Labyrinth Subtleties Backpack

This is cool. A few days ago I mention Labyrinth’s Key To Life T-Shirt. Now, I stumbled upon their Subleties Backpack. It’s simple and modern. Best of all, it will not cost you an arm and a leg. The backpack is priced at $24.99, which is very reasonable. It also features a custom leather patch debossed with the Labyrinth logo and custom Labyrinth zippers. Only 20 of these limited edition backpacks were made so be sure to pick one up now if you’re interested.

The Labyrinth Subleties Backpack is available now from Labyrinth Clothing for $24.99.

Premium Leather Goods from Ugmonk

These premium leather items from Ugmonk look amazing. Ugmonk designer Jeff Sheldon does excellent job at paying such close attention to detail. Seriously sexy stuff. I actually wish that the premium leather case was tailored to fit on a Moleskine Notebooks. I’d love that. Maybe a future product?

Leather Bi-Fold Wallet: This uniquely designed bi-fold wallet is handcrafted from a single piece of leather which can be easily flattened for tanning and oiling. The raw leather starts out a light color and will age, darkening as it absorbs the oils from your hands and is exposed to the sun. The more you use it, the better it looks. Price: $84

Ugmonk Leather Card Case: Let’s face it. Most people carry around a lot of excess in their wallets. For those prefer a more minimal approach, this slim card case is perfect for holding just the essentials. This ultra slim design can be comfortably carried in the front or back pocket. Handcrafted right here in the USA. Price: $58

Leather Card Case: Let’s face it. Most people carry around a lot of excess in their wallets. For those prefer a more minimal approach, this slim card case is perfect for holding just the essentials. This ultra slim design can be comfortably carried in the front or back pocket. Handcrafted right here in the USA. Price: $56

Great Scott! Jon Wye’s T-Shirt Time Capsule!

I have been a big fan of Jon Wye’s since nearly the start of this blog. He was one of the first people to reach out and contact me about their products and was even one of the first to send me a product to video review. Of course, I’ve been trying to pay it forward ever since – blogging about his T-Shirts and belts whenever I get the chance (and even stopping by his brick and mortar shop in NYC!).

And now is a great chance to talk Jon Wye. For a limited time, you can score an amazing deal on some awesome Jon Wye tees. For $30 you will get 3 Jon Wye tees. One of the tees is guaranteed to be new, either seen on the website or not yet released. The other two t-shirts are any combination of new, vaulted designs from years past, or tees that we purposed for display/ modeling shoots (laundered of course). As a bonus, all orders will come with a Jon Wye key chain or Pirate Chef sticker. Now that’s a great deal for $30! Go pick up a Jon Wye Time Capsule pack now from the Jon Wye online shop.

Co-Tee TV Episode 61: Johnny Cupcakes and The Suitcase Tour

In this episode of Co-Tee TV I wear Robocopper by Olly Moss and review a box of goodies sent to me from Johnny Cupcakes, a clothing brand started in 2001 by Massachusetts native, Johnny Earle. Earlier this month, Johnny Cupcakes embarked on a nationwide adventure that he dubbed The Suitcase Tour.

For Johnny, this is him going back to his roots. When he first started Johnny Cupcakes, he would sell goods stuffed in an old suitcase from the trunk of car. He would stuff that suitcase full with Johnny Cupcakes tees and he’d bring it along to whatever city his band was playing in at the time. That was how Johnny Cupcakes started and now with this tour, Johnny Cupcakes has come full circle.

You can also watch this episode on Vimeo, Viddler, YouTube, blip.tv and download and sync all episodes to your iPod or iPhone by subscribing for free to Co-Tee TV in the iTunes Store.

Co-Tee TV Facebook Fan Page

Coty’s Thoughts:

I received a couple of products from Johnny Cupcakes, including his Make Cupcakes Not War sticker, Camo Print Pencil, Camo Print Notebook, and Crossbones Wallet. The stickers and the pencil were your standard branded items and are some of the cheaper products in the Johnny Cupcakes shop. On a budget? Buy a Johnny Cupcakes branded pencil, pin or sticker.

The composition book was not as sturdy as those classic composition books from grade school with the thick front and back covers. Instead, this one was a bit more flexible due to the covers not being as thick. The inside back cover of the book comes with the standard “things you should know” facts like you’d find in any composition book. The inside of the front cover has a cute outline of the Johnny Cupcakes logo that you encouraged to sketch inside of.

The most exciting part of the package was the purple leather crossbones wallet. The wallet comes packaged in a little brown sack, with black lettering and a red drawstring. The wallet is very thin and is made up of a total of four pockets. The main center pocket is perfect for a few bills. On one side of the wallet there are two pockets for your plastic cards and on the opposite side you’ll find a pocket with a clear window, presumably for identification.

Pricing: Purple Crossbones Wallet ($24.99), Camo Print Notebook ($5.99), Make Cupcakes Not War Sticker ($2.99), Camo Print Pencil (0.99¢).

