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

Weekly Recap and Linkology | July 25, 2010

Around This Blog:

This past week has basically been all about one thing: COMIC-CON! I did a ton of posts on and related to the biggest geek event of the year. And it all culminated in The Best of Comic-Con Costume Spotting 2010. If you missed out on the daily costume coverage, be sure to check out this all in one exclusive post!

Comic-Con 2010 Costume Spotting

Also, be sure to check out some of the cool photos from the Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World printing press station that was set up at Comic-Con.

Scott Pilgrim

T-Shirt Blogging Friends:

Have you voted for CotyGonzales.com yet over at T-ShirtBlo.gs? I’m currently ranked #4 so please help me out by giving a vote of 5 stars! Virtual hugs, kisses and high fives will be dispersed appropriately!

Vote for me on t-shirtblo.gs

Seibei gave a little sneak peek of an upcoming shirt, which debuted at the Renegade Craft Fair LA. Via Seibei.

Seibei

Check out these great photos of Portland, Oregon by none other than johnny Cupcakes. Awesome stuff. Via Johnny Cupcakes.

portland_creperie

Spotted this awesome Anti-Eco shirt over at T-Shirt Reviews Blog. The shirt is called A Little Radiation Brightens My Day. Via T-Shirt Reviews Blog.

anti_eco_tees_rad_07.08.10_rz

Other Coty Links:

If you’re in the market for a new iPad stand then be sure to check out this list of 5 ultra sexy iPad stands! Via SwipeTap.

5 Ultra Sexy iPad Stands

I still can’t get over how freakin’ awesome this Graffiti marriage proposal is. Via TumblrTrends.

Threadless News:

Threadless had an AMAZING week this week. They stopped by Comic-Con and even held their Comics-On Tees Launch Party! This weeks Threadless Pick of the Week goes to Every Night I Have the Same Dream, Issue 3, Vol. 1 by Cliff Chiang.

Every Night I Have the Same Dream, Issue 3, Vol. 1 by Cliff Chiang

Every Night I Have the Same Dream, Issue 3, Vol. 1 by Cliff Chiang

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

Seattle/Portland Trip Day 5 + 6

And my Seattle/Portland daily recaps continue!

Day 5 T-Shirt of Choice: Make Me A Sandwich by Seibei and Bombs Away by Dale Edwin Murray (Tilteed)

This marked the start of our road trip to neighboring state, Oregon. We began the morning by having breakfast at a little cafe en route to Tacoma, were would switch off with our friends cousin whose car we were borrowing for the trip to Portland. The Shipwreck Cafe is this small stop off of Martin Way in Olympia, Washington. I got the breakfast special, which consisted of chickenfried steak, eggs, hashbrowns and toast. It was better than I expected! Tons of gravy lathered over the chicken steak. Don’t pay attention to the calories because the gravy really makes this dish special.

Oregon

After breakfast we headed straight for our first stop in Portland, the Full Sail Brewery, which is right next to Hood River. Full Sail Brewery is known for their award winning Session brew. The brewery tour lasted about 30 minutes and was quite interesting and informative. They walk you through the entire beer making process and even let you taste the ingrediants that go into brewing beer. At the end of the tour you score a free Full Sail glass!

Full Sail Brewery

The food at Full Sail Brewery was OK but the beer was exceptional. I especially loved the Full Sail Session Lager, that is definitely my type of beer and well worth the 2.5 hour drive from Tacoma. We ended up buying a case to bring back to the hotel.

After Full Sail we headed to Portland to check into our hotel, the third Marriot stop of our Seattle/Portland journey. We got lost. But that was a good thing because we ended up at a Traders Joe’s and bought tons of snacks! I wish Hawaii had a Trader Joe’s.

Lo and behold our hotel was only 5 minutes away from Trader Joes. We made it to our hotel, quickly unpacked and headed out to yet another beer destination – Rogue Distillery & Public House, to meet up with Travis Greenwood of Found Item Clothing and Patrick Treadway of Tilteed! We had a great time chatting about tees, Portland life, tees, and tees! It was great meeting up with those two excellent dudes. And my friends were happy because they scored some free tees from Patrick and one of you lucky readers will score a free tee(s) from Travis (I need to first figure out how to give them away)!

Travis Greenwood of Found Item Clothing

That’s Travis Greenwood from Found Item Clothing. Amazing guy who knows a ton about shirts and has crazy ideas! Follow him on Twitter @founditemclothing.

Parick Treadway of Tilteed.com

Hey, it’s Patrick from Tilteed.com! He markets, prints, and ships out all Tilteed orders by himself! Talk about dedication and being passionate about what you do! Follow Tilteed on Twitter @Tilteed. Use the code “TiltCoty” for an additional $2 off your Tilteed order!

