We know that many of you have been just as concerned about the rising prices of cotton as we have. Yesterday’s article on Inc takes a look at what is going on and how some companies are approaching the reality of rising prices.
Happy new year! To help reign in TwentyEleven, we’re bringing you the 3rd installment of the Threadbird Artist Series. This month we caught up with Ross Kenyon, owner-extraordinaire of Agape Attire (and former lead singer for Confide). Read below to find out more about Agape’s great line and how Ross wants to infect the world with good.
Tell us about yourself… What’s your background? Why apparel?
I was born and raised in England and lived there until I was 21. At the age of 21, I felt God calling me to California to join a band called Confide so I left everything behind to move across the world. When I moved to California, I met a very special girl named Celina (who is now my wife) and we talked about starting a brand that could spread love and hope through the products. Celina & I have been running the line for almost four years now and it has been tough keeping it going while on the road with Confide but recently the band came to an end so we’ve been working on the line full time at home.
What does ‘Agape’ mean?
Agape is the greek word for “The love of God for mankind”.
Who designs Agape threads?
Well I actually come up with all the ideas and we work very closely with different graphic designers from around the world. I can’t name them because that would be giving away our secret weapons. Just recently though, we had a close friend, Jaxin Hall from Love Before Glory do some designs for our winter line.
How do you decide what designs you want to do and what goes into the process?
When the company first started, I would just come up with ideas and then have our designers work on the design until we were happy with it. The brand has grown a lot since then and we’ve recently started custom cut and sew products so we actually get to design products like jeans, shoes, hats and button up shirts instead of just screen printed t-shirts. We try to stick to certain styles and colors for different seasons.
Tell us about some of your favorite pieces?
I really like the jeans, shoes and snapbacks we released this year and that’s just a taste of what we have coming in 2011. We’re currently adding finishing touches to our spring line and then we’re going to send it in for production. I can’t release any pictures of upcoming products because we want it to be a surprise but we’ll let you know that we have new jeans, shoes and some awesome light weight, custom jackets for spring.
What do you think it is about Agape Attire that keeps people coming back?
I feel that there’s a connection between the customers and the people behind the brand. Celina & I are the ones that come up the ideas for the designs, we’re the ones that read and write back to every email and pack and ship every order. We’re not a huge company that has hundreds of people in a big factory. We’re just a married couple, running a clothing brand and keeping it personal. We’ve really gotten to know some of our customers and I really feel that Agape Attire is becoming more like a family and less like a regular clothing brand.
A couple random “desert island” questions… if you could only take one of each?
Book: Two books, The Bible and a “Survival for dummies” book.
Music: It would have to be some typical Hawaiian music so I could get into character on the island.
Something Random: A Cruise Ship
Is there a featured product right now?
Our featured product right now is our snapback. It’s not actually for sale, we made it specifically as a gift for customers that spend $200 or more at our online store. We made them very limited so if you’re one of the customers that gets one, it’s cool to know that you’re one of few that owns the first Agape Attire snapback.
Is there a sale going on or a possible coupon code we can give out with the feature?
We’d like to offer 15% off to anyone reading. Enter the code THREADBIRD at check-out.
So, what is this?
In celebration of the holidays… and just having a plain ole good time… we present to you Threadbird’s 12 Days of Christmas! For 12 days during the month of December, we’re giving away cool stuff in exchange for your awesomeness. Over $1700 worth of prizes!! Here’s how it’s gonna work:
- There will be 6 giveaways between Dec 8th-15th. At a random time each day, we will post on Twitter and/or Facebook about how to win for that day. Each day will be different. Some days you’ll have to be quick, others clever and still others… just plain lucky! But to win you MUST be following us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.
- There will also be 6 giveaways between Dec 16th-23rd. You’ll receive 1 entry for every 50 apparel items you order from us during the month of December . For example, order 1,000 shirts, and you are entered into the giveaway 20 times.
So, what are we giving away?
- Dec 8th – 1000 Business Cards! 14pt Gloss or Uncoated
- Dec 9th – 250 Vinyl stickers! Up to 5×3 in size.
- Dec 10th – 250 1 inch Buttons (up to 5 different designs)
- Dec 13th – 2gb iPod Shuffle (in the color of your choice)
- Dec 14th – $25 iTunes Gift Card
- Dec 15th – $250 in Printing Credit with Threadbird
- Dec 16th – 1000 Business Cards! 14pt Gloss or Uncoated
- Dec 17th – 8gb iPod Nano (in the color of your choice)
- Dec 20th – 250 Vinyl stickers! Up to 5×3 in size.
