After a shimmering, successful launch of Threadbird 2.0, we bring you back to the 4th installment of the Threadbird Artist Series! This month we’re featuring long time faves, Walk In Love Clothing. Let us introduce you to T.J. and Brooke Mousetis…
Give us a brief intro to T.J. & Brooke… why the not-so-secret love of the mustache?
Our love for the moustache began when we first started dating. It was my first ever Moustache May and I was trying to impress Brooke with a gross dirt stache. The fact that she stuck around through that was a pretty clear sign that we were meant to be. On a more serious note, Brooke and I are “doers”, we are always asking the ourselves, “What will we think when we are 80?” We don’t want to look back on our lives and feel like we didn’t live to the fullest. We try to do everything to glorify God, whether taking photographs or designing shirts. Check out the following video to hear more about the journey of Walk In Love
We love the feel-good aesthetic we sense when we see your product line. It’s simple and well, good. Where do you draw your inspiration from for the Walk In Love line?
From early on in the life of Walk in Love I’ve always been drawn to clean, simple design. I knew I wanted it to be simple so I would say that my main inspiration is… simplicity.
TJ, you quit your job a year ago to focus full-time on Walk In Love. This is something that a lot of entrepreneurs would love to do. Tell us about the decision. Looking back, was it a good one?
I used to work for a small gift and stationary company as a graphic designer and I would come home and tell Brooke about all the ways they wasted time. I would spend 40 hours a week doing things that could have been done in 15, but was forced to sit through the extra 25. It was brutal. Brooke was already working from home and we were working toward both being home full time with Walk in Love and Brooke Courtney Photography. Once we were close financially, I knew that I would work as hard as I needed to to make it work and I have. We knew that there was never going to be a “perfect time” to take the plunge, but we believed that God would take care of us and we went all in. Looking back it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Three years ago, you opened a Kiosk in a mall. How did this opportunity come about? How have people responded? Give us a couple “mall stories”.
We started the kiosk in 2008, only open for 3 days in December. It was probably the riskiest thing we’ve done, but we made our money back and came back in 2009 for the whole month of December. We did well again so we came back in 2010 in a big way, with a bigger space and a bigger line… and it was awesome. The response was great, people were really encouraging and supportive and loved the new line. We are now working toward a full time retail space, which we hope to open in 2011.
The mall is a funny place to be. We were having an ugly Christmas sweater party this year and I saw someone walk by wearing the sweater I was wearing for the party! We used to have a sign outside of our kiosk and over 50 people ran into… we kept a tally.
You guys have a lot going on. Take a moment to do some shameless promotion for any/all of it so that our readers know just how far your creative tentacles can stretch.
Brooke and I love doing as much as we can without going crazy… we are full time natural light wedding and portrait photographers, Brooke Courtney Photography… we do design work, wedding invitations, identity and branding, Sixtysevensouth… Brooke writes a blog devoted to home decor, Tiny Anchors… I have a personal blog and am designing prints while going through the Bible, www.tjmousetis.com… I also hope to release a rap album called “stachetastic”…just kidding…but seriously.
Brooke, your photography/video work is gorgeous. Threadbird wants you to come take pictures of us… How did you get started with photography?
I started taking photos of friends in college at Liberty University and they would post them to Facebook and more friends would ask. Then, I started charging for mini-shoots and fell in love with it. Liberty University didn’t offer a photo degree so I moved home and got my Associates in Photography. TJ and I went to the same church growing up and when he saw my photos on Facebook he asked if I wanted to do a photo shoot for Walk in Love. I said yes and was won over by his moustache…
We love the “Secret Message” shirt. Where did the inspiration for this idea come from?
I love t-shirts and I always wished there was a way to give t-shirts to the people I loved to tell them that, with out being super cheesy with “i love you” written across the chest. The secret message shirt was birthed out of that non cheesy need.
Your packaging shows that you take pride in the details. Seems like other companies could learn a lesson or two from you. Why do you give such attention to detail?
It took time to get there. Brooke has such an attention for detail and she loves it when companies go the extra mile to package things nicely. When we go shopping she points out the little things that I never really noticed, like tags and packaging, so we started incorporating all the things she was pointing out into our packaging, while trying to stay true to our brand. Now that we are trying to open a store we are noticing displays and fixtures!
We always ask a few desert island questions… you can both answer. If you could only take one of each, what would they be: 1) Book 2) Music 3) Something Random?
I am not much of a reader, I would take the Bible. For music, I would take “Sigh No More by Mumford and Sons. Something random: my iPad, is there WIFI on the island!? Since I’m taking the Bible, Brooke said she would take a blank journal to write her own book. For music, she would take Mat Kearney. Something random: a volleyball…..WILSON!!!
Is there a featured product right now, or something that you’d like us to highlight?
We are featuring our Hearts Tee and our new Secret Message Tee. The Hearts Tee is on sale for $17.
Is there a sale going on or a possible coupon code we can give out with the feature?
We can do a 15% off coupon code for April & May… just enter discount code “threadbird”!
And… come visit our brand new retail store opening April 30, 2011 in Park City Mall in Lancaster, PA!!