After Rogue, Patrick was kind enough to drive us to VooDoo Doughnuts to get a taste of the weirdness that is Portland! VooDoo Doughnoughts was great experiece filled with an eclectic set of people! I’ve never quite experienced anything like VooDoo Doughnuts. It was a trip to say the least. And Patrick was right, VooDoo Doughnuts is best experienced at night because when we stopped by the following morning, the crowd was a bore compared to the night munchers.

VooDoo Doughnuts

Yes, that’s bacon on top of maple syrup drenched doughnut. Only at VooDoo Doughnuts!

Day 6 T-Shirt of Choice: Make Wellness Not War by I Am Wellness

Portland here we come! The morning was spent exploring the Pearl District of Portland. Our first stop was the famous Powell’s Books on Burnside. To say that this bookstore is huge is a big understatement. It’s ginormous. It’s probably larger than most public libraries you’ve been to. The store is split up into 8 different sections based on genre and occupies three full floors. You could spend countless hours exploring Powell’s, unfortunately our time was limited so our visit was brief (I still left with two new books).

Keep Portland Weird

As I was walking through Portland someone walked right pass me and said “I Love Your Shirt”. You can get it from I Am Wellness. Use the code “SUMMER09″ for 15% off (hopefully the code still works).

By the time we were through with Powell’s we headed out to lunch at Old Town Pizza which is an iconic Portland eatery with a haunted reputation. “Don’t be surprised if an unexpected guest joins you for a slice today. A constant presence at Old Town Pizza is Nina (pronounced “Nigh-na”), our resident ghost. If you feel a presence behind you, or smell a faint waft of perfume, you may have just received a visit. Nina is often seen in a black dress observing diners and wandering the basement below.” We settled on the House Pizza topped with salami, pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushroom, black olives and bell peppers. The pizza was good but unfortunately there was no sighting of Nina, the resident ghost. I will say, though, that the restroom was freaky as hell. It is very dimly lit in there and I had a weird feeling (while I was peeing no less) that someone was watching me. Freaky!

Ground Kontrol is a neat little vintage arcade that Travis of Found Item Clothing suggested we hit up and I’m glad that we did! We spent about an hour in there playing some very old school arcade games like Centipede, Punch-Out, Simpsons and Space Invaders. This is not your typical arcade because at Ground Kontrol there is a fully functional bar. Awesome.

Ground Kontrol

I’m a huge fan of Punch-Out so I was stoked to find this classic arcade game at Ground Kontrol!

After Ground Kontrol my buddies decided to grab a box of VooDoo doughnuts for the drive back home. While they stood in line (in the hot sun no less and yet another reason to go during the night time) I ventured down the street and stumbled across a neat little coffee/art shop called Stumptown Coffee Roasters. It had a a nice open space as opposed to the typical cramped coffee shop. I had the Queens Iced Tea and it was the cool refreshment that I needed! While the guys stood in that line for VooDoo doughnuts I sipped on my iced tea in air conditioning!

Good bye Portland, I knew you for just a day but I had a great time! Now en route to Tacoma (to return the car), we decided to stop by the Outlet Mall near Chehalis and in Centralia, Washington. The outlet stores of importance included Quicksilver, Billabong, and Nike. We hit those three shops up pretty hard.

From there we caught a shuttle to the 4th and final hotel of our stay – the Marriott Seattle Waterfront, which is just a few steps from Pike’s Place. We didn’t stay in the hotel for long as we decided grab some Clam Chowder from the original Ivar’s Seafood, right on the Seattle Waterfront. When you go to Ivar’s there just one thing you need to get – The Clam Chowder! We ordered one of each of the three different varieties: white, red and salmon. I urge you to do the same.

Ivar's

They encourage you to feed the Seagulls.

Ivar's

Small cup of Salmon Clam Chowder from Iver’s before heading to Del Rays for even more food and drinks!

Next we hit up Del-Rey’s for appetizers and drinks (or should I say beers and margaritas) and then finished the night off by closing down the bar at, appropriately, Ohana’s in Belltown, a Hawaiian themed bar. This was the third night that we stayed at a bar till closing (2am in Seattle).

But the night did not end there. We ventured off into the alley ways of the Seattle Waterfront and eventually ending up at Pier 67. The streets were empty and all that was left were four guys from Hawaii, laughing, talking and enjoying the camaraderie that you get from being with your closest friends.

Ohana Bar

Strangely enough, we ended our last together at Ohana’s in Belltown.

Flying Out To Seattle – Plaid Nation!

I’m just about ready to leave my house to catch my flight to Seattle! I couldn’t resist doing a quick video of the flyaway shirt I chose to wear. It’s from the guys over at the Plaid Design Agency. They sent me over this tee after I blogged about their Plaid Nation 2009 cross country tour. I love it!

So, as a fair warning, I’ll be gone till next Wednesday but don’t worry I will still be doing posts on the blog. I have some already prepared but I will most likely be doing video blogs of my travels. Hopefully I’ll also be able to meet up with the guys behind Tilteed and Found Item Clothing while I am in Portland! So keep an eye out for those!