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Posts Tagged ‘independent label’


Have you ever spilled coffee on your favorite T-shirt? Yeah, a bitch, I know… However, if you’re a coffee addict (just like us) you’re gonna LOVE Javaboi Industries, a company run by this fine fella, Mr. Eric A. Johnson. Not only do they produce great looking tees with coffee-based designs, but are in the middle of big takeover, hopefully over the world.

We were lucky enough to be sent not one, but TWO of their awesome T-shirts for a review (and your reading pleasure) and instantly fell in love with them. Great designs printed onto high quality fabric (100% cotton, of course) and a lot of additional details – you can see a strong professional signature to Javaboi products. Guess Eric learned his lesson well from his mentor – Johnny Cupcakes himself. No wonder one of the biggest players in the industry – Lana Fuchs – picked Javaboi for her new business adventure. But, read about it later – let’s start with the packaging first.

  • Packaging

    When you’re trying to be different and original you’ve gotta think about details. And packaging is for sure one of those details. This packaging is none more than awesome, with shirts being packed in custom foil bags, looking like a new brand of coffee. Ace! We loved Javaboi 2-colors sticker on the bag, which was carefully sealed so it didn’t look possible to pack 2 shirts in it. However, they somehow managed to do so, and there goes a big thumb up for the clever and original T-shirt packaging!

Now, with shirts so nicely packed we were very eager to try them on and see how they feel when dressed on, especially when we felt how incredible soft they feel beneath fingers.

Review sample no. 1

Javaboi logo T-shirt

Javaboi logo T-shirt

  • Overall feeling – this is JBI official logo lady-style T-shirt (the review sample is sized M) with a copyrighted / trademark Javaboi logo. Make sure you remember it – it might become quite popular soon. Shirt feels very soft, kinda like American Apparel brand, but I’m not 100% sure because Javaboi prints onto few different kinds of garment, all made in USA.  When tried on the shirt appears to be a bit longer, although not that much, and embraces your body line gently & softly, which is a big plus since it fits slim. In case you don’t know which size to order don’t worry, because there is a sizing chart link by each product at Javaboi online store.
  • Design – you just gotta love this design! It’s very cute, clear and bold at the same time, so it’s applicable to many kinds of garments (tees, sweatshirts, hoodies, caps…) and might looks awesome as a sticker or a patch. I love how Javaboi made a fun character out of a coffee mug, plus they’ve added these retro / 70’s looking letters, which are accompanied by custom calligraphy. You can see this logo is developed very clever, as well as the whole Javaboi line.

  • Printing method & maintenance – this design is screen-printed with white and gray inks onto garment made of 100% ringspun cotton. If you’re not familiar with this method of printing then you gotta know that the inks are applied directly to garment through a framed piece of silk (that’s why it is also called silk-screening), which allows a years-long durability of colors / print if maintained according to instructions. And the instructions are simple – wash with alike colors, turned inside-out, and do not iron over the image.
  • Additional details & pricing – attention to details – that’s what Javaboi is all about – and that’s what everybody likes. There is a custom Javaboi neck tag sewn in, which looks great and adds a strong professional signature to the shirt. There’s also a small Javaboi logo patch on the back, just below the neck, and I especially love how it’s done – people often print their brands’ logo on the back, and Javaboi wanted their logo to literally stick out, which adds to originality. The price is great, too – only $15.00 will get you this nice branded tee that you’ll wear for years.

Review sample no. 2

First shirt justified high expectations – at least in our case – so let’s take a look at second Javaboi review sample, also lady-styled and sized M.

Javaboi Fresh & Pink T-shirt

Javaboi Fresh & Pink T-shirt

  • Overall feeling – just like the first review sample – the second one is none less than great! It might appear to you that it’s a bit thinner, but both shirts are of medium thickness. When dressed on this tee stretches a bit, but without losing it’s form, which is a huge plus. I would again claim it to be of American Apparel kind – at least it feels like AA brand. Nevertheless, you’ll notice quality at first sight (if you’re aiming for the best – just like in Javaboi’s case – you’ve got to use premium quality garments).
  • Design – this particular design is called “Javaboi Fresh Coffee And Pink” and when applied to brown colored shirt you get a nice combination of colors. Pink usually reminds of “girly” stuff, so to speak, and this design is not an exception, even though it might be worn by your grandma, without her looking odd (maybe it would just look ironic). I especially like that vintage script behind Javaboi Fresh logo, which makes this tee look so appealing. I believe timeless design is the right choice of words.

