to be able to make my credit card payments. Times when I invested in new machines and products when I didn’t necessarily have the money. It is no joke when I say that I have put everything I have into this company, and then some. Thing are still tight, but thanks to all the wonderful people that have supported me the light at the end of the tunnel is peering through.

Coty: How much do you think the D.C. culture has influenced your designs and the direction of your clothing line?

Jon: The easy answer is that I am a product of my environment. I grew up here. I know people in DC, myself included, talk about politics on a more regular basis, as we are inundated. But I am separated from the political scene. And DC’s rich underbelly of Punk Rock, Bike Polo, etc is something I am just now becoming more aware of.

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AJ Dimarucot Wins 2009 Uneetee Kick Off Design Contest

Congratulations to AJ Dimarucot, better know in the indie tee world as CollisionTheory for winning the 2009 Uneetee Kick Off Design Contest! He won $3,000 from this contest, to add to his growing list of contest winnings. You might remember that last September he won $10,000 in the Design By Humans contest. One has to ask, what’s next? Maybe a Threadless Bestee Award? 

The winning tee is named An Offer You Can’t Refuse and comes in two flavors, black and white. The tee is available now at Uneetee for a measly $12, so be sure to pick one up!

An Off You Can't Refuse

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