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Posts Tagged ‘independent’


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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Sun. Fun. California. Well, what more to expect from California-based clothing line Crawl Apparel, than colorful T-shirts, fun designs and big prints? Founded back in 2009. Crawl Apparel quickly became well known in the local area, having their fan base ever-growing (4.000+ likes on Facebook is more than respectable number). Recently we had a privilege to try on and review one of their great-looking shirts, appropriately called “Beerscape 2.0”.

I must be completely honest and admit I’m not a big fan of big prints and screechy colors. Besides – when Crawl package arrived at my place I didn’t know which shirt they’ve chosen to submit for a review. And when I tore up the envelope I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed one of my favorite colors: blue. Other than that – the print looked very decent, having in mind their latest line was all about graffiti-alike colors. Plus – there is a special feature to this tee, so continue reading.

Beerscape 2.0 T-shirt by Crawl Apparel

Beerscape 2.0 T-shirt by Crawl Apparel

  • Overall feeling

This shirt is of greatest quality. You will notice it on the first look. Both the fabric and print look and feel great. By now I can easily tell it’s an American Apparel brand which Crawl Apparel uses, even though the neck tag is cut off. It’s very soft and a bit thinner, but not that much. It feels great when dressed on and looks really appealing, with many additional prints / details, so all main points are there. In other words – Crawl Apparel means business.

  • T-shirt design

Perhaps you wonder why this design is called “Beerscape 2.0”. Well if you look carefully – there are few beer bottles and cans inserted into cityscape, looking like those big buildings whose lights are never turned off. Add a full moon and a slogan “this city never sleeps” – and you have a perfect tee for going out with style! You might also think it’s just white and black colors used in printing of this design, however there is also dark purple (somehow I wasn’t able to catch it with my camera, but believe me – it’s there in cityscape… ummm, I mean – beerscape).

Beerscape 2.0 T-shirt by Crawl Apparel / details

Beerscape 2.0 T-shirt by Crawl Apparel / details

  • Special feature

And just when you thought it’s all there – Crawl surprises you with a special feature to this shirt, which I usually find annoying. However, here it serves it’s purpose; when in blacklight this design glows in the dark. Still wondering what to wear to the next coed party? I must admit I didn’t try it already, although I wore this shirt a couple of times, but only during the daylight. I’m sure there are plenty of people who dig this effect to their shirts, so Crawl people knew what were they doing with this tee.

  • Additional prints

One thing everyone will notice is Crawl Apparel logo on the back of a tee, just below the neck, which is a nice way to introduce others to this brand (since you’re already wearing a shirt that catches everyone’s attention why shouldn’t they know where you bought it). I’ve already stated that American Apparel neck tag is cut off, so Crawl printed another logo on the inside. Looks cool, besides being practical for complete branding of your line. Me likes. Oh, and by the way – Crawl has a new logo (look on the picture at the top of this post), however I like their older logo a little better.

Beerscape 2.0 T-shirt by Crawl Apparel / detail

Beerscape 2.0 T-shirt by Crawl Apparel / detail

Beerscape 2.0 T-shirt by Crawl Apparel / detail

Beerscape 2.0 T-shirt by Crawl Apparel / detail

  • Printing method & maintenance

Crawl Apparel used screen-printing with this tee, as I am sure they are using for all of their products. If you didn’t know – it’s the most common way of printing because it ensures a years-long durability of applied colors (unlike heat transfers or direct-to-garment printers). As presumed, they’ve also used special glow-in-the-dark colors – don’t worry, they won’t wash away or melt while washing the shirt. Speaking of which – this tee is to be washed in warm water with alike colors and it’s not to be ironed over the design. If you stick to this you’ll have a shirt of highest quality that will last for years.

