Castle Grayskull: Home Sweet Home

For the record, I was a HUGE Masters of the Universe fan growing up. HUGE! I had all of the “action figures” and I even had the epic Castle Grayskull! In fact, I still have all of the figures tucked away in a closet somewhere in my parents home. Having said that, I was blown away by this tee from Robit Studios. It’s appropriately titled Home Sweet Home and it undoubtedly features the characters of Castle Grayskull. Sweet! I’m a grown man and I want this shirt – nothing wrong with that because this shirt is epic.

Home Sweet Home is printed on an asphalt American Apparel tee and is available now for purchase from Robit Studios for $21.

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

And this is the toy Castle Grayskull that I spoke of above in all of its epic glory:

Castle Grayskull

Castle Grayskull

Photos of Castle Graskull courtesy of Flickr user m1a9366b

Most Of You Are Average + CONTEST!

I absolutely love the newest tee from Robit Studios! It’s called Most Of You Are Average and it features a simple bell shaped curve. Now, if any of you have taken a course in statistics then you are probably very familiar with this “normal” curve. This very simply shape is actually very powerful and can tell us a lot about any given population. 

Now, as a blogger, I hope that I don’t fall right smack down in the middle of the “T-Shirt blogging population.” I hope to fall at least two or three standard deviations to the right of the mean and towards awesomeness! In the world of blogging, those that stay at the peak of that bell shaped curve are easily forgotten. The goal is to be at the tail end of the curve (hopefully the positive end). Here are a few things that set this T-Shirt blog apart from the crowd:

1. Videos! Lots and lots of videos. Be sure to check out the latest episode of Co-Tee TV every Thursday and Coty Loves Threadless every Monday!

2. Attack of the Coupon Codes! Get the best deals from some of your favorite online tee shops right here. 

3. Indie Tee Spotlight highlights the best brands and interviews the people that run those brands!

4. Honest, original reviews and rich content! Each post is built with thought. No copy and pasting of press releases here!

5. Embracing social media! Find me on Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo! Download episodes of Co-Tee TV from the iTunes Music Store. 

Win MOST OF YOU ARE AVERAGE from Robit Studios!

What are some things that you do for your job, hobby or life in general that keeps you away from that peak of mediocrity? Tell me why you are NOT average! 

You have 3 chances to win. Answer the above and do one of the three things below and get one entry, do two of the below and you get two entries and if you do all three then you get the maximum 3 entries and 3 chances to win!

1. Leave your answer in the comments section here in the blog.

2. Become a fan of Co-Tee TV on Facebook and leave your answer on my fan page for another chance to win.

3. Retweet the following message for a 3rd entry:

RT @cotygonzales win a free shirt from @robit_studios by telling us why you’re NOT average! http://su.pr/2DvSZy 3 chances to win!

Be creative, be original and tell me why you are NOT average and I will choose one person to win this tee from Robit Studios! Contest ends on Saturday, July 11 at 11:59pm Hawaii Time.

Most Of You Are Average is available now from Robit Studios for just $18 but be sure to use the coupon code “GLORIOUS” at checkout to save an additional 10% off your entire order (valid until the end of August)!

Most Of You Are Average by Robit Studios

Most Of You Are Average by Robit Studios

Are you interested in giving your product away on cotygonzales.com? If so, contact me and lets have organize a promotional contest giveaway!

10 Tips From 10 Great Indie Brands (Part II)

Can you believe it guys? Another 10 Indie Tee Spotlights have come and gone. How the time zooms by when you’re having fun, huh! So just like last time, I’ve got a wrap up post for your consumption containing ten, count em’ TEN  great tips from the last 10 featured Indie Tee Spotlight brands. Enjoy with tea and a comfy tee!

1. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously. “When we first began brainstorming ideas and concepts for shirts we thought we were going to revolutionize the t-shirt world. However, as we began studying our competition and becoming familiar with the t-shirt blogging scene we realized that a lot of people not only had the same ideas, but were sometimes better executed. It made me realize that we can’t take ourselves too seriously.” -Steve Orlando of Robit Studios

2. Hating Your Day Job Can Spark Inspiration. “We both really wanted to start our own tshirt company, with designs we couldnt find in stores. It also helps we both hate our day jobs. Ill never forget checking out Emptees for the first time and saying wow, this stuff is amazing I really want to wear this. ” -Brothers Jason and Jeff of Zombie Liquorice

3. Trial and Error Works. “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.” -Jon Wye of Jon Wye

4. Your Brand Should Mean The World To You. “It’s such an amazing and beautiful thing to be at the helm of a boundless and opportunistic endeavor. The identity, personality and collective attributes of my brand are nothing short of what time, frugality, devotion and hard work can produce. Prestigious means the world to me.” -William Matte, Jr. of Prestigious Clothing

5. Create Something That You Would Wear and Won’t Lose It’s Appeal. “That’s a good question. There’s no real formula or specific criteria here, but generally each shirt should be something that (a) we think is inventive, humorous or unique (and hence, won’t lose its appeal over time) and (b) something that we ourselves would wear out in public.” -Travis Greenwood of Found Item Clothing

[Read more…]

Glorious Nonsensities Episode 8: Robit Studios, Salmiler Lifestyle and Running

In this episode I wear Chance of Reign from Robit Studios and review two shirts that were sent to me by Sal Haro of Salmiler Lifestyle & Apparel, a brand that specializes in running apparel for the running enthusiast and the fan alike. Be sure to use the coupon code “cotygmiles” for 20% off your next Salmiler Lifestyle & Apparel tee. As always, enjoy with tea and a comfy tee!