  • Printing method & maintenance – screen printing again – I imagine it would be impossible to apply this design to a garment using vinyl cutting. And if you’re serious about you’re business you’re not using heat-transfers or direct-to-garment printing, because it obviously doesn’t guarantee years-long durability of applied design, unlike screen-printing. Just remember to wash this shirt turned inside-out with alike colors, and do not iron over the design (I personally iron all my shirts turned inside-out – it preserves not only the design, but the original color of the shirt).
  • Additional details & pricing – just like the previous one – this tee also has a custom logo neck tag sewn in, with tee specifics and maintenance instructions attached. Plus, there’s another Javaboi patch on the back – a real cutie, I tell you! This shirt is also priced $15.00, which is more than affordable price for such  nicely done T-shirt. A value for money, I assure you.

Conclusion

Having in mind all of the stuff stated above – Javaboi Industries is cream of the crop when it comes to independent T-shirt producing. Finest quality garments with nice, big, bold and often retro / vintage oriented coffee-based designs, all wrapped up with original packaging and more than affordable prices – what more could you possibly want from a clothing brand?

Therefore we’re not exaggerating with our post title – especially when you know that at the moment Javaboi is talking big business with aforementioned Lana Fuchs, respectable owner of several clothing brands (I’m sure you know about Lana Fuchs Couture and B-Mafia). If everything happens as planned – Javaboi might as well become big worldwide brand just like Hello Kitty and Johnny Cupcakes. These two shirts prove our statement. And remember – you’ve read about it at Teezine first! Also read Eric Johnson’s interesting story on creating Javaboi.

Did you like these Javaboi T-shirts? Are you a coffee (and T-shirt) addict? We’d love to know what you thought about this review, so don’t hesitate to leave your comment below! Thanks!

Javaboi online store
Javaboi Facebook profile
Javaboi at Twitter

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If you follow what we publish here at Teezine then you might remember UK’s indie label Nokturnal Clothing from our previous posts (they won the bronze medal in Teezine 2010 T-shirt Olympics in Best Online Shop category). Folks at Nokturnal just informed us they’ve released a new amazing hoodie – their first ever – so we thought we might take a look at it.

Nokturnal Coat Of Arms hoodie - back

Nokturnal Coat Of Arms hoodie - back

First thing we liked is that this piece of cloth comes in both dark heather grey and black colors. As you can see, there is a big print on back and Nokturnal old-school looking logo on front (left breast). The design itself – called “Nokturnal Coat Of Arms” – looks really awesome, featuring a crest with many interesting details, such as daggers, crowns and weird looking animal creatures. The title above says “we are all nokturnal”. It would only look better without Nokturnal logo above it, in our humble opinion. Oh, and a big plus is that this is a zip-up hooded sweatshirt you’d be proud to wear everywhere you go.

Nokturnal Coat Of Arms hoodie - front

Nokturnal Coat Of Arms hoodie - front

 

This design is printed onto American Apparel flex fleece hoodies – and if you ever bought any American Apparel item then you must know it’s of finest quality. You can buy this hoodie alone for £35.00 (around $56.00), but also in a promo bundle along with Nokturnal font T-shirt for £40.00 (around $64.00). Hope to see more Nokturnal hoodies soon!

 

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Ever wanted to start your own clothing brand, but didn’t know where to start from? Worry no more! Ryan Kovach, one of the founders of freshly-brewed clothing company Beau is giving excellent tips to all of you beginners, so this article is enriched by their own experience.

Without change, the world would do nothing but sit still. Change is important and, in order to create a powerful brand that you and your customers are proud of, change is essential.

Beau tee by BeauIf creating your very own brand is something you want to do, a change must occur. You have to stop playing Nazi Zombies and Super Smash Brothers and finally start learning towards creating your own line. Don’t get too scared though, you will still have a little time to kill a few zombies because Beau is here to help organize some of the load. Last summer, I was in the same boat and I came up with a massive list of things to accomplish in order for Beau to launch. I broke up everything I needed to accomplish and learn into 3 sections: brand, website, and legal. Each one of these sections also had subsections, and most of the subsections had subsections. To put it simply, there was a lot I needed to learn. Now I am here to help break each of these sections down.

