Category Archives: Spotlight

Point269 – A Site Like This is the Reason Why a Site Like Ours Exists.

If you haven’t noticed it yet (and thank you if you have), I haven’t posted much content lately. It’s not that I don’t like writing for this site, It’s just that I’ve been having a sort of, “What’s the point” moment and found it difficult to engage in much post writing. On the plus side and during the semi-hiatus, I’ve come to realize the exact reason why I write for PopCultureTees.

A few months ago, I received an email from Dasha over at Point269.com. It was a standard submission, similar to the many that I receive in the course of a week, but there was something about this one that stood out to me. I went to check out the site and when I looked at the images of the shirts for sale, they looked really comfortable and I remember thinking to myself, “I’d really like to be wearing one of those shirts!” I continued to do my usual analysis of the site, sales, the about, the history, etc. I then checked out the Twitter feed and came across this tweet:

Submitted the “100 years” #tshirt http://bit.ly/dj2UGR to @popculturetees for a review. Hopefully to hear from them soon 🙂

Mind you, this was tweeted before I had even looked at the site and after reading the tweet, I was flattered to know that being featured on PopCultureTees was worth something to someone and it was being broadcast. You realize that behind each site is a artist/designer/producer trying to make a name in the shirt-o-sphere. I had not even decided to make a post, but Point269 was excited to get some exposure and hopefully make a sale or two. To hopefully have a chance to live the shirt dream and wanted PopCultureTees to help make that happen. That my friends, is what makes writing for this site so rewarding.

Another part of the reward is the group of PopCultureTees readers. Without your loyal viewership, we would not have an audience to connect to the shirt makers. I may not see who you are, but I know that you are out there and if I haven’t told you lately, Thanks for checking us out day after day.

I view PopCultureTees as a connected partnership between those that make the shirts and those that buy the shirts. Each side of this dynamic connection has wants and needs that can be found and fulfilled on this site, but in order for that connection to stay alive, each of the parts needs to put in some work from time to time, and that including us. So the formula is:

1) If you like reading fresh content, remember to drop a comment in a post, retweet on the Twitter, and/or buy a shirt from time to time.

2) If you want to get exposure, remember to submit a message when you have new press releases. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small site or a big player, You should always remember that sites like PopCultureTees love to report about your line and need fresh content. Also, if you are a fan of the site, consider offering a promotion or buying an ad, they’re not that expensive.

3) Finally, if you’re PopCultureTees, and by that I mean me, you’ll speed up the posting cycle and expand the content offerings. It no secret that fresh content is not effective if it sits in an inbox.

The site exists to bring you, the readers, great shirts and to get you, the producers, some of the exposure that you desire.

How about I start by introducing the site that brought on this epiphany. Introducing Point269.com!

1) Tell us a little about the person behind Point269

Hello, my name is Dasha. I’m originally from Russia, an unknown industrial town called Magnitogorsk. I came to England, Brighton, about 6 years ago to go to university and I’ve lived here happily ever since. I’m very interested in both Russian and English languages, their idioms and proverbs, their similarities and differences. I’m passionate about design.

2) How did you get into designing shirts.

I’ve always liked t-shirts, what a great piece of clothing. They are the same, yet each one is so very different. It is a perfect place to say something. To be something. I was looking for something minimalist, yet playful with a clever twist. Something a bit obscure that makes you smile and ponder. That’s how .269 was born.

3) Tell us about the meaning and/or inspiration behind the following designs:

First 100

Life is amazing, it’s magical! I am its big fan. But it is also an everyday routine, sprinkled with ups and downs. Some times it feels too much. But if you have hope, you will never give up. In Russia we have a saying that “Hope dies last”. With the sarcastic “Only the first 100 years are hard” design I wanted to express a thought that we live with the hope for a better future, but at the same time it shouldn’t stop us enjoying the “hard” present.