  • Conclusion

In conclusion – Crawl Apparel outdid my expectations with this T-shirt. Not that I expected less – it’s just I didn’t expect this much. Highest quality tee and a very nice, fun design printed with special inks and additional prints for more than affordable price (this tee is only $15.00). Plus – if you order from them I’m sure they’ll throw some additional promo items in the envelope (for example I’ve got two ping pong balls with Crawl logo printed on it, along with some stickers). And if you really like Crawl Apparel – you can find some of their stuff also at 14th Street Clothing.

Sticking to their goal of creating nice, colorful and fun designs Crawl isn’t crawling slowly to the top of Cali-based indie clothing brands – they are taking real big steps! Make sure you also check out their other products if you don’t know what to wear for going out or just going to the beach.

Did you like this T-shirt? What did you think of rest of Crawl Apparel products? I’d love to know, so don’t hesitate to leave your comment below! Thanks!

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Ecology aspect in T-shirt industry is getting more and more important as the industry evolves.  Many clothing companies do care about printing their designs with eco-friendly inks on organic garments, whilst spreading “go green” messages with their designs.

T-shirts for a good cause

Greenpeace organization – as I’m sure we all know – have a long and successful history of increasing ecological awareness. One of the best ways you can make people aware of caring about nature is creating T-shirt designs that can spread eco-friendly messages. Estudio Notodovale – a design studio from Bareclona, Spain – embarked on  such noble task, designing T-shirts for Greenpeace that not only look great, but also make us think of important ecological problems in our lives. Not just Greenpeace – they’ve recently contributed to Medicos Del Mundo (Doctors Of The World), an independent organization which provides medical help to those in need, often in undeveloped countries around the world (they collaborate with Greenpeace on some of their actions).

Since fine folks at Estudio Notodovale are doing such great job in our opinion we wanted to share some of their latest T-shirt designs with you, so feast your eyes!

Comprometidos T-shirt for Medicos Del Mundo; design by Estudio Notodovale; €18,00

Comprometidos T-shirt for Medicos Del Mundo; design by Estudio Notodovale; €18,00

Injusticia T-shirt for Medicos Del Mundo; design by Estudio Notodovale; €16,50

Injusticia T-shirt for Medicos Del Mundo; design by Estudio Notodovale; €16,50

Henna T-shirt for Medicos Del Mundo; design by Estudio Notodovale; €18,50

Henna T-shirt for Medicos Del Mundo; design by Estudio Notodovale; €18,50

Combatimos T-shirt for Medicos Del Mundo; design by Estudio Notodovale; €21,00

Combatimos T-shirt for Medicos Del Mundo; design by Estudio Notodovale; €21,00

As you see, you can have these shirts for yourself and by ordering them you can also contribute to the good cause, cause money from sales go directly to Medicos Del Mundo.

Like some of the designs presented here? Are you paying attention to eco-approach when you’re buying your shirts online? We would love to hear your comments, so don’t hesitate to leave them below. Thank you!

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Don’t you like when your favourite band wears a kick-ass shirt by some independent label you haven’t heard of before? Makes you wanna go ahead and check out that line and see what they have to offer, right?

Well, we here at Teezine really like up-and-coming rock bands, as much as our pals at Winky Boo, an indie clothing label we featured before in various articles (they recently won gold medal as the best new clothing brand in 2010 in Teezine Shirt Olympics). Winky Boo sponsors five bands at the moment with their kick-ass gear and since we liked their music – and Winky Boo’s style – we decided to make a free MP3 sampler for all of you to enjoy in great music.

Winky Tees Rock free MP3 sampler cover

Winky Tees Rock free MP3 sampler cover

From moody, atmospheric metal to acoustic singer / songwriter music Winky Tees Rock features 12 tracks by Eyes To The Skyline, Fallen Asleep, The Borogoves, The Silence In-Between and Saving October. All tracks are free to download (and share) there at Teezine Facebook page. And while you’re there – make sure to click that little LIKE button as a small “thankyou”. Thank you!

And now – download the sampler and rock on! Also, make sure you check out Winky Boo website for some great clothing (note you can have a 10% off your order if you find the discount code among our links).

