From the category archives:

Interviews

1383143593283 480x719 An in depth interview with Shanghai based tee brand Twin Horizon
Generally speaking, I am not a fan of interviews with t-shirt brands on blogs because they all tend to sound a bit the same and it’s not a very natural way of discussing things. I want it to be more like a conversation than a Q&A session. Twin Horizon had me intrigued though, so I chatted with founder Ivan over e-mail for the past couple of months (not constantly, this isn’t a tee version of Frost/Nixon), let’s see what I learned about them:

Can you introduce yourself and the brand?

At the heart of things, I’m just a guy who’s driven to draw and make music. I’m 27 and living in Shanghai, China, where I do freelance artwork and play in a few bands in addition to funneling all my income into Twin Horizon. Everything we do is either hand-drawn, hand-printed, hand-sewn, or some combination of those three. Right now the label is me, my girlfriend Kaine, and my friend JC, who’s based in Washington D.C. Kaine and I do all the printing in our apartment, while JC juggles other aspects of running the label with attending law school full-time.

We’ve recently stepped into more design-oriented pieces with our cycling flannels, but ideally, the meat and potatoes of Twin Horizon will always be hand-drawn T-shirts.

green1 720x720 480x480 An in depth interview with Shanghai based tee brand Twin Horizon
It’s pretty obvious that in many ways you’re just like any other indie brand, hand drawn designs, DIY work ethic, etc, but has being located in China made it tough from a marketing stand point? Do people have the ‘made in China’ impression when they hear where your from and then you have to win them over, or do you think people are over that now and understand what you are about?

The market is definitely saturated, isn’t it? And though there are many approaching apparel in a similar way to the way we are, I wouldn’t say we’re all exactly the same. For one, and I’m certainly biased, I feel as though the quality, depth and intricacy of our artwork as well as the functionality of our cut-and-sew sets us apart.

To get to your question, though, I wish I could answer that better than I can. I don’t know why people don’t buy our shirts. It’s not like they tell me, “Hey man, love the look, but the China thing…no thanks.” I think China still carries a low-quality connotation in many peoples’ minds, and from my experience here not just with fashion but in general, that’s not a totally unfair assessment. It’s our job to rise above that and prove that in our case, it’s not applicable, and from responses at least to our recent flannels, people seem to be feeling the quality.

It’s not just outsiders, either. Within China, those who can afford it tend to gravitate toward imported brands as well. I’m hoping that our new Chengyu line will help us connect with a great many more local consumers.

12 480x320 An in depth interview with Shanghai based tee brand Twin Horizon
Regarding local consumers, do you think that the whole of China is something of an untapped market for homegrown indie brands? Like you say, in China if people can afford it then they’ll go for an imported brand since it’s a status product, is it only a matter of time before people start to treat local brands on a level with foreign counteparts?
Don’t worry, this interview isn’t just going to be China, China, China, but it’s something I’m interested in!

It’s cool. The DIY model is a great approach. And it’s sustainable. Benny Gold — my role model in all of this — still gets a lot of his pieces made by hand. Even Jeff Staple got his start hand-printing tees at night while attending Parsons. And I enjoy it. It’s satisfying to see someone appreciate, and pay for, something you made yourself.

With regard to China, I think you have to look at why the person is buying the tee. A lot of the nouveau riche here — and this is generalizing, of course — they’ll buy something that others will recognize as expensive. It might not speak to them on a personal level; it might not represent some sort of positive message or outlook, but it will convey its expensiveness. Why buy a tee from some no-name underground label (me) when you can get one from Comme des Garçons instead? You see that crudely drawn heart-with-eyes logo everywhere, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. It’s all about perceived wealth. I’ve seen people filling up their to-go Starbucks cup with convenience-store drinks, just to keep holding onto that cup.

There are some local brands that are making names for themselves, but with clothing, at least, I think it’s still going to be an uphill battle. But the status-seekers aren’t really the people I’m trying to connect with anyways.

8 480x320 An in depth interview with Shanghai based tee brand Twin Horizon
I know what you mean about selling something that you’ve made yourself, it’s a real connection between what you’ve created and the person receiving it, you aren’t just moving a box with something in it that was made far away, you’re sending them something with a bit more meaning. It’s something that’s hard to maintain as the business scales up, but you can always have those personalised touches to your brand that remind people they’re dealing with the little guy instead of a large brand. With my shop Rigu I put a piece of candy in each order, it’s not much, just a little something to remind people there’s a human at the other end of the website, and customers love it, do you do anything to keep the sales process personal and create a connection with shoppers?