£19.95 + shipping (FREE UK shipping) at Point269

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Pitchforks

This is me and my love of proverbs. This is a Russian proverb meaning that something is unclear, uncertain or fleeting like writing on water. I wanted to preserve its “Russianness” by literally translating it and using Cyrillic-like font. It always puts a smile on my face when people say that they find the meaning of this proverb unclear.

£19.95 + shipping (FREE UK shipping) at Point269

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Spade

I love the mystery associated with spades (in playing cards) and its similarity with the conventional heart shape. It’s like a person’s heart. You might think you know what’s going on in somebody’s heart, but it could be completely different and some secrets will stay forever veiled. I like this design a lot. It can be as meaningful as you let it, yet it’s simple and elegant.

£19.95 + shipping (FREE UK shipping) at Point269

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Contemporary

I very much like the idea of describing time with time related words. The clock face is the perfect set up for it and the 12 letter limitation makes the game more exciting. I’ve got more ideas in the pipeline, but you’ll have wait and see.

£19.95 + shipping (FREE UK shipping) at Point269

4) When you are not designing, what are you doing?

When I am not designing I’m developing and building websites. To me, designing and developing have the same underlying passion – the passion for creating. I enjoy learning and discovering which keeps my passion for creating burning. I also like watching movies, going for walks and listening to the rain – luckily I live in England!

5) What does the success of your clothing line mean to you?

It means an exceptional opportunity to express and share my vision, to join the world of “talking” t-shirts and to create a great experience that will make people smile again and again. The pleasure of entertaining people and hearing their feedback.

I would love to hear your opinion on the t-shirts and ideas. Don’t be shy, I’m a friendly Russian! You can email me on dasha@point269.com or reach me through the point269.com website. Thank you.

Bonus Round

If you buy 2 shirts, you get this cool bag for FREE:

The quote is based on a song. Can you name the group? (click here to find out)

You can also save 15% on your order when you use coupon code: POPTEE269

Final Thoughts From PCT

So there you have it, folks. This site is more than just a random set of paragraphs and pictures, it has a purpose beyond just the sum of the posts. It’s nice to know that you may have taken part in someone’s success and that alone gives me the drive to bring you the hotness day after day. In the meantime, show some support for Dasha and Point269 by checking out the site and picking up a shirt. Maybe we can get another tweet out of her.

Thanks for reading and Enjoy!

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If you would like your site or shirt featured on PopCultureTees.com, send us an email and let us know.

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Altman Tees – When art and cotton come together.

Our feature site is: Altman Tees

We liked the artistic nature of the designs and wanted to know more, so we sent them some questions. Here is what we learned:

Describe Altman Tees and the concept behind it.

Altman Tees is a new alternative brand within the independent t-shirt scene. The shirts are abstract pen and ink drawings taken from my portfolio, digitized, and printed on American Apparel t-shirts. Each shirt has a name that relates to the shirt image and calls attention to a concept related to the creative process.
The concept behind AltmanTees is simple. Develop a community of people interested in making personal fashion statements based on artful abstract designs and offer them a collection of creative options. Unlike the majority of current tee shirt designs, AltmanTees are not based on typography or graphic representations of persons, places or things (real or imagined). The imagery on the shirts is artful abstract expression represented as line drawings.

The blog portion of the AltmanTees website presents ideas, images and concepts encouraging people to discover and pursue their creative aspirations. Hopefully the evolving community becomes a powerful advocate for the nurturing of creative energy and its fearless expression.

Buy Social for $22 + shipping at Altman Tees

What niche does Altman Tees cater to?

When you see a shirt with a skull, a gun, or typography there is a concrete understanding of what’s being seen. When people look at imagery that is non-representational and abstract they have a different kind of viewing experience, one that challenges the imagination in a different way. One experience is not better than the other, just different.
If we are confronted with something weird or that we’ve never seen before, it captures our imagination. We become engaged and start asking ourselves ‘what is that”, “what am I looking at?!’ It’s human nature to try and make sense of something unfamiliar. The corresponding process of making sense out of what we see is like a game. Our minds go to work to find an answer, entertaining different possibilities until we find one we like. This process can be fun and provides a form of creative recreation. This is one of the cool things about art.
Altman Tees are for those people looking to promote the creative side of their personality, and who are interested in stimulating interesting conversation about art, design, or whatever passion they may embrace.