Brand

Assuming that you are making your own brand, you probably have an idea of what your brand is going to be about. It is key that your brand fills a niche, or offers something that is not already offered. I broke down what I needed to do regarding my brand into a few different components: logo, planning, and shirts.

Bunch of Beau stickersLogo – when making a logo, you want to create something that depicts your brand, but also incorporates what your brand is about. With Beau, our logo was created to show our minimalists designs and the simplicity behind it all. A logo is a key part, it’s what people recognize and what they tell their friends. By having a memorable logo, your brand will stay fresh in the consumer’s mind;

Planning – for Beau and most indie start-up lines, the finances behind everything are limited. Personally, Beau was brought to life by the two of us working all summer long. A sacrifice has to be made. Currently we are college students and are making ends meet financially out of our own pockets. We put all of our funds towards bringing our fans and customers the best possible product we can. Don’t let it scare you though, it’s a very rewarding feeling to have somebody enjoying what you put a lot of hard work and time into. The key is to create a plan, like I am drawing out here, with your finances. Microsoft Excel is a great tool to keep track of everything. The best tip I can give you is to be as organized as possible;

Little Birdie Told Me T-shirt by Beau

Little Birdie Told Me T-shirt by Beau

Shirts – you may want to have people loving something you made but, without being able to put your brand goals into designs, it is going to be pretty hard to achieve that with clothing. Neither of us at Beau are Picasso; hell, we can barely color inside the lines. But that doesn’t have to stop you. There are countless resources available to help put your ideas into .psd’s ha ha… We were lucky enough to have a buddy of ours, Cameron Hagedon, aka one hell of an artist and designer, help us. Places like mintees.com (successor of now defunct emptees.com) are places where you can find talented artists. If you don’t know any artists personally, they can help you create your clothing’s art. Just remember that there are always resources out there to utilize;

Printingdo your research, our biggest tool was google. We lived on sites like bandwagonmerch, and t-shirtforums just asking questions and gathering information. Prior to Beau, I knew nothing about plastisol inks. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Email anybody and everybody whom you think would have valuable information. God knows how many emails I wrote just acquiring information on what material went best with what inks and what tagging sizes were recommended for each size of shirt. One tip for everybody: American Apparel. It is just gold made of fabrics. Everybody loves it and, frankly, if you are selling to somebody who doesn’t know much outside of Gildans and Hanes, they will put your shirt on and fall in love. Most likely, they will never take it off;

Numbers T-shirt by Beau

Numbers T-shirt by Beau

Shipping – if you plan on shipping out shirts, which most indie’s do, packaging is the last chance to make a positive impression. If financially possible, make something amazing and memorable. However, for most cases, including Beau, that is hard to accomplish. Just remember, with every penny you earn, put that penny back into your brand. Including packaging. But, until then, make sure your shipping does not hurt your image. Make sure it’s secure, doesn’t fold, and makes it there quickly. Uline.com provides a lot of products for packing, folding, and shipping your shirts nice and neatly.

Website

The first thing a consumer will see is the quality of the site. Bigcartel.com and Storeveny.com provide a great template and a cart. If you know web design at all, you know that building a fully functional cart is kind of a hassle. For Beau, we were forced to pick up a CSS book and learn from scratch in order to make our site stick out from the cookie cutter bigcartels of the world. Jquery is no fun, but there are plenty of tutorials online that help teach. Sohatonaka.com is one of my personally favorites. Soh is a genius and very helpful as well. As for CSS, check out this site; again a lifesavior. If possible, we advise that you leave it to the professional and shell out the dough.

Domain – as far as domain names go, try and purchase one that is unique and memorable. If that happens to be your brand name, perfect. For Beau, we went with thebeautee.com as a little play on words to create the ”beauty” in a sense. And if you do decide to use a bigcartel, the folks over at indielabs are very helpful at providing setup to link your new domain name.

Legal

At first we thought this would be one of the most difficult parts, it turns out it was the opposite. Make sure to get a hold of people who know something about business law. Local/family accountant, lawyer or, in our case, your business professor ha ha…

Third Times The Charm T-shirt by Beaue

Third Times The Charm T-shirt by Beau

You can figure out a lot of the basics via google and forums, but legalities are not something you want to mess up on. It would be the biggest buzz kill to have to shut down everything you have worked so hard for just because you didn’t fill out the right paperwork. From our experiences we have learned a little. You should be alright with just a DBA, but you’re much better off filing for a Limited Liability Corp. (LLC). But again, check with a pro.