You can also watch this episode on Viddler, Vimeo, or on blip.tv.

Coty’s Thoughts:

Red Salmiler Style Shirt by Salmiler. Good: Thick durable tee perfect for exercising, tagless for itch free comfort, sleek athletic inspired design on front, Salmiler logo on back of tee. Bad: A little baggy but good for working out, inks not as soft as other tees. Price: $19.99 but you can save 20% with the coupon code “cotygmiles”.

Red Salmiler Style by Salmiler

Running Revolution by Salmiler. Good: Same as the Red Salmiler Style shirt, screen printed in three different places (front, back, tag area) and tagless. Bad: Preferred the design of the simpler Red Salmiler Style shirt. Price: $19.99 but you can save 20% with the coupon code “cotygmiles”.

Running Revolution by Salmiler

Chance of Reign by Robit Studios. This tee is printed on an Army American Apparel tee using water-based and environmentally friendly inks. Great concept! For more information on Robit Studios, be sure to checkout Indie Tee Spotlight #12. Price: $18.00.

Chance of Reign by Robit Studios

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

Indie Tee Spotlight #12: Robit Studios

In this weeks edition of The Indie Tee Spotlight, I highlight a cool little small business venture led by Steve Orlando, self-described as a reluctant leader, disillusioned romantic and uneloquent philosophaster. Orlando started Robit Studios earlier this year with friend Jeff Gerzseny out of their frustration with graphic tees. 

I had the wonderful opportunity to chat with Steve about the company he founded, Robit Studios, and why he aspired not to be “just another pretentious t-shirt company.” He discusses his love for small-business and why it’s smart (and worth it) to go “green.”

1. How long has Robit Studios been around? What inspired you to start a T-shirt brand?

We launched our website in March of this year. However the original idea and preparations for that launch began a few years ago. The inspiration to start a brand started when Jeff (the other half of Robit Studios) and I were frustrated with the unfunny slogan tees and obnoxious graphic tees that dominate the retail world. This was before we knew about places like Threadless. Jeff had some screen printing experience and a small wooden press from school so we decided to give it a shot.

2. The tagline “just another pretentious t-shirt company” can be found on the Robit Studios site. What do you mean by this?

When we first began brainstorming ideas and concepts for shirts we thought we were going to revolutionize the t-shirt world. However, as we began studying our competition and becoming familiar with the t-shirt blogging scene we realized that a lot of people not only had the same ideas, but were sometimes better executed. It made me realize that we can’t take ourselves too seriously.


3. Many of your tees have some sort of political message associated with it. Did you start Robit with the intention of producing politically inspired tees?

It wasn’t intentional. But, like a lot of people, we’ve been caught up in the interesting political environment we’ve had over the past few years. I also think that there are very few political t-shirts that are subtle in their message. For example, I would never wear a t-shirt that said “Buck Fush”. I think there was an unmet demand for shirts like “Chance of Reign”.

4. Strong ideals seem to be a huge part of the way Robit operates. From using only environmentally friendly inks to printing on sweat-shop free tees to hand printing each shirt. What made you decide to go the “green” route (and market yourselves as such) and why is this so important for Robit Studios considering the higher cost of these environmentally friendly products.

When we first seriously began discussing the creation of Robit Studios we knew we wanted to do it in a socially and environmentally friendly way. Since then I began working on my MBA in Environmentally Sustainable Management which helped us implement those ideas into our business model. I believe that true sustainability is the solution that will allow us to continue living on the planet in a way we’re familiar with. The beauty of sustainability is that it doesn’t conflict with capitalism, but actually complements it.

5. Your about page says “We [Robit Studios] gear our product toward anyone that appreciates the small businesses and creative minds, or the efforts of individuals against careless corporations that pander to the lowest common denominator.” What is it about small businesses, as compared to huge corporations, that gets you excited? What has the experience of owning and operating a small business been like for you?

Small businesses rock, simple as that. Just imagine if your only choice of t-shirt had to come from Wal-Mart. It doesn’t take much more than that to get me excited about the hundreds of small independent t-shirts brands that are available at my fingertips.

The experience of being a small business owner has been great. Knowing that there are people around the world who are wearing something I created feels incredible. This summer we got to do some festivals and I met a lot of amazing people, artists and bands. We’re teaming up with an amazing artist, Sean Madden, for some new t-shirts as well as another project which we’re hoping to launch soon.

6. Two of my favorite tees from the Robit Studios Store are “Chance of Reign” and “Ragingly Inefficient.” What message are you trying to send with these two tees?

[Read more…]