Johnny Cupcakes Box

Johnny Cupcakes Composition Book

Johnny Cupcakes Goodies

Johnny Cupcakes Stickers

Johnny Cupcakes Pencil

Johnny Cupcakes Leather Wallet

Johnny Cupcakes Leather Wallet

Johnny Cupcakes

Johnny Cupcakes Suitcase Tour 2010

Also mentioned in this episode:

Robocopper by Olly Moss

Apple iPad

Johnny Cupcakes Back To Basics Tour

If you want to send me a product to review, please feel free to do so. You can find my information in the contact menu above. Thanks!


Cute microbes on sale

New Jon Wye Tees, New York Shop and Sale!

Our favorite custom leather belt designer and purveyor of fanciful T-Shirts, Jon Wye, has released a new line of tees and has opened up shop in what some argue to be the greatest city in the world, New York City.  The new line features some wonderful and witty illustrations featuring everything from ants and robots to squirrels and the ever wonderful weasel. He also has expanded his Pirate Chef line, which is a welcome surprise (i’ve always been a fan of it). Raise your hand if your think Jon should turn Wonder Weasel into the next great animated series.

The new tees can be had at prices starting from $25 but you can save some cash this TODAY (Tuesday) if you use the code “CyberMon” at checkout (you get 20% off your entire order). The money saving deals last all week long too:

  • Cyber Tuesday: 20% off
  • Cyber Wednesday: reduced to 15% off
  • Cyber Thursday: reduced to 10% off until Saturday Dec 5th at midnight

Jon Wye

Jon WyeJon Wye

In other news, Jon Wye, is now available in a brick and mortar shop in the heart of NYC at Bryant Park. “We’ve built an entire store that looks just like a classic library, complete with FAKE deer head, real working fireplace, bar, red leather high wing back chair, and custom built furniture in a classic library style.” If I was in NYC I’d definitely stop by and say hi! I have to say that the set-up looks totally amazing and luxurious to boot! And that wall of belts is pure awesomeness.

Jon Wye in New York City

Jon Wye in New York City

Jon Wye in New York City

Jon Wye in New York City

An NES Buckle and a Shirt To Match

This is actual very cool. It’s called the NES Buckle and it is a belt buckle made from an actual classic NES controller! They cost 30 bucks for the buckle alone and $45 if you buy the NES buckle and leather belt combo. To celebrate the relaunch they had to find more controllers!) they are giving away a $10 discount code to the first 100 people to use the code so you better act fast if you want to take advantage of this deal! The code, fittingly, is “upupdowndown”. 

NES Buckle

but alas, this is a tee blog and any post minus a tee, will not cut it! So here you go, the perfect tee to go with this belt! ACTUALLY, the recently released Threadless tee, The Gaming Revolution by Sean Mort, would be a better fit but I’ve already featured it on the site!

The tee is called model no. NES-004 and it’s coming to you from Huzzah Goods and it sells for $25. 

model no. NES-004

Pirate Chefs by Jon Wye

Here’s the newest tee from designer t-shirt and belt maker, Jon Wye. It’s called Pirate Chefs and it’s a play on the old skull and crossbones concept. It’s part of a new series that will include an upcoming Pirate Chefs belt (see a preview of the artwork of the Pirate Chefs belt below). 

I like it! And I can actually see Jon taking this a bit further and building on this Pirate Chefs line by including other tees and belts. I’m interested to see the rest of the artwork for the belt and the characters that will be included on it. Might some of those characters carry on to a future Pirate Chefs tee? What about a Pirate Chefs belt buckle? There’s so much you can do with this, Jon!

Pirate Chefs by Jon Wye

Pirate Chefs Belts Preview

New Jon Wye Shirt Designs

Remember our friend Jon Wye? Sure you do, we featured him in Indie Tee Spotlight #14 and we did a video review of his Homemaker leather belt. Well, Jon Wye is back, this time with a ton of new tee designs! 

He has got 6 new designs, in both men and women’s tees. Included in his most recent release is a tee that he is calling the “the FIRST stylish Washington, DC.” Here’s what he had to say about the appropriately named Washington D.C. tee:

Most DC shirts come from the National Mall right next to the Hot Dog vendors, and don’t really reflect the city!

This new DC shirt hits the mark. The rigid letters spelling out “Washington” represent the more, well, rigid elements of the city… business… POLITICS! And “DC” along with the outside of the whole graphic are coated in a goo. The GOO is the rest of us, the underbelly, the coating which makes DC fun.

Washington DC

To go along with the DC tee, Jon also released a couple of other fun and neat designs. I especially like that Fighting Rooster and Richie Rich  tee! You can buy these tees here. Remember, Jon Wye is part of our Attack of the Coupons promotion so be sure to use the coupon code “5up” to take $5 off your purchase!

Richie Rich and Fighting Rooster

Love Birds and Owl

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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