Our shirts are all hand-numbered, either on the shirt itself or on the tag, and some have the size written by hand as well. Same goes for our posters. So on every TH product you buy, there’s going to be something hand-written by me. We also hand-label all our shipping boxes, so if you order online, you get something in the mail that looks like it came from a friend rather than some faceless monolith. No escaping my poor penmanship!

I started out with hand writing and eventually ditched it because mine is so poor, people could think I was using child labour!
You’ve got t-shirts, flannels and posters at the moment, that’s more than some brands, but are there other items you want to get in to round out your offering and become more of a ‘lifestyle’ label, or would be be better to keep focused and work on the tee side of things and not get spread too thin?

I’d love to be a full-fledged lifestyle brand, with shirts, pants, sneakers, accessories, all that good stuff. And our tees would remain the focal point of the whole array. I’ve resisted getting any sort of investment yet, and so at this point I can only afford to put out one product at a time. Right now it’s the new tees, but I plan to get some more cycling flannels done for the fall.

You’ve got to grow these things organically, obviously you want to put more stuff out there, but there’s only so much risk you can take with a new-ish brand. Other than Twin Horizon do you have any other jobs to help fund the growth of the brand?

I’ve been jobless since February, but I think that will have to soon come to an end. I do freelance writing, editing and artwork on the side, but there isn’t enough to support both myself and the label. I’m really trying to avoid going back into English teaching, but if nothing else pans out, it’ll be a matter of teaching and eating, or not doing both.

31 480x320 An in depth interview with Shanghai based tee brand Twin Horizon
What kind of work did you have and are looking for? I’m guessing from your name that you’re not a Shanghai native, where are you from originally and what drew you to China?

The job I was at was a writing position at a B2B advertising firm. They shut down their entire Shanghai office, so that was the end of that. I’d like to find something writing- or editing-related as a job job, while still doing freelance artwork on the side. I know too many frustrated graphic designers to try and go into that full-time, either in-house or at an agency.

Your intuition serves you well! I’m from New Jersey, and I moved here more or less on a whim. A couple friends and I in college did a semester abroad in Trinidad, and while there, we had some friends tell us of their experiences in Shanghai. The city sounded like a happening place to be, so the three of us moved out here together after we graduated. One’s since gone back to the US, but me and the other are still kickin’ it out here.

I’ve always thought it would be cool to live in China, I visited Hong Kong in 2008 and loved it, did it take long to adjust to life there? It must be good to deal directly with suppliers for your blank shirts (do you have them custom made?) rather than having to wait weeks on back-and-forth discussions with factories or settling for a standard blank (though I am a fan of American Apparel blanks).

Not as long as I thought it would. Wherever you live, you have no choice but to learn the ropes quickly. I had a job right when I arrived, so that helped me slip into the routine of things as well. That’s not to say there wasn’t plenty of exploring and hooliganism along the way.

We get our blanks custom-cut from a factory based in Hangzhou, a smaller city nearby Shanghai. So we do have the back-and-forth, but once we agree on a prototype things ideally go smoothly from there. I also like American Apparel, but their clothes are super-expensive out here.

The flannels — I know this is a t-shirt blog, but hey — are made directly by our tailor in Shanghai. One dude, cranking them out by hand. I’d be nice to have all our clothes done that way, but we go through a fair amount of T-shirts as well.

bird models 720x720 480x480 An in depth interview with Shanghai based tee brand Twin Horizon
I know it’s a bit of a standard interview question, but who would you say are similar labels to you and who do you look too for inspiration? It can’t just be Benny Gold!

As for the second bit, I’m afraid I haven’t done much paying attention to what other labels are doing. I like some of the artwork I see coming from the guys at Rook, but a lot of it is also too much for my tastes. Godmachine is also a really nasty artist — he does some collaborative tees with Disturbia — and I’ve gotta give a mention to John Dyer Baizley of Baroness as well.

There’s a fixed-gear bike shop in Shanghai called Factory Five who are doing cool things with the cycling scene. I admire the way they’ve developed the scene around themselves. Another Shanghai brand I’d like to call out is Raised in China, who started out with Shanghai-inspired snapbacks but are also moving into apparel and footwear.

IMG 0268 720x720 480x480 An in depth interview with Shanghai based tee brand Twin Horizon
I’m a big fan of Godmachine too, not my usual style but I really admire his work and have one of his prints up on the wall in my office.
So, what trends don’t you like to see in the indie clothing scene at the moment? No need to name names!