Hats T-shirt design by Winky Boo

Hats T-shirt design by Winky Boo

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Don’t dress like everybody else – find cool and unique T-shirts for yourself

Finding cool unique T-shirts out there might turn into a real Don Quijote quest for you – sometimes you just feel as if you were fighting windmills! Everybody thinks they offer unique stuff and everybody thinks they wear unique stuff. You might think that by entering some fancy store in nearest shopping mall makes you cool and unique, but it’s just not so because of two main reasons:

  • you don’t want to pay too much for something that is not worth it;
  • you don’t want to wear what everybody else is wearing.

Therefore it’s highly recommendable that you go indie. Following is the list of five independent T-shirt labels picked by us which might help you with your decision to stand out from the rest by chosing your new unique and quality T-shirt!

Confound Clothing – quality over quantity

Confound Clothing is a newly-established clothing company from UK. They feature hand-drawn, digitally colored designs which will surely get you noticed without screaming all over with flourescent colors. Quality T-shirts plus unique designs with nice prices is a triple win situation.

Confound Clothing T-shirt designs

Confound Clothing T-shirt designs

  • Mission – creating designs inspired by anything really: from art, trough music, to the picture of your mamma (not really);
  • Designs – sharks and wolves images can be found almost everywhere. However, guys at Confound strive to make their images different, putting their own designer signature to them by a bit bold  inking and yet delicate coloring;
  • Offer – there are currently three designs to choose from, which is not much, but is certainly enough for a promising start. Designs are  printed onto Froot Of The Loom 100% cotton 165gm T-shirts;
  • Pricing – shirts are priced £14.00 each, but if you choose all three you can get the bundle for only £30.00. Shipping is free in UK, £5.00 in Europe and £7.50 for the rest of the world.

More More More – less is more

More More More is an indie clothing label from Sweden which goes after less is more principle with their designs. Less colors, less details, less aggression, but more fun, more relaxation and more recognition. Sophisticated and direct at the same time, More More More items feel extremely light and classy.

Drippin' and Bandit T-shirts from Bandit collection by More More More

Drippin' and Bandit T-shirts from Bandit collection by More More More

  • Mission – to get people to feel extra pretty and that they can do it with a broad smile (quoted);
  • Designs – based on simple shapes and hand-drawn typography, in nice contrasts to primary colors of garments. As we already stated – less less less is more more more;
  • Offer – More More More has a very nice variety of products – from regular T-shirts and hoodies in both men and women styles, to accessories such as beanies, caps, tanks and tote bags;
  • Pricing – with €23.00 for a tee and €50.00 for a zip-up hoodie (plus €15.00 for a beanie and €10.00 for a bag) prices are reasonable and there are many items on sale (from as low as €13.00).

Peasop Clothing – white + colors = fun

Peasoup Clothing is new T-shirt label from UK which was born out of the desire to wear something different. Peasoup produces fresh and interesting limited edition tees with colorful designs, printed on Gildan fitted T-shirts that are built to last.

Deer and Birds T-shirts by Peasoup Clothing

Deer and Birds T-shirts by Peasoup Clothing

  • Mission – to help you look better (quoted);
  • Designs – big and carefully colored. They’re eye-catching, easy to recognize and have a common designer signature. Standing out from the rest and a bit of obscurity is Peasoup’s trademark;
  • Offer – there are four designs that come in both men and women styled tees. Peasoup isn’t one of those companies which will flood you with their new designs – they rather focus on quality over quantity (uniqueness included);
  • Pricing – prices are rather appropriate; all tees are £15.00, with shipping prices ranging from £1.50 to £3.50 (worldwide delivery).

Pyknic – clothes good enough to eat

Pyknic started back in 2006 with two friends (The Chef and The Butcher) designing their tees based on culinary recipes (well, not really), which continues to this day. Finding inspiration in Hanna-Barbera-style cartoons and comic illustrations Pyknic designs are both funny and great looking, without uneccessary exaggeration.

