Archive for January, 2011

Behind the Scenes – Starting a Tee Shirt Business

January 30, 2011

Karin says…

When you think you know the person you’re married to, isn’t it funny when they completely surprise you? I came home from a sculpture class one day and said that I’d found out that a new friend had a t-shirt business. Tom’s response, out of nowhere, was “I’ve always wanted to do that.”

Shocked me. Wait, you’re a computer programmer, artist, house designer (for his own and our house remodel and theoretical designs for every house we considered buying). And you’ve always wanted to be a t-shirt guy?

We started talking about it, and realized that it was fun to brainstorm ideas. This is the stage of the business where you have a lot of company: everyone has an idea for a t-shirt. Lots of people think about how easy it would be to toss out an idea, sell it, and rake in the bucks. It’s when you start getting more focused and when you start working on the logistics that the ranks thin–turns out there is a lot going on behind the scenes.

We love our audience, because we are part of it: people who are very, very into their thing, whether that’s in the arts or sciences. Our shirts aren’t for everyone, because many of them are in-jokes. If you don’t know the subject, you won’t get the joke.

It’s taken a while to get this whole project moving. In the time since we’ve started talking about it, we’ve lived in three different cities, and we’re now in the process of buying a house. We’ve done elder care, art shows, remodeling, and sold our last home. We’ve also amassed more than 17 pages of tee ideas, with over 70 that are in some stage of design in Photoshop or Illustrator, which we’ve had to learn/learn better, and 17 completed designs that we’ll be opening our online store with.

You just never know what’s going on in your spouse’s mind, that’s all I can say.

And I’m glad I mentioned our friend’s business to Tom, because this has been pretty fun. We’re glad to be here!

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