That’s a tough one. Not for lack of irritating labels, but for the way in which they seem to fall away from my mind. I think you’re giving me too much credit in terms of paying mind to what else is going on in the “industry”. Here are a few things I’d like to see less of:

- Shirts that only contain the brand’s name or logo displayed in the center of the chest. Of course, when you’re Supreme, you can get away with this, but if you’re a new label, step up your game and challenge yourself.

- Lazy design in general.

- On the other end of the spectrum, sloppy artwork.

- All-over prints are coming back. I thought we did away with those for good.

- Black Scale (not really indie anymore though)

- Big brands that appropriate from indie designers — though that’s not really a trend so much as a norm.

Thanks a lot for your time Ivan!

Really interesting stuff I’m sure you’ll agree, and I actually enjoyed it so maybe we’ll do some more interviews in the future. Be sure to check out Twin Horizon.

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Post image for Pepe Jones gives HYA readers 20% off with our exclusive coupon code

il fullxfull.383534835 lzre 480x719 Pepe Jones gives HYA readers 20% off with our exclusive coupon code
I was pretty happy when Pepe Jones submitted a post last week, I like their style and it made me glad I have the submission system since I wouldn’t have heard about them otherwise. They also seem to be pretty nice folks too, offering HYA readers 20% off anything in their Etsy shop with the coupon code: HideYourJones20

They didn’t mention any expiration date so I’m going to assume that this is a long term code, but if you like something you’d probably be better off picking it up sooner rather than later. Be on the lookout for a hands-on review from Umang of Pepe Jones’ shirts in the coming weeks too.

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anyforty interview

I’ve let this link sit around for a bit longer than I wished, so it’s not as fresh as it could be, but it’s still a pretty interesting read.

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Daily t-shirt releases for May 4th

by Andy on May 4, 2012

doctor who t-shirt

Doctor Who t-shirt at TeeFury

Celestial PlaygroundvpoDetail 480x360 Daily t shirt releases for May 4th
Astronomical shirt at Shirt.Woot that doesn’t appeal to me.

detail 120504 480x477 Daily t shirt releases for May 4th
Fantastic Star Wars x Donkey Kong mashup at RIPT.
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8-bit zombie interview

I’ve posted about 8-Bit Zombie before and if you didn’t know, I absolutely love their stuff. They also recently won Tee Madness 2012 (congratulations!) so I thought I’d take this chance to interview 8BZ.

Why did you want to get into the T-Shirt industry?
A few years ago, I decided I wanted to start a business and thought screen printing would be fun, so I dove in head first. I knew absolutely nothing about screen printing or the tee industry so it was quite a learning process. But it was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I knew going into screen printing that I wanted to make rad shirts to sell on the side. So after learning the ropes and honing my printing skills, I ventured into printing my own stuff to sell. Funny enough, 8BZ actually started off with flip-brim hats. I didn’t get around to printing tees until I had carved a little niche for myself with the hats.

Why 8-bit ZOMBIE?
8-bit ZOMBIE was a name I came up with years and years ago. I’m a huge NES (The original Nintendo system) fan and collector. So 8-bit games have been my obsession for most of my life. I’ve also been a fan of zombie flicks for quite some time. So that’s where the name comes from. But it also works on another level – 8BZ is all about 80′s nostalgia. So you might say I’m bringing the best parts of the 80′s back from the grave.

How many guys or gals are there that work with you? Or is it a one man army?
It’s a one man army! Apart from the artists I hire, 8BZ is all me. From screen printing to packing & shipping, I run every facet of the brand myself. It’s an immense amount of work but it’s also very rewarding. I’m definitely a bit of a control freak when it comes to my brand. I have a very distinct vision of how I want everything.

What are your main influences? Do you have any specific artistic influences upon your designs?
My main influences are of course the 1980′s. I was a child of the 80′s and the toys, cartoons, movies and video games of that decade never really left me. I’ve been obsessed with all things 80′s since…..well, since the 80′s, haha. It was definitely a magical time to be a kid. I wouldn’t really say I have any specific artistic influences other than a general 80′s pop-culture vibe and 80′s skate art. I try to work with artists with varied styles but also artists who share my love of that decade.

As I notice you pay homage to a lot of different films and games, has this ever caused you any legal problems?
Not yet, knock on wood. It is something I worry about and something I’ll have to be more careful about as 8BZ grows. But so far, so good.
I see you mainly focus upon 80′s styles, do you plan to branch out and do different decades? Any big future plans at all?
I will always stick to 80′s and early 90′s with 8-bit ZOMBIE. But I feel like I’ve only barely scratched the surface with what’s possible. That era will keep me busy for years to come.