Culinary Cadets collection by Pyknic

Culinary Cadets collection by Pyknic

  • Mission – creating clothes that are good enough to eat;
  • Designs – bold, colorful and comic-styled, Pyknic designs are dominating the shirts, without being aggressive at the same time. Based around culinary topics Pyknic tees are funny and eye-catching;
  • Offer – very varied line with T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, jackets and even shorts and pants, all spiced up with accessories such as toys, bracelets and hats;
  • Pricing – prices are a bit more, but still very reasonable, with much nice sales. New T-shirt designs go for $24.99, crews for $35.00, hoodies for $40.00 and girls dinner denim for $20.00, for example.

Red Choo Choo – timeless and unique designs

Red Choo Choo is San Francisco based T-shirt line which collaborates with various artists on creating shirts which you will not wear only today, but for years to come. With various designers working on their line  and variety in shirt styles – Red Choo Choo offers something for everybody, whilst being environmentally-friendly.

Loin and Muted T-shirt designs by Red Choo Choo

Loin and Muted T-shirt designs by Red Choo Choo

  • Mission – to create timeless and unique designs (quoted);
  • Designs – sometimes direct, most times delicate Red Choo Choo designs are a bit artistic and even abstract. Careful choosing of colors, both for T-shirts and the designs;
  • Offer – nice variety of T-shirts in men, women and kids styles, with some items on sale and even a book in the offer. Designs are printed using water based inks on a super soft preshrunk 4.5 oz. 100% combed ring-spun cotton;
  • Pricing – prices are affordable, with tees going for $25.00 – $30.00 (kids T-shirts for $20.00). There are some items on nice sales.

Hope this list helps you with your decission on how to dress cool. Looking good goes hand in hand with picking indie clothing labels as your  shopping option, needless to say you’re supporting small-business and people like you this way.

Are you a proud owner of some item by affore-mentioned lines? Know about some other cool unique T-shirt line? Let us all know by leaving your comment here!

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Starting a T-shirt business is relatively easy. All you need is couple of ideas converted to T-shirt designs, a good printer and an access to internet. Making your T-shirt line succeed is – of course – something very different. Amy L. Fiedler, the president and the owner of American-based T-shirt line Winky Boo L.L.C. (which we featured recently) started creating her dream job knowing that you have to rely on much effort, hard work and a bit of luck in order to succeed. Launched only in August 2010 Winky Boo already created some of the nicest T-shirt designs out there, whilst building a loyal fan base every day. Want to know Amy’s story? Then keep on reading this very interesting interview we just made with her!

Jester T-shirt by Winky Boo
Jester T-shirt by Winky Boo

How did you decide to start your company and what’s the story behind it?

I had graduated college and was working as a stylist assistant in NYC for a few years. It just sort of popped in my head one day that I was tired of working for other people, being bossed around. Why not start my own company, be my own boss and make my own decisions. I majored in Photography in college and concentrated in fashion photography. I always had a natural talent for fashion and styling ever since I was little I wouldn’t leave the house without a tiara on my head and wearing every piece of jewelry I owned. I knew I had the knowledge, experience and talent to create my own clothing line and so I did.

What’s the message you try to spread with Winky Boo designs?

The name Winky Boo was created from memories of my grandfather. He had such a playful spirit and was just the best guy in the world to be around. He always taught us grandchildren  to have a sense of humor in life, be carefree, enjoy it because it only lasts so long. The name came from nicknames he had named me, my brother and sister when we were young. My sister, Winky after she was a flying monkey in the Wizard of Oz for a school play, my brother, Boo Boo after Yogi Bears sidekick. My nickname was Princess, because I always had a crown on my head, and my jewels on. Winky Boo is a brand that celebrates imagination, creativity and a beautiful spirit. As you see the name and the concept all stem together, through childhood nicknames, a playful grandfather and a life lesson I never ever forgot. There’s no reason for us to live life so serious and mundane, we only are blessed with 1 life, why not enjoy it & live it to it’s fullest potential?

