Diary of a T-Shirt Intern: Selling Offline

Diary of a T-Shirt Intern is a weekly column written by Bo, a T-Shirt blogger at Loving This Tee who is also affectionately known in the tee community as dunz0. Bo will be tracking her experiences as an intern at Tilteed and sharing her thoughts on the strange land that is Portland, Oregon!

So we finally did it. We got away from the office and sold some t-shirts in person!

There’s this event in Portland called Last Thursday, where a bunch of vendors, musicians, and artists come out and set up along Alberta Street every last Thursday of the month (as the name suggests). The street gets closed down for several blocks for about 4-5 hours, and it’s absolute madness but in a good way. The first time that I attended Last Thursday was in June but that was only to browse. This time, we would be selling our tees.

Tilteed

In preparing for this event, one of our main questions was how many different designs and how many of each size to bring. That’s a very tough question, especially when you can’t exactly gauge what the shoppers’ tastes are. We had a lineup of eight catalog tees that we stocked in every size, along with leftover Tilteed Limited stock and several random sizes of other catalog pieces. We have experimented with some designs by bringing one or two of them so that we can see our customers’ responses. Every venue will be different, though, so I doubt that we’ll get a good formula for doing this.

When we first tried out selling at small events, I was initially worried about having black shirts sitting out in the sun. I once kept a Doberman Beanie Baby in my mom’s car, and over time that dog was no longer black. That was a silly story that I should probably be embarrassed about, but I think it’s a good explanation of why you should not let your products sit in direct sunlight for too long. We ended up getting a tent after our very first event, though, so problem solved!

Tilteed

Before we started selling Tilteed t-shirts at small fairs in Portland, I had never had any sales experience. Most of the jobs that I have held have been research positions, and the closest that I have gotten to selling anything for pay was when I worked at Subway back in high school. Well, that and when I hustled hard as a little 5th grader trying to sell $200+ worth of gift wrapping paper and other useless, overpriced junk from a school catalog in order to get a Magic 8 Ball in return.

So along with having no sales experience, I’m also not a big people person and rarely approach strangers just to say hello. Because of this, I was rather shocked to learn that I like selling t-shirts offline. Actually, I’m going to say that I don’t like it but that I absolutely 100% LOVE it! It was great getting to converse with everyone who came up to our tent and talk about all of our designs and the artists who created them!

Tilteed

One thing that I’ve learned is that if someone looks in your direction, even for a second from 15 feet away, you should greet them. If you do, there’s a high possibility that they’ll approach you and look at what you have to offer. Sometimes the people you don’t expect to be interested in your products end up loving them, so don’t leave anyone out when you’re greeting people.

We’ve done three events total now, and one thing we’ve noticed is that there will be slow periods and then all of a sudden, everyone will be swarming your tent at once. So if you’re experiencing a lag in customers coming up to your store front towards the beginning of an event, don’t call it quits just yet!

Tilteed

In conclusion, our first Last Thursday definitely blew my expectations away! It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that you’re sharing artwork by some of the most amazing illustrators and designers from around the world with people who may not otherwise see these works. This is one of the reasons why I love graphic t-shirts as much as I do. You get to be a walking canvas every single day if you choose to.

Tilteed

We’re actually going to be at the Hawthorne Street Fair this upcoming Sunday (August 15). You should come and hang out if you’re in the Portland area! For more information, check out Think Hawthorne and click on “Happenings.” Hopefully I’ll get to see some of you!

– Bo aka dunz0

Be sure to check out the latest tee at Tilteed. The shirt is called Drowning Out The Sun and is on sale now for $12 but you can save $2 by using the coupon code “TILTCOTY” at checkout!

Drowning Out The Sun

Drowning Out The Sun

Diary of a T-Shirt Intern: Bo Experiences Portland!