Buy Interact for $22 + shipping at Altman Tees

Tell us a little bit about the humans behind Altman Tees?

AltmanTees is father and son adventure.
Who’s behind all this? That would be me, Richard Altman.
Who am I? Husband, father, son, brother, teacher, consultant, artist, designer, geek, collaborator, creative catalyst, volunteer, observer, mountain biker, fly fisherman.
Education? BA Education (Biology/Psychology), MA Educational Technology, MFA Photography

What have I done?
• Taught in formal education High School/College and informal workshops and seminars.
• Small business owner providing consulting, design and multimedia production services to educational institutions, government, and businesses.
• Professional artist in photography, glass sculpture and multimedia.
• Volunteer board member.

What’s the deal with AltmanTees?

Having spent my adult life developing my abilities to express myself in creative ways, it has become clear along the way, that all of us could benefit from paying more attention to our creative abilities. Here’s why:
• I believe the closer we live our lives in harmony with our innate creative abilities, the happier, healthier and more productive we will become. The more people like this we have walking around, the better for all of us.

My goal with AltmanTees is to use the tee shirt platform to expose this message to as many people as possible so the importance of creative expression is recognized and nurtured in the lives of all people.

Ryan is my son and has a B.A. in Philosophy from ASU. He’s into Music, Philosophy, Spirituality and Traveling.

Buy Bipolar for $22 + shipping at Altman Tees

Where are you located and how has it influenced Altman Tees and your designs?

AltmanTees is based in my studio, fusionstudiosaz.com, in Tempe, Arizona.
The landscapes of the Southwest Deserts are filled with wonderful life forms and a rich history including the influence of Native American culture. The colors, textures and shapes of environment are a constant source of inspiration.

What companies or other sites inspire Altman Tees?

My designs are inspired by the works of an eclectic group of artists including Kandinsky, Miro, Pollock and Chihuly. I also find inspiration from other artists on sites like Flickr.com, 1x.com, and Artists Sketchbook Online.

Do you just offer T-shirts?

Right now AltmanTees is focused on tee shirts, but every shirt comes with a free sticker matching the selected shirt design. We are looking at lots of other ways to share the designs including prints, stickers and posters. As an artist I also do commission work in various media including fused glass, sculpture and photography. As a creative consultant I work with people on website and blog design as well as production of video and interactive media.

Buy Diversity for $22 + shipping at Altman Tees

How often should we see new designs?

New designs are always under development and will be released on a periodic basis.

Do you offer international shipping?

yes

Buy Aspire for $22 + shipping at Altman Tees

Open round. Say anything you want.

If you visit the site please check out the blog, and if you’re a creative individual and want to share your work send me an e-mail.

Thanks for the interview opportunity.

Final thoughts from PCT:

It’s always good to learn about the artist behind a shirt brand. It was a nice experience researching the links for this article and I learned about the artists and influences helped to bring Altman Tees to life. This brand is more than just designs on cotton. It is an extension of an artistic story that will continue to grow and will eventually be something that inspires future artists. Check out the site and dig deeper and check out the art.

Linked in this article:

www.fusionstudiosaz.com
www.bing.com:Kandinsky
www.joanmiro.com
www.jacksonpollack.com
www.chihuly.com
www.flickr.com
www.1x.com
www.gis.net/~scatt/sketchbook/

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If you would like your site or shirt featured on PopCultureTees.com, send us an email and let us know.

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

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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If you would like your site or shirt featured on PopCultureTees.com, send us an email and let us know.

