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Interviews

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 April 26th

by Andy on April 26, 2012

planet of the snapes t-shirt

Harry Potter pun tee at TeeFury today.


Skyrim shirt at Shirt.Woot.


Iron Man meets Neon Genesis Evangelion at RIPT. I’m not too familiar with NGE, does this mashup make any sense?
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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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T-shirt News for March 20th

by Andy on March 20, 2012

$6 teefury t-shirts

$6 grab bag shirts at TeeFury today.


‘ProCATStination’ slows things down at Shirt.Woot.


‘Strum Trooper’ Star Wars t-shirt is up at RIPT.


Totoro makes an appearance at Qwertee, my lady will be pleased.


Even though in the description at Shirt Punch it says that this is something to do with SBSP I still don’t know what this is about, help please!


Grim Fandango shirt at The Yetee.


Sherlock Holmes x Doctor Who at OtherTees.


24tee have a spiffy new site design, but today’s shirt isn’t for me.


Tshirt Contest have a shirt about monkey’s in space.


I like that bear, good work DBH.


Election year = election parody tees, this Stewart/Colbert one is $10 instead of $20 today at BustedTees.


Apparently March 20th is a day when millions of Americans plan to abstain from eating meat, who knew? T-shirt from Made in the Now.


This shirt at Tilteed may not be new, but it’s certainly new to me, and that is refreshing.


Springleap have teamed up with a The Glass Recycling Company to find a t-shirt design that illustrates the positive impacts of recycling glass.


Teecraze have an interview with t-shirt artist Nik Holmes.


In case you missed it, there’s a $9.99 Threadless sale going on right now.


Some guy on Reddit made a funny shirt for his Grandpa.


Some guy on Reddit wore a shirt that pokes fun at stereotypes.


Some guy on Reddit was watching the 1998 TV show Felicity and noticed this funny kerning t-shirt.


WeLoveFine.com are holding an Adventure Time cupcake challenge.


A few new HUF tees have dropped at Street Casuals.

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T-shirt news for March 8th

by Andy on March 8, 2012

arrested development t-shirt

Arrested Development makes an appearance at TeeFury today.


It’s a reprint day at RIPT with this Pokemon x Star Wars design.


Poirot makes an unexpected appearance at Qwertee.


Funny Portal t-shirt at Shirt.Woot.


Funny Skyrim t-shirt at Shirt Punch, nice style to it too, not sure whether I’d actually wear it though.


‘Vitruvian Prime’ makes an appearance at OtherTees.


Weird skull based design at Stupidhurts.us today.


I suspect we’ll be seeing quite a lot of these election tees this year, this Harry Potter take on the genre is pretty nice.


“I want you…. to” at 24tee.


I like the little splash of colour on this new tee at DBH.


This design at Made in the Now celebrates the Indian festival of Holi.


Tilteed have a study of turtles, and it’s adorable.


RockCandy have a Spring Sale going on with yp to 30% off.


TTG intverview Branded Baron and they have a giveaway for a couple of tees too.


TTG also report on the story of a girl walking into Tesco (the giant UK supermarket chain, £1 of every £8 spent in the UK is spent at Tescos) and finding her face on a sweatshirt in the clothing section. I like the way that in the photo she’s meant to look annoyed but you can tell she’s happy to be getting in the papers.

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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!


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.


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.


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).


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. :)

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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More news about Mintees

by Andy on February 19, 2011

mintees interview

I reported on the death of Emptees a while back, and also mentioned that the heir to the throne was coming together in the form of Mintees, which has Rob Dobi of Fullbleed attached to it. If you’d like to know more about that project (I know I do) you can check out this interview with Rob over at the freshly redesigned IAMTHETREND.

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I’ve been interviewed by Tiny Celestial!

by Andy on October 1, 2010

damn Andy, you be lookin' fine!

Just in case you haven’t had quite enough Andy for one week (one more post and then I’m out until Wednesday because I’ll be away on business), you can check out this interview by HYA’s latest sponsor, Tiny Celestial, in which I was asked 5 questions about my favourite subject…. ME! (and t-shirts). It was just 5 questions so there’s no need to put your feet up with a hot mug of cocoa before getting down to having a read, but you might want to check out the other interview in this new feature that TC are going to be running on a semi-regular basis, as it’s with Greg Abbott, the guy that seems to have a magic formula for delivering quality AND quantity when it comes to t-shirt designs.

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I haven’t actually watched this video because my internet connection is really, really slow at the moment (this kind of up-down connection is what you get when you’re miles away from the substation), but since it’s been blogged about elsewhere I can only presume that it’s enjoyable viewing. If it whet’s your appetite for more Threadless knowledge, check out my interview with Jake Nickell.

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