TreeFace T-shirt by Winky Boo

TreeFace T-shirt by Winky Boo

Who designs your tees and who is also involved in Winky Boo adventure?

Though I, Amy Fiedler and the owner/president and sole operator of Winky Boo, there are plenty of people who make this company work. I contract out for all work done for Winky Boo, as it is difficult being a brand new clothing company to have tons of employees on payroll. A college friend and artist, Rob and I collaborated on the artwork for the shirts. He would draw some, I would draw some, I would direct and have him add or subtract things from the drawing and we’d basically work back and forth until I thought it was complete. We brought on a great design company, WalkStar Entertainment to create our initial website when we first launched and assist in mocking up all our high res artwork. We since have made updates to our website and switched over the merchant and shopping cart service we use, using a freelance web designer, Erin Cheyne. We work with a great printing company out of Texas calling Pony Printing. All our shirts are American Apparel Wholesale. As far as all the details or any other little job that needs to be done, it’s done by my and only me. We work with accountants and have some friends who act as business mentors or managers, but in the end – I call the shots.

Is there a person or a company you look up to in what you do with your line?

The line wasn’t created having any other clothing company in mind. My personal style is pretty eclectic as I go from wearing dresses or skirts with heals to jeans and a tshirt; depends on my mood that day. When the idea came about for doing a clothing line, originally I wanted to do a bathing suit line. We actually drew up an entire collection until I realized that creating bathing suits would mean having buy the fabric and start from scratch. Hiring manufacturers and sewers, etc. The cost to start up a line like that was above and beyond what a T-shirt line would cost and so it seemed the more realistic idea would be to start with T-shirts and grow into bathing suits eventually. So really I can’t explain how the bathing suit designs turned into the T-shirts but somehow someway they did. Rob does a lot of comic book art and that’s just his natural ability and style, mixed with my style and you get something you’ve never seen before. Some sort of mix between an Eye Spy, a Comic Book and a beautifully created piece of artwork all combined into one T-hirt. It’s wearable art!

Elephant T-shirt by Winky Boo

Elephant T-shirt by Winky Boo

What would you say – who is a typical Winky Boo-er? In other words – who mainly buys your stuff and what is their profile?

A typical Winky Boo-er  is a mix of a lot of different interests and styles. You can’t really pin it down to one, but generally our market consists of skaters, surfers, artists, alternative emo, punk, rock, indie. Most people like to wrap all that up into calling us Indie. Which I like, I really like that description of us. I think people who are attracted to Winky Boo clothing like to have fun, have a great sense of humor, they don’t take things too seriously. Right now we sponsor about 6 bands and we have one band that plays experimental folk music, another that’s heavy metal, another that’s punk ,another that’s rock, and so on. So you see, it really ranges. We don’t judge, we don’t discriminate, just like the bands we sponsor, I in particular may not be too fond of one genre of music, but everyone has a dream and if they believe in themselves, we believe in them and if their personal style fits our brands style then we support them!

Why did you decide to go sponsoring a band / choose that way of one of the marketing strategies of your brand?

We initally were contacted by 2 bands several weeks ago about sponsorships. While gathering more information from them on their style and gigs they do we did some more research on promotions for clothing companies. It seemed like a wise business decision and the more we looked into it we found hundreds of articles talking about how it’s a known method in the industry so both parties gain from it.

Hats T-shirt by Winky Boo - worn by Last Of His Kind

Hats T-shirt by Winky Boo - worn by Last Of His Kind

What was the sponsorship deal between you and a band?

Typically the options are you can sponsor the band by financing them or sponsor them by sending them your clothing. Seeing as how they do travel and have quite a following of their own fans, the best fit was to send bands free clothing that they would in turn promote to their fans. They perform in the clothing, wear it in photoshoots for their albums and link up our website to their pages, ie: Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. We also have the priviledge of our logo being place on promotional fliers for when they perform concerts. So far our website traffic has increased drastically and our Facebook, Myspace and Twitter pages have become more popular.