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Weekly Feature – Chop Shop

Our Weekly feature is Chop Shop

I normally don’t start a feature with a comment, but I think that Chop Shop has something unique that I have not seen at any other site in the Shirt-o-Sphere and just had to point out. They have their own theme song and it was written and recorded by the grammy winning group, They Might Be Giants.

Check out the song and the cool flash animations on the header for the Chop Shop front page.

As for the rest of the feature, we sent them a few questions about the site and here is what they had to say.

Describe your site and the concept behind it.

Well, the Chop Shop is an offshoot of The Chopping Block; a 12 year old design studio located in New York City. So the basic design of the site takes many of it’s cues from the history of the studio. Over the years the studio site had us portrayed as Nascar drivers, astronauts, monsters and boy-scouts. This is why the header space features a few of us with those identities. We also have a 12 year old penchant for woodgrain.

As for the products, we originally had this idea that we would sell tshirt designs specifically for the design community and the site was born with 14 designs that in retrospect, were not our best foot forward. Although, the germ of what would one day be much more successful was present in items like Master Control (Tron guy with a dog and a beer) which has seen reprints and still sells copies to this day. We officially changed direction and cast a much wider net to target all “nerdy” types who love things like internet jokes, robots and pop-culture references in general rather than just focusing on the design-nerd demographic.

What is unique about your site?

The flash header animation gets us lots of compliments and often finds us added to various best of e-commerce lists which is a nice and unexpected place to get traffic from.

robotRock

$22 + shipping at Chop Shop

What factors motivated you to start your site?

We always intended to have a Chop Shop part of our company where we could make and sell products. The problem was that it took 8 years to take seriously and 2 more years developing the site and products in our off-hours. Being in the service industry for over 10 years at that point with The Chopping Block, we all had the desire to make things that we wanted to make without having to deal with clients. Tshirts are today’s art canvas. It is the best way to make something great and have it bought and seen around the world. There is something elementally excellent about someone buying something you made simply because they liked it enough to shell out $20 for it versus someone paying you to create something according to what their company needs. They are both businesses, but one has more to do with you as an artist personally whereas the other is creating art with a specific purpose in mind.

Do you just offer T-shirts?

No longer… we now have some of our tee designs printed Letter Press prints and 2 large silk screens which display all 300 icons of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy on a simple grid. The 300 icons are taken from our best-selling series of 6 different iconic tshirt designs featuring robots, aliens, vehicles, monsters, vampires and the undead. There are also a few older Chopping Block posters in there that we did with They Might Be Giants and other self-promo events.

We have a tentative plan for a line of vinyl toys, but oh the time! I make an official motion to expand the Earth day to a 36 hour cycle. All who agree say “aye!”.

Science Fiction Screened Poster Print

$50 + shipping at Chop Shop

How often should we see new designs?

It’s irregular. I plan a series of 3 iconic based tees about every 9 months. We started with Science Fiction in mid 08, followed by a series of rock in 08/09 and the last set was the Horror/Fantasy collection in the latter part of 09. A new set is in the works for 2010, but for now we are going to knock out a few traditional illustrative designs until the spring. We have introduced more featured artists to help pick up the pace of releases because I just can’t do it all! With the new artists we still try and keep the subject matter something that you would expect to see at Chop Shop. This usually means that the art must have some kind of relationship with robots; which is a joke… but not really.

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

In New York City. I have this room where the walls are filled with tshirts. It is where the magic happens.

My Heart is Divided shirt

$20 + shipping at Chop Shop

Do you offer international shipping?

Sure do. Not sure why people don’t. About 1/5 of our sales are international. People like us in Australia.

Going forward, what can we expect from your site?

More illustrated work, new artists, more icons and something new is working with charities to help raise funds. We just released an iconic
tee that helps raise funds and increase awareness of water access issues in the developing world for a group called Well Done. The next non-profit work will be with the awesome show Radio Lab on NPR. We are actually planning a Radio Lab section on the site this spring/summer to carry at least 4 different designs. The first two will be with new artists but we will follow that with two of our own.

weRobot Glow-in-the-Dark

$20 + shipping at Chop Shop

Open round. Say anything you want.

