Fuzzy Ink + Hawaiian Food = Good Times!

One of the best things about running this blog is being able to meet a bunch of different people online on nearly a daily basis. What’s even better is when I get to meet up with some of these awesome people. And what’s even better is when I get to meet up with a person whom I’ve been blogging about for some time now (over 2 years, yikes!).

Lucky me got that chance to hang out with John Paul, the mastermind behind one of favorite indie brands, Fuzzy-Ink. Turns out that he and his lovely lady friend has been here in Hawaii on vacation for the last two weeks, however, because of my Los Angeles trip I wasn’t able to meet up with him earlier. Fortunately, we were able to finally meet up for dinner and chat a bit about Hawaii, food, Duke vs. UNC, and Fuzzy Ink.

Since John hadn’t yet enjoyed the wonders of Hawaiian food, I decided to take him to one of my favorite Hawaiian food restaurants – Ono’s. Now for those of you that don’t speak or understand Hawaiian (which I assume is the bulk of you), “ono” in Hawaiian means delicious. But of course, a lot of Hawaiian food is an acquired taste (as they soon found out) and involves a LOT of pork. I had them order the Kalua Pig and the Laulau (both of my favorites). They also got nice servings of some lomi-lomi salmon, pipikaula, poi, and haupia. I’m pretty sure they enjoyed the Kalua Pig (pork cooked in an underground “imu” for hours; similar to pulled pork) but i think I might have scared John off with the poi (mashed and fermented taro root)! In any case, I hope that they enjoyed it!

I was also stoked when John brought out a couple of gifts for me that travelled with him all the way from Raleigh, North Carolina. He sent me home with a brand new and as yet unreleased Fuzzy Ink shirt, as well as the amazing Fuzzy Ink cookie cutter set! You guys don’t even know how much I’ve been wanting this cookie cutter set. Thanks, John! By the way, if the shirt (Steamboat Mario by Jublin) look familiar, it’s because it was recently featured on Teefury. I Looks like Fuzzy Ink purchased the design and will be selling it soon on their site.

I didn’t have a chance to snap a photo of our food, but this is prett much what we had (minus the poi). Via Selvin Chance.

Steamboat Mario by Jublin, soon to be available at Fuzzy Ink!

Can’t wait to bake some cookies! Thanks for the cookie cutter set, John!

Fuzzy Ink Spring 2010 Release + An Odd Video of Me

A few days ago I gave you a sneak peak of the Spring 2010 Fuzzy Ink line. Well, they finally released their goods and all I need to say is WOW – it’s just the thing that I need for my mustache fix. If you don’t already know, I’ve got a thing for mustaches, as this list of 101 Weird Mustache Products will attest.

Back to the T-Shirts. The new Spring line is huge! It features a whopping 10 new shirts for both men and women, with gender specific styles. Because, well, when it comes to mustaches you kind of need to be a tad bit less obvious for the ladies. They like subtle things. This might be Fuzzy Ink’s first line specifically for the ladies, but I have to say that it looks like they know what they are doing! Oh yeah, and if you’re a girl that doesn’t care about being subtle, most of the designs on the men side are also available in woman crew neck sizes. Guy’s, sorry, but you can’t have the lady specific designs.

My favorites from the spring line? I really like the blue Look Ma No Hands bicycle T-Shirt as well as the Sonic The Hedgehog inspired Housebroken shirt. On the ladies side, I really think that Sea Smooch is uber cute!

The shirts are priced from $21 to $26 and are available now for purchase. Use the coupon code “Hawaii” at checkout for a splendid 10% off of your entire order!

Fuzzy Ink


Fuzzy Ink

Fuzzy Ink

John from Fuzzy Ink sent over this photo of his living room in its current state. Hmmm…I’m thinking 1. that’s a lot of T-Shirts, and 2. it would kind of be difficult to watch March Madness. Want to help Fuzzy Ink get their living room in order? Buy a T-Shirt!