- Dec 21st – 250 1 inch Buttons (up to 5 different designs)
- Dec 22nd – $25 iTunes Gift Card
- Dec 23rd – $500 in Printing Credit with Threadbird
This is the 2nd installment of the “Threadbird Artist Series”. Each month, we’re interviewing a new artist/company that you may or may not have heard of. Help spread the love: Tweet the blog post, pass along the emails, tell your friends… and buy their stuff!
This week we interviewed Jordan Abidor from Arkaik Clothing, the world’s biggest Dino-crushing empire!
We are located in Tempe, Arizona. As of tonight we have an official headquarters right near the University I attend, which will allow us to have a larger storage space and deal with orders and customer service issues easier!
What does Arkaik mean to you?
Arkaik to me has always been about making connections and having fun. As a business major, I really wanted to better understand and explore many aspects of business and Arkaik has allowed me to do that while having the absolute time of my life.
How did Arkaik get started?
I originally saved up Christmas/Birthday money when I was 16 years old to print the first Arkaik line, from there we relied upon profits from printed lines to print future lines, etc. We have had a pretty nice linear growth rate since day 1 that I am incredibly proud of.
Who designs your swag?
I’ve never enjoyed limiting Arkaik to just one designer. Each line we generally pick an Arkaik theme and I decide which designers styles/influences would mesh best with that theme! A few of the artists we consistently use are: Survival, Mike Gaboury, and Alex Mitchell (Co-Owner).
What’s the most exciting thing about getting up every day to do what you do?
Honestly, I love seeing all the places that Arkaik is spreading to me. I never believed that Arkaik would have the national/international presence that it has today, touring bands text/call me everyday to tell me how many fans they see at shows rocking our gear, and we have just shipped an order to Latvia, our 80th Arkaik country! For me, that is always the coolest part of my day/business/life.
I believe that a large part of what keeps our customers coming back is our customer service. Since I run my business off my Laptop/Droid I am able to respond to emails nearly instantaneously, and can communicate with any fans or customers who tweet at us or post on our facebook wall. I have always been a huge believer in having a deeper relationship with my customers than them just being ‘customers,’ since each and every one of them are truly the reason we are where we are now.
What are you most passionate about outside of Arkaik?
I am an entrepreneurial addict. I can’t help it, I think it’s something in the water. But when I’m not doing Arkaik related things, I generally group up with some of my friends that are in a few of my business classes and we work through different new and exciting approaches to business. This is also one of the main reasons why we leased the warehouse, as it came with 4 attached offices, allowing my ‘entrepreneur group’ to actually have an office and to make our ideas into realities.
A couple random desert island questions… if you could only take one?
- Book: 1984
- Music: Can I bring my Zune? So much music on it. If no, Justin Bieber.
- Something Random: Probably my Fiance Meghan, and our dog Stella
Is there a sale going on or a possible coupon code we could give out with the feature?
Yes, the code THREADBIRD will get 15% off until January 1, 2011
One of the coolest things about working at Threadbird is getting to work with great people… and great artists. This week we’re starting a new series of features called the “Threadbird Artist Series”. Every so often, we’ll be interviewing a new artist that you may or may not have heard of. Help spread the love: Tweet the blog post, pass along the emails, tell your friends… and buy their stuff!
This week we interviewed Benjamin Scrivens from Fright Rags.
Tell us about yourself… and why “Horror”?
My name is Benjamin Scrivens and I studied and worked as a graphic designer before making Fright-Rags my full time job. Horror movies have been a part of my life from the day I saw the original Halloween at the tender age of 4. Since then, I have practically lived and breathed horror in some form or another. It’s just always around me and present in pretty much anything I do. So when I was thinking of starting my own business, something horror related was a natural choice for me. As for t-shirts, I just felt that there wasn’t anything out there that spoke to me as a fan. All I saw were one/two color poster art reproductions. I wanted something smart & original so I decided to design shirts that I would wear myself. And when I posted the designs on a horror forum that I was an active member of, others liked them as well. It was then that I thought I could actually sell a few of them for fun.
I started the website in September 2003. My first batch of shirts sold pretty well, which allowed me to design and print a second series, and after that I just kept going. All the while I just looked at it as a hobby, but as the years went on, it started to develop a following. I got more serious about it in early 2005 and decided to take it as far as I could go with it. Within just a few months, we were selling to Hot Topic and the online business was growing exponentially, though I was still managing everything myself. Finally, in early 2008, I decided to quit my job and dedicate my full time and attention to Fright-Rags and have done so ever since. In that time we’ve grown out of two offices and I’ve taken on two full time employees and one part time employee. To this day, I see Fright-Rags as a way to bring horror fans of all ages together to share our common love for the genre. We just happen to provide the wardrobe!