The biggest thing to take out of all of this is to sit on your computer and do hours upon hours of research. Become an expert in your niche and field. We are not saying we are, but we are striving to be. And another thing, there are tons of people willing to help you. When you tell anybody in your community that you’re going on this adventure, they will do almost anything to help along the way. Don’t waste that help, it’s a life saver. Never be afraid to email and ask questions!

Ryan Kovach,
Beau

Did you like what Ryan had to say here? Have your own experience? Don’t hesitate to inform us by leaving your comment below. Thank you!

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Valentine is just around the corner and if you’re in love with somebody I bet you already bought a present for them. If not – what are you waiting for? A perfect idea? Well, how about a T-shirt?

Let’s start with two possible scenarios:

  • You’re in love with someone – that’s cool! If you love someone and haven’t got the guts to admit it you might wanna choose some T-shirt design which describes your feelings towards that person the best;
  • You’re in love with yourself – that’s cool, too (although a bit weird)! If you’re not in love with anybody else but yourself you just as well might gift yourself with a great T-shirt design which describes your such feelings the best.

Both ways we’ve got a perfect example of a perfect Valentine’s gift – a Rat On The Run “Love Is In The Air” T-shirt.

Rat On The Run packaging

Rat On The Run packaging

We’re all rats on the run

If you’re not new to Teezine then you might remember UK’s independent clothing line by the name of Rat On The Run, whose great looking sample “Daydream” we reviewed back in 2009. If you’re not familiar with them, let me just tell you they’re designing simple and un-offensive shirts which can be worn on everyday basis. Their quality is top-notch, not just the shirts, but the print too, which we here at Teezine can assure you of since their previous sample stood the test of time, still looking very fresh and non worn out.

With Valentines’ Day approaching Rat On The Run sent us another  one of their samples for a review.

  • Packaging and appereance – similar to previous one, this sample also came packed in somewhat customized ROTR cardboard box. Upon unboxing it we discovered shirt was wrapped into paper and sealed with Rat On The Run sticker. After the shirt was unwrapped it surprised us again how simple and yet pretty it looked. A girly-shirt and design that’s both unpretentious and eye-catching.
Love Is In The Air T-shirt by Rat On The Run

Love Is In The Air T-shirt by Rat On The Run

  • Design and creativity – although some of you might not be fans of slogan T-shirts (and although “love is in the air” is a bit generic one) we agreed that this design is nice for what it represents. White and purple vintage cartoon-ish fonts printed onto heavy pink colored tee make a nice contrast and emphasizes the message wrapped in those hot love colors.  Add a little detail – a heart-shaped baloon – and you get a cute design to wear around the house, when going to school or shopping in your nearest store. Sport activities accepted, as well.
Love Is In The Air T-shirt by Rat On The Run detail

Love Is In The Air T-shirt by Rat On The Run detail

  • T-shirt type and fitting – sample came in medium size and it fits tight, but comfortable, especially when you have in mind garment is of medium thickness (not too thin or heavy). It’s a 100% cotton shirt which feels nice on your body, tailored that it follows your waist, with those half-sized retro-looking sleeves.
  • Printing method and maintancescreen-printing is used in production of this tee, and it’s one of the most-common and best methods of printing, known for the durability of colors. Maintance is relatively easy – neck label says it is to be 40 degrees machine washed (with like-colors), you can iron it (although it’s recommendable not to iron over the design itself) and you can dry it in the drier (using normal cycle setting). You cannot bleach the shirt, though, as well as dryclean it.
Love Is In The Air T-shirt by Rat On The Run details

Love Is In The Air T-shirt by Rat On The Run details

  • Details and pricing – this shirt also has an additional print – a Rat On The Run cool looking logo on the left sleeve printed in white – which makes the shirt unique and branded. As mentioned before – there is a neck label with company’s logo and maintance instructions, printed silver onto black, adding a touch of glamour to the shirt. Price is £18.00, which is approx. $29.00 at the moment (with postage and packagingt included – not sure if it’s only valid  for UK’s territory though), so the price is  rather affordable.

With all this being said – we concluded Rat On The Run produced nice looking, quality shirt that’s easy to maintain and will last for years. Although using a common slogan – this shirt celebrates love and with it’s affordable price  makes a great Valentine’s Day gift idea. Wheter you buy it for someone else, or for yourself.

Find this shirt nice? Find this review useful? Please let us know by leaving your comment below. Thank you!

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