Diary of a T-Shirt Intern is a weekly column written by Bo, a T-Shirt blogger at Loving This Tee who is also affectionately known in the tee community as dunz0. Bo will be tracking her experiences as an intern at Tilteed and sharing her thoughts on the strange land that is Portland, Oregon!

Hey, cotygonzales.com readers! Some of you may know me, but chances are that most of you don’t, so let me begin with a brief introduction about myself. My name is Bo, but I’m also known as dunz0, the blogger at Loving This Tee, and b2.0 at I Am The Trend. I hail from the DC Metro Area, I recently graduated from The College of William and Mary with a degree in Psychology, I have a strong love for slushy drinks, and I have joint custody of a purple Betta fish named Gilly.

To be completely honest, I never imagined being a part of the t-shirt industry when I started out blogging at Loving This Tee. I always thought that I would only be able to stand on the sidelines and admire companies and their designs. Boy, was I wrong! Earlier this year, I was asked to be a curator at Tilteed, an offer that I couldn’t refuse. When I thought that that would be my greatest accomplishment in the t-shirt world, I was asked to fly across the country to Portland, OR to intern at Tilteed. Three weeks after graduation, that’s exactly what I did. So this is where my journey begins. I’ll be sharing with you some of my weekly activities, as well as some of my experiences outside of the print shop.

I’ve only been in Portland working at Tilteed for about a week and a half, but I’m already learning so much and having a lot of fun in the process. In my brief time in the shop, I have learned about all the steps needed for preparing screens for printing, fulfilling orders, and general website upkeep. I have already gotten a chance to try screen printing, and the first shirt that I ever printed was a Tilteed Limited design by Recycledwax called “Jackalope.” Since then, I have printed a couple of other shirts and am hoping that I get many more opportunities to develop my skills. I have a greater appreciation for the whole process now that I know all the steps that go into it.

Bo Screen Printing

Bo Screen Printing

Bo Screen Printed T-Shirt

Strangely enough, I have also found a real enjoyment in fulfilling orders. This part sounds boring, but it’s actually not bad! What’s awesome is that we keep two large maps in the office for pinning where our orders get shipped to. Although it takes me forever to locate towns and cities (I’m horrible with geography), it’s a fun part of packing orders. I hope to see a map completely covered with pins someday!

One of the main lessons that I’ve learned thus far is to treat every aspect of my work with the utmost care. From setting up screens, to printing, to packaging orders, the whole process is even more meaningful when you put in your best efforts throughout each step. There’s no concept of cutting corners here. Since I’m somewhat of a perfectionist, I love this mindset.

T-shirts aside, I’m enjoying being on the West Coast for the first time. It has been cloudy/rainy most of the time, but I do enjoy the fact that Portland weather is not anything like Virginia weather at this time of year. It has been hoody weather here, unlike the hot and humid summer days back at home. I love walking around when it feels this great outside. As a Tilteed outing, I got to go to this amazing donut shop downtown called Voodoo Doughnut. There were some amazing selections on the menu, and I had a hard time picking a pair of donuts. I ended up getting a Voodoo Doll and a Captain My Captain donut. Talk about tasty! I hope to go back again multiple times before I leave this beautiful city.

Bo at VooDoo Donuts

Bo at VooDoo Donuts

So, that’s my recap of my first 10 days interning at Tilteed. I’ll be doing a new write-up on a weekly basis, so keep your eyes peeled for an inside scoop on working at a t-shirt company. I hope that you have enjoyed reading my account and flipping through the photos! If there’s anything in particular that you would like for me to touch on, I’ll be happy to take your suggestions.

Please check out Tilteed if you aren’t familiar with our site. We feature a new design every 72 hours (curated pieces and a monthly contest winner), so you’ll be sure to come across something to your liking!

Be sure to check out the latest curated tee by Bo at Tilteed. The shirt is called Age of Innovation and is on sale now for $12 but you can save $2 by using the coupon code “TILTCOTY” at checkout!

ageinno

ageinno-deatail