Who are some of your personal favourite brands?
Johnny Cupcakes is an inspiration. I went to a lecture he gave and chatted with him a bit afterwards. His words and advice definitely had a big effect on me. An amazing guy and an amazing brand. Death Shred is a brand I’ve followed for awhile. Similar themes to 8BZ, really awesome stuff. And Orcus Brand is another rad line run by one of my artist buds, Setup85.

Do you have your own studio or do you outsource the production of your shirts?

As mentioned earlier I print all of my merch myself. I am beginning to outsource some of my printing now though. As 8BZ grows, it’s a BIG help to be able to send some of the printing to someone else.

Has anyone famous bought your shirts or been seen wearing them? If not what’s the strangest place you’ve actually sent a shirt to.

I don’t think anyone super famous has been spotted sporting 8BZ. I would love for it to happen though! And I ship stuff all over the world on a regular basis, which was a big surprise to me starting out. In the beginning, most of my sales actually came from outside the U.S. It was really strange to me at first. But also very awesome to think that stuff I made is being worn but people all over the world. But sending stuff to the Ukraine or Malaysia or other remote places with crazy addresses is always weird, haha. I just have send it off and hope it gets there!

You’ve entered Tee Madness the past three years and finally this year you won! Why do you think this year you finally accomplished it?
Extremely happy to finally get 8-bit ZOMBIE a place in the winner’s circle. I think I finally made it this year due to a couple of factors. One was probably the fact that many of the bigger brands got knocked out earlier in the game this year. Luck of the draw was definitely part of it. But other than that, I simply have a ton more fans than in years past. I was super impressed with how loyal and supportive my fans were this year. It was really humbling and amazing to see their devotion. I also just wanted it badly this year. I knew going in that this was going to be my last attempt at the tournament. So I definitely gave it my all and tried my hardest to bring home the win on my 3rd and final run.

And why won’t you be competing in the next Tee Madness? Will we see you in any future events at all?
I just feel like I’ve had time and made my mark with the contest. I think it’s time to step aside and let some fresh blood battle it out next year. Not to mention the fact that Tee Madness is insanely stressful and all consuming. You pretty much have to be chained to your computer if you want to make it to the end. It’s so mental draining and exhausting, haha. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome contest and is well worth entering for the exposure alone. But I’ve battled for 3 years straight and finally made it to the end this year, so I’m ready for a break. Very much looking forward to experiencing the contest from the outside next year. But we’ll see what happens in a few years, haha. I very well may come down with the tee MADNESS again at some point!

What is your favourite NES game and 80s Film?
Those are both tough questions! I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one, as NES games and 80′s movies are two of my biggest passions. But some 8-bit favs are Metroid, Legend of Zelda, Wizards & Warriors, Little Nemo and of course the Mario & Mega Man games. As for movies, Goonies, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Ghostbusters, Labyrinth, Lost Boys and Neverending Story hold special places in my heart. Both lists could go on, and on (AND ON!) but I’ll stop there, haha.

Is there anything you’d like to tell our readers?
Keep an eye out for the 8-bit ZOMBIE summer release. This summer will be the biggest, baddest and raddest release to date for 8BZ. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve that should bring a big smile to the face of any 80′s fan! You won’t want to miss out on this one!

I’d like to thank Ross from 8BZ for his time and effort in conducting this interview with me! It’s been a great way for me to ask questions that I’m particularly interested in so it has been an absolute pleasure and I look forward to reviewing his merchandise as soon as it arrives. Which hopefully should be soon! If you guys want to ask him any questions yourself head on over to 8BZ’s contact page.

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Post image for Interview with Artist, Omega Man 5000 – Also, New T-shirt at RIPT and Giveaway!

omegatee 480x236 Interview with Artist, Omega Man 5000   Also, New T shirt at RIPT and Giveaway!

Harry Gordon, or better known as Omega Man 5000, is just one of those t-shirt artists that has such a distinct and exaggerated style, it’s truly hard not to notice him. With his unusual color palette and chaotic motifs (and I mean that in the best of ways), his designs are meant to stun you and leave you somewhat perplexed, but definitely eager for more!

408115 321757921201336 192714590772337 927527 1680970731 n Interview with Artist, Omega Man 5000   Also, New T shirt at RIPT and Giveaway!

While You Were Sleeping 480x688 Interview with Artist, Omega Man 5000   Also, New T shirt at RIPT and Giveaway!307473 247564501954012 192714590772337 722948 1861980804 n 480x602 Interview with Artist, Omega Man 5000   Also, New T shirt at RIPT and Giveaway!