Fuzzy Ink

Oh, and here’s an outtake from Episode 57 of Co-Tee TV. The episode hasn’t been released yet but I thought I’d share with you this fun tidbit. To get myself in the mood to review I Am The Walrus, I just had to listen to the classic Beatles song of the same name.

Fuzzy Ink Sneak Peak

So our friends over at Fuzzy Ink are getting ready for a big release this Wednesday and they sent over two sneak mustache peaks for you guys to drool over! For the first time ever, Fuzzy Ink will be releasing a line especially made for the ladies! And let me tell you, I’ve seen it and I dig it. Of course, the fellas won’t be left out – they’ve got a bunch of sonic surprises up your alley! Mustaches fans rejoice, because the latest release from Fuzzy Ink will not disappoint!

And let’s not forget the Fuzzy Ink Spring Cleaning Sale! A wide selection of Fuzzy Ink tees have been reduced to $12 less so buy them now because once they’re gone, you won’t be seeing them again. Hint: use the coupon code Hawaii for an extra 10% off your entire order!

Fuzzy Ink

Fuzzy Ink

I Am The Walrus

Our good friends over at Fuzzy Ink has just released their first shirt of the new year  and guess it what, it features a mustache! Of course, you probably would have guessed that since all of their tees feature the lovely patch of hair found above the lip of so many men (and some women). The new shirt is called I Am The Walrus, which begs the question, was this shirt inspired by the Beatles song of the same name?

I Am The Walrus features a large print of what looks like a very confident and hipster-ish Walrus. I love it! It sort of reminds me of the Otter-tude tee from Rethink Clothing that I dig so much. I know you want one of this Walrus shirt to add to your Fuzzy Ink collection so pick one up now for $20.95 and be sure to use the coupon code “Hawaii” for 10% off your entire order!

I Am The Walrus

I Am The Walrus

And for those of you unfamiliar with the BEatles reference above watch this video below.

Brand New Fuzzy Ink + Monster Fuzzies!

Our friends over at Fuzzy Ink recently released a brand spanking new tee, Two Wheels Are Better Than One. It’s a super cute, single color print that can be purchased in two colorways, Cyan on Light Blue and Magenta on Pink. 

And speaking about super cute, how about these amazing Fuzzies! These are super plush mustaches that can be purchased in a variety of different colors and with or without an elastic band (so that you can wear them on your face!). The Fuzzy Ink Fuzzies are available in three different sizes: Small, Large and Monster!

Two Wheels Are Better Than One

Small Fuzzies

Monster Fuzzies

New Fuzzy Ink Tee: Identity Crisis

I’m not sure how long Fuzzy Ink has had this tee available for pre-sale, but I have to admit that it’s a brilliant one! As always, the Fuzzy Ink team sticks with the mustache theme, I don’t think that will be changing anytime soon. The new tee, Identity Crises, was designed by Josh Stomberg, who is also known in creative circles as Sitting Duck. The tee can be purchased now at the pre-sale price of $15.99 ($2 cheaper than regular prices) and are expected to ship out by February 9. Also remember that Fuzzy Ink is a part of the Attack of the Coupons promotion here and as such YOU can get an additional 10% off with the coupon code “Hawaii”. And if you’re wondering, yes, I do live in Hawaii!

Identity Crisis

Identity Crisis

Best Young Brands of 2008

Clothing blog, The Art of Apparel, has an interesting post up that is allowing visitors to vote for their favorite (young) indie tee brands of 2008. The Art of Apparel admin, MadeByMAS, has stated that many of the brands that he chose for voting are ones that frequent the tee site Emptees and doesn’t include oldies and more established brands like Johnny Cupcakes.

The poll consists of 15 different brands including: AlrightOK, Dekay, Electric Zombie, Fuzzy Ink, Linty Fresh, Mediocore Clothing, Prestigious, Rethink Clothing, Slugabed Clothing, Snakes & Suits, Suffoca, The Horror Project, Word! Apparel, Zombie Liquorice, and 410BC. 

Congratulations to all the brands that made this list – it surely must be an honor to be recognized by one of your peers! Keep up the great work.

The Art of Apparel

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!