Jon Wye – A great shirt brand from inside the “Belt”way

by Stephen on March 14, 2010

in Spotlight

The Week’s Feature is: Jon Wye (http://www.jonwye.com)

We were originally contacted to run a feature on a DC themed shirt that Jon Wye created with artist, Alex Solis, but after looking that the website, a more in-depth feature was necessary. Check out this video:

After watching this video, I had a strange urge to think of phrases that included the word, “belt”.

Here is what I came up with:

– got it “under my belt
– Hit “below the belt
– one more “belt for the road” <-- Not recommended.
- "Belt one out

That’s all I could remember.

If you are wondering why a belt maker is being featured on a site that showcases shirts, read on and you will see a great collection of tee designs that are not secondary to the belts, but rather first rate companions to great accessories.

We asked Jon Wye some questions about his site and here is what he had to say.

PCT: Describe your site and the concept behind it.

Clean and me. For the longest time I got it stuck in my head that I really needed to ‘fake it before I make it’, and so I was really focused on making a site that looked too serious. I took a step back and realized that much of what I am selling is me, and so the site needed to also focus on my journey as a designer which is woven throughout the site. But as far as design goes it really runs the gambit. I work with a lot of amazing artists and love telling people who they are… some folks like to keep those things secret. Basically if I had to narrow down a theme it would be “intelligence”. I want each of my shirts and belts to tell a story, be though provoking, and occationally I’ll do one that is just plain graphics fun.

Squirrel Nut Impossible

$29 + shipping. Shop sizes for men and sizes for women

PCT: What is unique about your site?

Definitely the rotating belts. Since I am becoming known for my belts I decided I needed to display them better than anyone else in the world. While outside at my local Farmers Market in DC selling my stuff in the hot summer sun I was designing the photo dome. It is amazing! 10 ft in diameter and perfectly lit on the inside. The belts sit on a rotating table that is connected to the computer and the camera is snapped every 8 degrees… giving us rotatable belts.

PCT: What factors motivated you to start your site?

The true story of how it started…. I was dating a girl. Isn’t that how all good things start, with a muse. We started making belt buckles as a craft project, and so when she left to move her life to Barcelona, Spain (a move planned before we met) I kept going. I had a lot of time on my hands and I didn’t want to feel left behind. So I turned that into a strength and pushed forward!

Breakfast At the Capitol

$29 + shipping. Shop sizes for men and sizes for women

PCT: Do you just offer T-shirts?

My T-shirt line is comparable in size with most with independent t-shirt labels, but it’s my belt line that distinguishes me.

PCT: How often should we see new designs?

I used to be lazy at updating. Not on purpose, just so busy. But recently I’ve just hired my first full time employee and so we are really streamlining things. We’re trying to get new things out once a month, with launches of new things every three months.

Biscuitbox Breakfast

$29 + shipping. Shop sizes for men and sizes for women

PCT: Where are you located and do your shirts ship from the same area?

They are not only located in the same area, but made here. My shirts are all printed down the road by a friend of mine with a small shop. The belts, dog collars, wrist cuffs are all made by Jeff (first employee) and I in my small two-car garage workshop. It’s amazing what we’ve been able to do in such a small space.

PCT: Do you offer international shipping?

Of course, just not to Nigeria (shakes fist as scammers). Right now it’s a flat $3 for international shipping. Postal rates went up so it will probably jump to $5 but it’s still way lower than most can even come close to offering. The reason we can do it is we absorb some of the shipping cost to help our international customers and so we can reach out to more of them. And all order over $65 are free shipping, both domestic and international.

Wonder Weasel

$25 + shipping. Shop sizes for men

PCT: Going forward, what can we expect from your site?

Graphic leather wallets, graphic leather guitar straps, graphic vegan belts (probably a year away on this one), more wrist cuffs, and graphic leather watch bands. AND a ton of new t-shirts. We have signed up some really good artists this year! We’re stockpiling baby!!!

PCT: Open round. Say anything you want.

As an entrepreneur a little penny-pinching is necessary so you can reinvest in your company… buy a Flobee! To my customers/fans: As long as you keep supporting me and giving me great feedback I will continue to design cool stuff, and always try my hardest to have as much of my line as I can made in the USA, and especially local craftsman when I can find them.

Ant Crossing

$29 + shipping. Shop sizes for men and sizes for women

That Last Paragraph

I see big things ahead for Jon and the crew over at JonWye.com. His story is a great example of handmade entrepreneurship and how hard work and perseverance can take you to the top. As a matter for fact, check out this video:

Expect to see much more in the future and shop today so you can say that you knew about them when they were, “indie”.

Since it is also a belt site, check out this zombie belt

$65 + shipping at Jon Wye

Links in this article:

JonWye.com
About Jon Wye
Alex Solis
Eastern Market in DC

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