Do you expect to broaden your line to other items, too?

As mentioned in one of my previous answers, my initial plan was to start a bathing suit line. I still plan to make bathing suits in the future. Right now the way the company is headed is we’re just riding the wave. Started with printing 4 of the 7 total designs created. Then winter hit, and took notice that alot of the brands out there we may be competing with or will hopefully 1 day be competing with had a variety of hats in stock. What a perfect idea for winter; they match the season, they can be priced lower and they’re cheaper for us to print! I’ve created several different types of designs for the hats and the plan is to start to get those printed or embroidered every couple of weeks or so and then as the warmer weather hits again I’ll work on the remainder of the shirts. I plan to do hoodies sometime next year and maybe even shoes! I’ll see where the wave takes us!

What’s the future looking like for Winky Boo from your perspective?

You know, retail is a slow business. If you’re a nobody, like me, and creating something you have faith in, it’s gonne be a long, hard, slow process. You have to have the time, the patience and the money to invest into your passion, your dream. Winky Boo only launched in August of 2010 and as the months have passed customers have increased, traffic increased, popularity (gettign our name/brand out there) increased. I’m not a celebrity, I can’t just get instant sales because I was on a show, like some of those reality show stars do these days. I’m a normal person with a vision and I have to work for it.

Thor T-shirt by Winky Boo

Thor T-shirt by Winky Boo

I work very hard, creating business relationships, advertising, marketing, branding, just getting the name out there. If it weren’t for people like you, bloggers who take to small companies and underground clothing brands and write about us, we’d be lost in translation. You can’t do it alone, although I may work alone most of the time, it’s the help of the customers, the fans of the bands we endorse, the bloggers, the reporters and so that increase our traffic which in turn increases our sales. The future for Winky Boo is bright. I don’t persue things and fail. I’m a strong woman and determined individual and I will not settle for failure. Sometimes you just know somethings going to be a success. But success doesn’t happen overnight. Slow and steady wins the race, always and those who fly up the charts real fast, they crash real fast. I’m very happy with the progress of Winky Boo as we steadily climb everyday, reaching broader horizens (ie: other countries) and I know that something big is coming! I hope by 2011 we’ll have some wholesale opportunities to get our clothing in some retail locations!

We’d like to add that Winky Boo partnered with Tee zine in creating a rocking mp3 compilation with all bands Winky Boo endorses. It’s gonna be free to download from our web-presence sites (Facebook and all…).

Like Amy’s story? Have your own? Or you just want to leave a comment how good this interview is? Well, by all means go ahead! And don’t forget to visit Winky Boo official website!

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There are many marketing strategies you can use in order to establish your clothing brand (in fact I’ve talked earlier about one of them). Today I would like to talk to you about one specific  marketing strategy in T-shirt  business – sponsoring music talents, enriched with proven examples from independent clothing labels such as yours.

The premise

So you’ve started your own clothing line, launched your website, created  Facebook, Twitter, MySpace plus other social network profiles, but your sales are still poop… umm, I meant – poor? Well chances are you’re doing something wrong with your marketing strategy. This article will help you to find out exactly what.

The facts

Linking music with your clothing line is wise because it gets a lot of attention to your brand. It is also great advertising opportunity for you because it’s cheap. Before I start giving you some tips on how to handle my brand – your band relationship I would like to state a few facts you shouldn’t be running away from.

  • Bands are mannequins – and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you click with the ones you’d like to endorse they will be happy to wear your stuff, just like little pigs in the sea of mud.
  • People are immitators – and there’s nothing wrong with that, either. If they see their favourite band members wear your stuff they will try to indentify with them. That’s – of course – very good for you.
  • You are still poor – now there’s definitely something wrong with that. “What am I doing wrong here”, you ask? For starters – go through some of the proven examples of brands + bands + fans love.
Last Of His Kind wearing Winky Boo T-shirt

Last Of His Kind wearing Winky Boo T-shirt

The practice

Now it’s time to think about how you’re gonna handle the sponsorship. You don’t want to end up with all these bands wearing your stuff while you’re out of  the “green ones”. Following are several tips you should consider implementing into your strategy.