Sleep is for the weak.

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Final Thoughts from PCT

I like the quirkiness of Chop Shop. The site is entertaining and the designs that they produce are unique. If you’ve never visited their site, give them a look and poke around for a bit. Toss the astronaut around for a little while. You can also check these Chop Shop links:

SITES
chopshopstore.com
choppingblock.com
blog.choppingblock.com

ICONIC collection tees
weRobot (51 celebrity robot icons): http://bit.ly/aIWT
alienWe (50 celebrity alien icons): http://bit.ly/6Z4xlL
weGo (55 celebrated vehicle icons): http://bit.ly/uWIRU
weScare (58 celebrity Monster Icons): http://bit.ly/6gGL4T
weBite (35 celebrity Vampire Icons): http://bit.ly/8Forn5
undeadWe (51 icons of the undead): http://bit.ly/8SuyvZ
The Rock Collection of Tees: http://bit.ly/7Wz22l
Womens section: http://bit.ly/JzhKY

CHARITY
wellDone Tee: http://bit.ly/d0CpZ4
http://www.welldone.org/
http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/

PRINT
Science Fiction Collection Screen Print: http://bit.ly/7SgaVy
Silk Screen section: http://bit.ly/8ubyDI
Letter Press section: http://bit.ly/7sEWuA

ILLUSTRATED
Master Control (tron guy): http://bit.ly/58juWI
robotRock (robotic clash tribute): http://bit.ly/4ZL8HS
My Heart is Divided: http://bit.ly/5ZaF00

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If you would like your site or shirt featured on PopCultureTees.com, send us an email and let us know.

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Feature site – Out of Print Clothing

Our feature site is: Out of Print Clothing

We wanted to showcase the site in the best manner possible and felt that it would be in the form of a few questions from us and answers from the site owners.

Here is what they had to say:

Describe your site and the concept behind it.

Out of Print is a place for people to be bookish. We channel the worlds of art, literature, and fashion into a line of t-shirts that celebrate some of the world’s greatest stories.

What is unique about your site?

The art we license to make up our collections is rare, sometimes first edition, and always visually stunning. The way the art is fitted to the garment it is hard to tell if it is a book cover or just a really cool design.

We also have done a lot of work to make sure our site and products allow our customers to share their love of reading with others. Each shirt we sell makes possible the donation of one book to a community in need through our partner Books For Africa.

Out Of Print: Naked Lunch

$28 + shipping at Out Of Print Clothing

What factors motivated you to start your site?

A major catalyst was seeing how the experience of book reading is changing with the advent of digital readers like the iPad and Kindle. There’s a very good chance that the common way of reading a book in the future will be different than it is now. We felt it is important to reflect on what is special about reading before it changes. For Out of Print, a big thing we love about books is the cover art.

Do you just offer T-shirts?

Right now we offer Men’s shirts. Women’s will follow soon.

Out Of Print: Moby Dick

$28 + shipping at Out Of Print Clothing

How often should we see new designs?

There’s no defined cadence of product releases, but we’ll keep things fresh and fun.

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

We are located in and ship from Brooklyn, NY.

Out Of Print: The Master and Margarita

$28 + shipping at Out Of Print Clothing

Do you offer international shipping?

Yes, we ship to most countries.

Going forward, what can we expect from your site?

Lots! Sign up for our newsletter and you’ll be the first to hear about it.

Out Of Print: 1984

$28 + shipping at Out Of Print Clothing

Open round. Say anything you want.

It’s time to start judging a shirt by its cover.

Final Thoughts from PCT

I have to admit that I have never been a traditional reader of novels, but after looking at these shirts, I’m compelled to pick up a few books. In a digital world, we often forget how words, like colors on a screen, can also paint colorful and awesome pictures in our minds. Keeping alive this analog form of artistry is one reason why you should support Out of Print. The distribution of books to underserved areas is another.