What’s the most exciting thing about getting up to do what you do every day and why?
Working with people who have the same passion for horror as I do and using Fright-Rags as a conduit for all the connections we make with our friends, customers, and business partners. I get to work with my friends and just have fun celebrating something that I probably should have grown out of years ago. But here I am…33 years old and instead of wearing some button-down shirt and working in a cubicle farm, I can throw on my Evil Dead shirt and jeans and go hang with my friends at the office while horror movies play in the background. It’s amazing and I feel lucky and blessed to be able to do what I do.
How do you decide what characters/movies you want to do a shirt of and what goes into the design process?
At this point, the process is multi-faceted. Sometimes a designer presents me with an idea, and we discuss what to do with it. I always have a list going of things I want to do, or requests from people. And from there I just work with a designer and we collaborate on what we think looks best.
What do you think it is about Fright Rags that keeps people coming back and why?
While I do believe our original designs and quality printing are high on the list of what makes people come back to us, I also feel as though it is our connection with our customers that strengthens the bond. Because we are fans ourselves, we speak the same language. We’re not selling to people…we’re just creating stuff that people – and ourselves – want to wear. Plus, we show people how we do it…we show the stages of how a design is brought to life, what it looks like when it’s being printed, and even where we work. I believe in transparency of business wherever possible and I enjoy showing people the process and allowing them to be a part of it.
What are you most passionate about outside of Fright Rags… explain?
My wife and my two children are certainly my number one priority, and I enjoy all the time I get to spend with them and love being a dad. Between Fright-Rags and that, I don’t have much time for anything else, haha. However, I do enjoy exercising (biking, running, weights) which I do regularly, as well as ski in the winter. I also have a passion for great beer (mostly American microbrews) and the occasional fine cigar.
Give us your 3 must see horror movies?
- Halloween (’78)
- Night of the Living Dead (’68)
- Psycho (’60)
A couple random “desert island” questions… if you could only take one of each?
- Book: I love books…especially Stephen King. I also love business books (more on the philosophy or work and business), but I’m not sure any of those would do me any good if I was stranded. So I think I’d pick The Ultimate Survival Guide by John Wiseman.
- Music: Ugh, this is a toughy…especially because I have a pretty wide range of taste when it comes to music, and what I listen to largely depends on my mood. But if I had to pick one specific album, it may have to be the Ramones “All This Stuff and More” Vol 1.
- Something Else?: A Swiss Army knife.
Is there a featured product right now?
We just released some new over-the-zipper print hoodies that are fantastic (thanks to Threadbird!). And on Friday October 29 we will be releasing 6 brand new designs that are some of our best yet!
Is there a sale going on or a possible Coupon code we can give out with the feature?
Sure, customers can use THREADBIRD10 for 10% off their next order. Expires 12.31.10.
Below are just a few shirts from Fright-Rags, be sure to check out the rest right now!
Storenvy = Free Online Stores + Social Shopping Marketplace
Threadbird = Quality Screen Printing that Crushes the Competition
Since 2008, Storenvy has offered two things: (1.) awesome online stores and (2.) awesome screen printing. Both services have grown and have their own passionate users and customers that we absolutely love. Well, as of today, we’re announcing that we’re making the screen printing service its own thing: Threadbird. This gives us the chance to give each service the attention it deserves.
Storenvy will continue to offer FREE online stores and a killer social shopping marketplace http://www.storenvy.com while Threadbird will continue to offer quality screen printing that outdoes the competition every time http://www.threadbird.com.
Scott Anderson (@holidayatsea) and (@nickroccanti) have taken over Threadbird, while Jon Crawford (@NewMonarch) and Janette Crawford (@janettecrawford ) continue to expand Storenvy. The two companies, now separate, will continue to support each other just like they always have!
We’re the same people, the same shop and the same printers printing the shirts the same awesome way. At Threadbird, we’re growing and expanding to offer new services and even better sales and customer service support. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @threadbird & fan us on Facebook for awesome sales and updates.
Everybody meet Shane.
A good friend of mine, Shane Stiles, has recently joined our team. If you email firstname.lastname@example.org he will most likely be the one responding. We’re stoked to have him on our team helping take things to the next level and improving our overall customer service.
To celebrate Threadbird’s new name and website we’re offering a killer sale. From now until the end of September get $0.70 off of our list price on all printing. So get your printing on!
Last but not least, if you aren’t already on our mailing list, be sure to sign up right now so that you don’t miss important sales, discounts and updates.