Not only does he design tees on the artsy side, but he also delves into the pop-culture world that is so popular these days. Omega has been printed at places like TeeFury, Design By Humans and only today he has a t-shirt up for sale at RIPT! (Pictured at the very top!) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and old school cartoon inspired, this one is appropriately titled, Fear N Loathing In This Foul Year Of Our Lord 1925 and not only can you buy the tee, there’s also a GIVEAWAY! All you have to do to be entered to win a poster of the design is “like” Omega Man 5000′s fanpage on Facebook, and share the post about the new tee at RIPT, easy!

So in honor of his first print at RIPT, what would be better than to get to know the artist behind the tee! I asked him a few fun questions, and I got a few fun answers, that’s for sure.

The most important question first – what tee are you wearing right now?
The awesome Cosmonaut by TheMightyTiki from DBH.

1bql 640x480 480x360 Interview with Artist, Omega Man 5000   Also, New T shirt at RIPT and Giveaway!

You’re a bit mysterious, who hides behind the name Omega Man 5000?
All I can say about that guy is there’s a lot of things about him you wouldn’t know anything about. Things you wouldn’t understand. Things you couldn’t understand. Things you SHOULDN’T understand. You don’t wanna get mixed up with a guy like him. He’s a loner, Leah. A rebel.

If your art had a sound, what would it be?
A zoo in outer space next door to a 3 ring circus in the 14th & 1/2 dimension.

What are your plans for Friday night? (I’m not asking you out on a date, just curious – haha.)
Apparently not going out on a date with you. =\

Quick – who’s the first artist (besides yourself obviously) that pops into your head that you would love to collaborate with?
Artist-wise Jeremy Fish. Musically it’s a 3-way tie between C-Lo, MF Doom, and Die Antwoord. Movies-wise Guillermo Del Toro.

Look out your window – what do you see?
A half shark half alligator half octopus. You might be saying well hold the phone that’s 3 halves? But no it’s not, see one half is half shark half alligator and the other half is full octopus… so yeah.

If you had to wear one t-shirt for the rest of your life, which would it be?
This question is way too hard to answer.

Thanks for chatting with us Harry, was a pleasure, but one last thing (and now let me get serious for a moment), do you have any parting tips for aspiring creatives like yourself, hungry to grow in the t-shirt world?
Practice practice practice and practice. Even when you don’t want to. Even if you only work for an hour a day you’ll be able to stay sharp. Also never get discouraged, the world is a much smaller place these days and people who never would have otherwise are connecting with eachother online etc. So no matter what it is you’re about there’s almost a guarantee that SOMEBODY will be into it, and find out about you. =)

Keep in touch with Omega Man 5000: Twitter, Facebook, Shop

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T-shirt news for April 5th

by Andy on April 5, 2012

doctor who biff phone box t-shirt

“Biff has the phone box” at TeeFury today.

bazinga4mgDetail 480x360 T shirt news for April 5th
Shirt.Woot are on the Big Bang Theory catchphrase train.

detail 120405 480x514 T shirt news for April 5th
An understated Hunger Games shirt at RIPT today (FYI, the epic Hunger Games list has suffered recently after a lot more HG shirts were removed from RedBubble).
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T-shirt News for January 20th

by Andy on January 20, 2012

stand by me t-shirt

Thank you TeeFury commenters for explaining to me that this is a Stand By Me t-shirt.

Underwater Forest4pjDetail 480x360 T shirt News for January 20th
I am rarely a fan of Shirt.Woot‘s art shirts, and this design doesn’t convince me otherwise.

detail 120120 480x420 T shirt News for January 20th
Scooby Doo t-shirt at RIPT today.

January20b 480x280 T shirt News for January 20th
The cool thing about this Shirt Punch tee is that parts of it glow in the dark, cool to see a Totoro shirt as well, Mrs. HYA would love this one.

Tumblr2 480x480 T shirt News for January 20th
I couldn’t really get into Spartacus: Blood and Sand, it was all a bit too much for my tastes, even the lure of Xena’s boobs wasn’t enough to keep me watching! This shirt is from The Yetee.

cancelglee 480x480 T shirt News for January 20th
Like many people, I’m well over the ‘Keep Calm’ meme, but this OtherTees shirt made me laugh.

sobchak11 480x293 T shirt News for January 20th
24tee really do love The Big Lebowski.

4ad1db004169c61a62548718ad2ed6ac 480x317 T shirt News for January 20th
It’s another Star Wars vacation design from TeeMinus24.

32zh rxz 480x302 T shirt News for January 20th
It’s been a while since I posted a Wotto design, good to see him back in action at DBH.