The pictures alone on the front page are worth the visit. Let the page reload a few times and you’ll be treated to a photographic slideshow filled with memories, nostalgia, and a longing for an earlier time.

Check them out today and pick up your favorite story.

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If you would like your site or shirt featured on PopCultureTees.com, send us an email and let us know.

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Open now – Lady Umbrella.

I got a sneak peek of the designs from Lady Umbrella a short time ago and I told Ryan that when he did a full launch, I would feature the site. Well, the time is here and it was worth the wait.

Introducing – Lady Umbrella

From the Site:

Lady Umbrella Ltd. was established towards the end of 2008 when a Spanish designer, Elena Montes Casado, joined forces with a dreaming entrepreneur, Robert Ryan and together they formed the company. The aspiration was simple – be our own bosses producing t-shirts that we would like to wear ourselves (well, one of us at least).

You can find more about Lady Umbrella here.

I normally do a larger write-up about a launch, but since I haven’t done a Weekly Feature in a while, I asked Ryan if he wanted to answer a few questions and he agreed. Here is what he said:

Describe your site and the concept behind it.

– Our site is our little place on the web where we can create and develop the LadyUmbrella brand. We wanted our site to be aesthetically pleasing but also have store functionality that was easy to use. The concept for the layout was thrashed out between Elena and me and then we teamed up with a great web designer, Pawel, who had the skills to create what we wanted. To make the site “work” myself and an old college friend, Steve (who is now a seriously good web developer) got our hands dirty with some code and databases to give the shop the layout that we wanted and also have it tailored to the look and feel of our page – it’s fair to say Steve’s hands got dirtier than mine and we really appreciate his help.

What do you think is unique about your site?

– Really, the thing I like about the site is that it’s kind of home grown and ours. We spent tons of time tinkering with it and refining it to get it the way we want it to look and function and feel how we want it to. What makes it unique I guess is the TLC that it was given and we hope that when people visit it they get somewhat hypnotized by the birds and day dream with the swirling smoke from the chimney. It’s really hard for me to say what is unique about the site as I’m so familiar with it so it’s kind of just normal for me although I do really think the look of it, when you land on the homepage, is kinda nice, eye catching and unique…what do you or your readers think is unique about it? hehe, I’d love to know too….

What type of customer does your site target?

– When we first started out we thought we had a decent idea of our demographic and who our site should target but once we started to get our name out there and show people our designs that kind of changed. What we found is that, unsurprisingly, it’s mainly females who like our t-shirts but what was surprising was the age range. Once we started to see that there were a few generations interested in LadyUmbrella we wanted to keep the site as easy to use as possible but still have some of the social media elements integrated into it. That way if people want to come to just shop they can do that nice and easily but if people want to come to find out where we are on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube or our blog or get in touch with us they have all the icons that they know and love right there.. So, whilst our site may not target a specific customer we hope it caters to them individually.

Away With the Birds

€29.99 + Free Worldwide Shipping at Lady Umbrella

Do you just offer T-shirts?

– For now we are just going to create t-shirts. We want to build up our brand name and hopefully designing some cool t-shirts that people enjoy wearing will help. We are already working on the next collection of t-shirt designs but in the future we have plans to get into other types of clothing, accessories, stationary..who knows really..right now we are just excited to launch our t-shirts and look forward to seeing what the future holds..

How often should we see new designs?

– It would be nice to be able to give a time frame but unfortunately we can’t. We have already started working on the next collection but it is too early to say when they will be ready for. We really put a lot of thought into the t-shirts, packaging and branding so this takes time and then we continually refine until we are 100% satisfied and content. I wouldn’t be able to be passionate about LadyUmbrella and enjoy working as many hours I do if the designs we were producing weren’t something that we were happy with and the tradeoff is giving the designs as long as they need to be their best. I will go out on a limb though and say that we’ll have some new designs this year 😉

Where in the world is your site located?

