Posts Tagged ‘small business’

The Rot Rate Experiments – January 2011

February 19, 2011

Tom says…

I have a skeptical streak, especially when it comes to green claims made for products. Since there’s not yet any way to deliver tee shirts that does not involve shipping them (I’m just waiting for those in-home 3D printers that will be available in oh, say, 2020), we have tried to find a shipping envelope that is both robust and environmentally friendly. So we (Karin, actually) found these compostable bags that we are using as our initial shipping solution. (When you’re a real business person, it’s important to overuse the word solution.)

I really want to believe these envelopes will compost to useful organic matter. I think this is a perfect opportunity for a little tee-shirt based science fun that will let me know, rather than believe.

So I’ve cut one of these bags, which feel like plastic to the touch, into six strips. I’ve put two strips each into three glass containers we had lying about. Karin claims they are meant for glowing candles, but to me they looked perfect for either an ant farm or this experiment. Anyway, I’ll be documenting here the progress of this little effort at determining the rot rate of our environmentally-friendly packaging.

Here is one of the shipping bags cut into strips.

I’ve labeled each strip January 7, 2011, the day it was put in the dirt. The soil was recommended by the local nursery as having the highest organic matter content, all the better for the degradation process.

The strips in their containers, and the soil we’ll be using.

My plan is to remove one of the six strips every three months. Then I’ll post a picture of what it looks like after it’s washed off. Unfortunately, I didn’t weigh each strip before putting them in the dirt, but that just creates an opportunity for me to do another, better experiment later.

According to the product specs, full degradation occurs in 9 to 60 months. It’ll be fun to see how far these little strips get in 18 months.

This is a situation where bugs are good, real good. Go bugs!


Hi there! Tees For Your Head Makes T-Shirts for Geeks in the Arts and Sciences

February 19, 2011

We’re glad you found us. Like a bat signal flashing over the city, our geeky t shirts sent a signal straight to your brain.

Whether you’re fascinated by numbers, software, and the measurable things in life, or you’d rather wear tee-shirt-wearing Tee Rexes, colorful art, or portable poetry, we hope that we have a tee shirt that makes you happy. There’s enough bad news every day to cause a wobble in the earth’s rotation, so how about some nice, innocent tees to take the edge off?

We’re geeks ourselves, and we hope to find the people who appreciate the same things we do. We’re Tom, a physics/software kind of geek, and Karin, a language/artsy geek. We met in the tech industry, and never would have imagined that one day we’d be putting the contents of our crazy brains onto cotton.

Oh, and that’s 100% organic cotton! It costs us a whole bunch more to buy the blank t shirts, but it’s so worth it because the cotton is grown without the heavy, heavy load of pesticides, herbicides, and artificial fertilizers—and lots of water—that conventional cotton uses.

We also ship our t-shirts in what is being billed “the world’s first compostable envelope,” and we’re very happy to do so. Plastic has a lot of downsides (Benjamin had a good idea when he declined plastics as a career path), so we’re excited to see how well these compost! For more exciting news on the envelope, see the entries here on our blog. We’re collecting data, something dear to our nerdy little hearts.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tom and Karin

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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