2eab4c124b61ae443f832e6222a92f9c78062be4 T shirt News for January 20th
Hey look, Tilteed are selling this tee by a.mar.illo again.

6014218276 6659e88864 b 480x720 T shirt News for January 20th
Mint Magazine have an interview with prolific t-shirt artist Drew Millward.

Screen shot 2012 01 19 at 21.07.42 480x632 T shirt News for January 20th
Screen shot 2012 01 19 at 21.10.54 480x640 T shirt News for January 20th
Craig Robson has added some new posters to his store, Daggers For Teeth.

bustedtees.8ad82040 be5c 4ab2 935f 992153361 480x334 T shirt News for January 20th
Buy two get one free with the coupon code TRIPLETHREAT at BustedTees.

Bloodandbones 480x356 T shirt News for January 20th
New arrivals at YourEyesLie.

liesandfilth 580x355 480x293 T shirt News for January 20th
Tee Gazette are giving away a shirt from LIES and FILTH.

Rolling Banner 200112 BOGOF 1 480x221 T shirt News for January 20th
Buy one get one free on everything in the Plain Lazy store.

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adam hendle

I’m sure that the vast majority of HYA readers will be well aware of Adam, he runs popular indie clothing blog IAMTHETREND and has recently assumed the exciting-sounding position of Special Ops at Storenvy. Surely his greatest position to date though will be coming up over the coming weeks as he becomes a guest blogger on HYA, talking about goings on behind the scenes at Storenvy explaining what life is like at the rapidly moving startup.

I asked Adam a few questions about three things we both enjoy, tees, taking on more tasks than we can handle, and life.

Congratulations on the new job, can you fill in my readers on what your role is at Storenvy?
Thanks a ton Andy! My official title at Storenvy is Storenvy Special Ops, which probably sounds a little more like I will be in charge of kicking doors own and fighting bad guys, but honestly I wear a ton of different hats for Storenvy so putting one job title on it didn’t really work. As of right now I am in charge of our social media platforms, answering customer support, reaching out to our individual stores for feedback/insight, recruiting new stores to join the site, helping manage and grow the Storenvy community, writing for the blog and whatever else we can throw on my plate!

IAMTHETREND IATT Your Guide For All Things Indie 1323190006302 480x396 Interview with Adam Hendle of IAMTHETREND and Storenvy
Does this mean we’ll be seeing less content on IATT?
Unfortunately yes. Working for a startup is basically the equivalent of working two or three jobs, so my time has been pretty limited outside of work. That being said IAMTHETREND is my baby which I have raised for over three years now and you won’t see it dying anytime soon. I have had some more guest bloggers pitch in to the site which has been fantastic and I have just had to be a lot more selective with the posts that I make as well as scheduling posts out throughout the week instead of just unleashing them as I write them.

Storenvy seems to be getting a lot of attention at the moment, and clearly they’re growing, what do you think sets it apart from other hosted store platforms that explains the growing popularity?
Storenvy has a ton of momentum right now and for good reason. Everyone who uses it, loves it. I’ve been on the phone with dozens of Storenvy users and every single one of them loves how easy is to use the site. And another thing that sets it apart is that it’s the only hosted store platform that also has a marketplace. Marketplaces are huge. It means that you have built-in traffic and shoppers have one destination where they can discover stuff from all the shores in one place. And I can already tell you that the marketplace is what makes the Storenvy community. Our merchants really get a sense that they’re not on their own and can connect with other users. I think the emphasis on community has been a real driving factor of Storenvy’s growth.

I’ve noticed a few articles on the Storenvy blog giving advice to store owners about product photography, can we expect more of this kind of ‘how to’ content?
Of course since I am an avid blogger I wanted to jump right in and start posting lists and resource articles and store interviews trying to gain momentum again for the blog. I really want to turn the blog from an afterthought to a place that people check daily for resources and insight.

Social Shopping Marketplace Free Online Stores · Storenvy 1323190077590 480x349 Interview with Adam Hendle of IAMTHETREND and Storenvy
Personally, I’ve never really used the ‘social marketplace’ aspect of Storenvy, am I in the minority and what am I missing out on? And will your role involve growing that side of the site?
Storenvy was really designed for 2 purposes — (1.) hosted, customizable online stores (2.) and a big marketplace made up of all the stuff from the stores. It’s totally cool to just head into your favorite stores and check out their stuff without going through the marketplace. Loads of other shoppers come through the marketplace. Each person is different in what their looking for. Some know exactly where to go for what they want and others want to browse a bigger selection. We just don’t think merchants should have to choose between having their own store and being in a marketplace which is why we put the two together.