  • Have a concept – you should know why do you want to sponsor music talents in the first place. “We do get a lot of people emailing saying – I saw so and so wearing your shirt last night so I’m going to pick one up”, says Christopher McIntosh of UK’s clothing line Nokturnal Clothing (which I’ve recently featured here at Tee zine), and continues: “some people may get worried that the products they are seeing online don’t physically exist, so seeing bands wearing our clothing and supporting us helps a lot”.
  • Target clever – chances are your potential customers are into similar music style your sponsored act represents. Simon of independent label Gimongus Clothing says: “of course sponsoring bands is good for Gimongus. They are wearing it on stage in front of 50, 100, 500… so a lot of people can see our shirts. They’re putting us on their Facebook, MySpace and Twitter profiles, and some of them let us print our logo in the back of their own band shirts, what’s pretty sick”!
  • Do a contract – think about the terms and conditions of the sponsorship, especially if you’re arranging things with some bigger bands management. Write it down. It’s good for you, as well as for them. Amy L. Fiedler of Winky Boo clothing says: “They [bands] perform in the clothing, wear it in photoshoots for their albums and link up our website to their pages, ie: Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, etc”.
  • Don’t do a contract – print out your contract and then tear it apart. It’s best if you can do your sponsorhip on trust basis. “We don’t draw up contracts or anything like that”, says Christopher of Nokturnal, “but it’s an agreement that bands will wear our products on stage every so often and our sponsors genuinely like our products and wear them frequently anyway”.
Summerlin in Nokturnal Clothing gear

Summerlin in Nokturnal Clothing gear

The conclusion

As I’ve said earlier – sponsoring music talents is cheap way of advertising. It will surely help your brands’ recognition and it will increase your sales with time.

“So far our website traffic has increased drastically and our Facebook, Myspace and Twitter pages have become more popular”, states Amy L. Fiedler of Winky Boo, “if the band(s) you work with believe in your brand and it fits their style, it works out well because they get free gear to perform in while you get free publicity”.

You can do more

Of course you can always do more for your line. Options are many and here are just some of them.

  • Sponsor music events – why don’t you try and sponsor concerts, festivals, tours… You don’t have to invest a lot of money into this and you can always make such an agreement to return your initial funds from part of ticket sales.
  • Put up your stands at music events – make special offers and don’t forget to put some free stuff there like stickers or pins cause people LOVE it and they can put your stickers everywhere (or pinch someone with your pin)!
  • Do an acoustic session – if you already have a shop (or some shop carries your stuff) do a special acoustic session with your sponsored act and invite people. It’s inexpensive and different. Well, kinda different…
  • Ask to be printed – it would be cool if your logo appeared on record sleeves, tour posters or merchandise of your sponsored act. So ask them and it might pass;
  • Arrange your own photo shoots – because no one else will. Perhaps some bands would, but it’s better if you have control over it. If possible take pictures of bands playing live with your gear on. Put these pictures on all your web presence sites. Note that this is very important  on many levels (I had some troubles finding the right images to illustrate this article, for example).
End Of Crisis in Gimongus Clothing T-shirts (RIP Tonny Potvin Grondin)

End Of Crisis in Gimongus Clothing T-shirts (RIP Tonny Potvin Grondin)

Hope these tips expand your imagination. These are not the sacred rules, of course. I know I might have been a bit harsh towards bands here, when in reality I really love to see my favourite bands wearing cool shirts, too.

Agree? Disagree? Got an example of successful endorsement? Let me know by leaving your comment below. Your opinion is greatly appreciated. And please make sure to check out all of the brands & bands featured in this article.

Nokturnal Clothing endorses Summerlin and few other bands.
Gimongus Clothing endorses End Of Crisis and few other bands.
Winky Boo endorses Last Of His Kind and Saving October.

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