The Marketplace is honestly a great place to find out about brands and products that you may never have stumbled on before. I highly recommend checking out and browsing the Markets page as you never know what you are going to find around the corner!

How can Storenvy survive without moving to a paid-for or freemium model?
On ramen noodles, tears and hardwork! Ha! But honestly at this moment we have two freemium features on the site, most recently of which we just launched called “Super Discounts”. That extra allows store owners to offer four types of discounts including $-off, %-off, free shipping and ‘buy n get m free’, which is perfect for offering great holiday deals to customers. On Black Friday we saw over 40% of the transactions going through Storenvy including some type of discount with shoppers spending an average of 15% more when they had a discount vs when they did not. Other than that we have a custom url option and also have some other freemium features in mind for the future.

Luckily, we’ve been fortunate enough to pair up with some investors that understand our vision and who have put some substantial financial backing into the business. These are the same guys who have funded other web startups like Twitter, Groupon, Tumblr, and even Google.

A couple of years ago Big Cartel was the de facto choice of platform for creating a quick store, is your job to make Storenvy the first thing that people think of when they want to make a store?
Absolutely! We still feel that there is no one clear choice in people’s minds when it comes to choosing an online storefront. There are some nice platforms out there but everyone is pretty well spread out with no real clear cut winner. Sure sites like Etsy and BigCartel, Shopify have a nice following but there still hasn’t been that household name that has emerged.

I WILL PONG YOU TEE 20BIG original 480x480 Interview with Adam Hendle of IAMTHETREND and Storenvy
How is Pongdeck going?
Ahhhh Pong Deck, what could have been… Lol. Honestly if you were to say a project was to be taking a backseat I would have to say that Pong Deck is riding in the trailer right now. We had some early success with it getting it into Spencer’s gifts for a trial run as well as sponsoring last years World Series of Beer Pong, but unfortunately myself and my partner were not able to truly devote the time that it takes to get a first of it’s kind product off the ground. That being said we haven’t pulled the plug on it, it’s just on cruise control. Speaking of which if you like beer pong or know someone that does we just put them on sale for $5.99 with tees at $13.99 on iwillpongyou.storenvy.com! (shameless self plug).

312639 2423697071315 1218143683 33121161 4904761 n 480x497 Interview with Adam Hendle of IAMTHETREND and Storenvy
How’s married life treating you?
I always say to people that ask me how life has been since getting married that it is the same! Which I think is beautiful thing. Really nothing has changed in our lives except we now wear wedding rings and can call each other dorky names like “wifey” and “hubby”. I am truly blessed to have such a supportive and amazing women by my side!

Do you hate getting e-mails that start “Dear Journalist” as much as I do? And do you have any pet peeves when brands send you pitches?
Haha absolutely! Don’t ever send me an email saying “Dear Journalist”. As far as pet peeves go, I really do not have too many. I prefer a short and personal email. Please do not send me a zip file including forty images that is going to take me an hour to open, I am sure they look great but I usually can tell in one or two pictures if I am going to write about the line.

How many tees do you have in your closet?
Great question! Honestly I have no idea, but I can tell you that I have a closet, a few drawers and even some totes full of tees and I still buy tees! I think I have a problem… If I had to absolutely take a guess I’d say 246 and a half. icon smile Interview with Adam Hendle of IAMTHETREND and Storenvy

I notice that you don’t post about daily sites such as TeeFury, why is this? Wary of the here today, gone tomorrow nature of some of the newer sites?
I just have really never been a fan of the tees that are usually on those sites. I would rather post about a brand that is trying to build something over just one t-shirt that is up for 24 hours.

Are you good at switching off from the Internet and unwinding? I feel like I’m constantly tethered to my emails.
I am the absolute worst at this, my iPhone is always in my hand and I am constantly checking emails. I have a very hard time turning it off and just unwinding, I get this overwhelming feeling of guilt like I should be doing some more productive with my time, especially on nights when my wife isn’t home as she bartends three nights a week. I feel like if she is out of the house I need to be working on something.

For any new projects in the pipeline or are you busy enough?
I always have ideas, it’s just the time that is the issue!

Thanks a lot to Adam for answering my not-particularly-exciting questions, but I found that really interesting. There aren’t many people out there that write about t-shirts as much as I do, so to get an insight from a fellow tee blogger is fascinating to me. it also sounds like Adam is in charge of quite a lot at Storenvy, which bodes well for some great posts when he guest blogs here at HYA.

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quakerninja interview

Quakerninja is one of those guys that seems to never sleep, he’s always around giving advice to people about their shirts and stores, and he’s got a hell of a talent of artistic talent too (even if he wouldn’t want to describe it as a ‘natural talent’), which helps to make this interview with TeeCraze a good read.

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David Schwen interviewed by It Goes To 11

by Andy on September 17, 2011

david schwen interview

Really cool interview with designer David Schwen who has had numerous shirts printed at Threadless, it’s good to read what goes on the in minds of designers sometimes.

Read the interview here: David Schwen: The Interview | It Goes to 11

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handsome clothing co.

I’ve been trying to persuade the Tee Hunter to become a guest blogger on HYA but so far due to scheduling conflicts I’ve not been able to snare him, so for now I’ll just have to keep linking to good work done over there, like this interview he conducted with Handsome Clothing Co. makers of handsome t-shirts (and other goods, as you can see above).

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Tshirt Factory interview Greg Abbott

by Andy on July 5, 2011

greg abbott interview

I always enjoy seeing an interview with an artist that I respect, and this is one of those cases, though Tshirt Factory do have an issue with their blog that needs addressing. When I look at the interview the text goes wider than the blog post box and runs behind the sidebar, meaning that you can’t read it all without copy/pasting it into a text editor. Hopefully by the time you read this they’ll have fixed this and you’ll be wondering what on Earth I’m talking about. Check it out, Tshirt Factory interview Greg Abbott.

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Found Item Clothing interviewed me!

by Andy on June 28, 2011

andy is a cowboy

Travis over at Found Item Clothing asked if I’d like to answer a few questions about t-shirt blogging and my thoughts on the tee industry, and as you might have guessed from the title I thought it was a good idea. There are a few different things in the interview from the norm, which I always think is a good thing, so if you feel like you don’t spend enough of your day reading stuff I’ve written then head over to the FIC blog.

Oh, and Travis filed the interview under ‘Internet Celebrities’, I don’t think I’m quite there yet!

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rob dobi fullbleed interview

Dobi is always good value in an interview and this one conducted by I Am The Trend is no exception. It covers the Series 11 release from Fullbleed, the launch, growth and evolution of Mintees (his replacement for Emptees), and also offers advice for people thinking about running their own lines, and if there’s anyone that you should be getting advice from, it’s Rob.

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arkaik clothing interview

I don’t think I’ve linked to a quality piece of work from IAMTHETREND in about a week, better fix that. Adam has done a good interview with Jordan Abidor, the guy that claims to not sleep because he spends so much time hustling with his increasingly popular brand Arkaik Clothing. Judging by the amount of tweets he puts out I would tend to agree that he doesn’t sleep (maybe someone should tell him about tweet scheduling?). The interview goes into the background of Arkaik Clothing and what they’re all about, but also provides some good advice for people running their own lines or thinking about running their own lines. Also, props to Adam for his solid response to the comment troll on that interview.

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jake nickelll the coolest dude on the planet

I like to give credit where it is due, and I’ve got to say that Tee Hunter is absolutely killing it at the moment, he’s finding a lot of good stuff and this interview with Jake Nickell of Threadless fame shows that he can produce his own quality content too. I’m really glad that Liam tried to tread some new ground with this interview, since anyone who has been in the tee game for more than 5 minutes knows the story behind Threadless, hell, they even released the Threadless book last year but the mainstream media (and my word I feel like Fox News when I type that) continues to treat their whole business model as some kind an oddity and ask the same questions over an over (which is the thing that often frustrates me about Johnny Cupcakes interviews).

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miles to go interview

Adam continues his impressive streak of quality articles with an interview with Miles To Go founder Greg Kerr. There’s a lot of good advice in there for budding t-shirt brand owners from someone who has been around the block a few times and has learned a lot about the industry.

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johnny cupcakes interview

Whenever you hear people starting their t-shirt line talk about who inspired them, it usually doesn’t take long before the name Johnny Cupcakes comes up, so I thought you guys might like to see this interview with the Willy Wonka of the t-shirt world. Frankly, it doesn’t cover much new ground for people that have followed Johnny for a while, but it is a good interview all the same.

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peter takis

Of course, I don’t really hate Peter Takis, the 16 (sixteen!) year old founder of Local Advancers, I hate myself, because he reminds me the when I was 16 I hadn’t got an awful lot done, I hadn’t even started writing about t-shirts, let alone selling them. He’s even written a damned book (a book!), and just opened a website to help encourage young people like him get into business (into business!).

If you wanted to be reminded of your own failure and lack of motivation check out this interview that Pop Culture Tees conducted with Peter.

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