Well, we are located in Dublin, Ireland and so I suppose our site resides here as well…although, in the golden era of social media and the likes our site is global and that’s how we like it.

Chicken or Umbrella?

€29.99 + Free Worldwide Shipping at Lady Umbrella

Do you ship international?

-Heck yes we do…The first tees of ours which we shipped a few weeks ago (to one of the winners of the competition we ran a few months back) was shipped to Niagara Falls which was pretty cool we thought. We hope to live vicariously and get to all the places we’d love to be through our tees. Would be incredible to have a ton of pictures of happy people in LadyUmbrella tees in different parts of the globe or at least that’s what we think. But, yes, we love international shipping…so much so that it’s FREE. All shipping, all around the world, all the time is free…just send us a picture?

Freestyle round. Say what you want.

– Well, firstly, thank you for asking me some questions and giving LadyUmbrella a mention on PopCultureTees. Now, I could go into an Oscars award speech style list of “thank yous” but suffice to say that we are thankful for the insane response we’ve had in the last few months on Facebook and twitter (and in real life too). It really has been staggering and we are looking forward to sending tees to you all now – the wait is over..

LadyUmbrella T-shirts on YouTube:
Tested on the Stage
Tested in the Sunshine
How LadyUmbrella Comes to Life
A Kind of Magic

x) Bonus Question: Rock, Paper, or Scissors?

Rock…what did you pick?

Wise Owl

€29.99 + Free Worldwide Shipping at Lady Umbrella

Final thoughts from PCT:

I really like everything about Lady Umbrella. The Designs are great, the website is well made, and they tell an interesting story and, watching the YouTube videos makes me want to hang out with them (in a non-stalker way). I’d like to see them make a success of this venture and would encourage you to check them out and give them you support.

Welcome to the Shirt-O-Sphere and good luck!

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If you would like your site or shirt featured on PopCultureTees.com, send us an email and let us know.

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Weekly Feature – ARKA Clothing

Our feature site for this week is ARKA Clothing.

ArkaLogo2a

We’d like to let you get to know them better, so we asked them a few questions. Here are the answers.

PCT: Describe your site and the concept behind it.

ARKA: As tempting as it is to have a very elaborate site, we decided to have more of a minimalist approach so people viewing our site would focus more on the product.

PCT: What do you think is unique about your site and shirt styles?

ARKA: When we were designing our tees, we didn’t have a certain demographic or person in mind. Today, people our very well rounded in taste and style. We wanted both our website and our tees to appeal to a wide range of people. Another reason we feel our tees are unique is because we make an effort to have innovative designs that have a message within the design. We really like it when somebody looks at our tees and come up with their own interpretation of what message they are trying to convey. We are also one of the few companies that use non-toxic (non-formaldehyde) inks that don’t cause cancer and are not harmful to the environment. Furthermore, all of our shirts are printed on the highest quality cotton that we were able to find.

ARKAmedes

arka_ARKAmedes

$19.99 + free domestic shipping with 2 items at ARKA Clothing

PCT: What type of customer does your site target? Who wears your shirts?

ARKA: We hope that our customers appreciate that we put a lot of thought into all our designs. Not only do we try to have aesthetically pleasing innovative designs but we also made sure that we only use non-toxic (non-formaldehyde) inks and printed on one of the highest quality materials that is soft and feels like a shirt you have owned for years. We realize how important it is for a shirt to fit right and we want our customers to know that they can wear our shirts over and over again without being concerned about shrinkage or loss of quality.

PCT: Do you just offer T-shirts?

ARKA: Currently we only offer twelve t shirts. We would like to expand our line to hoodies, jackets, denim and other items.

Bad Trip

arka_badtrip

$34.99 + free domestic shipping with 2 items at ARKA Clothing

PCT: How often should we see new designs?

ARKA: Every three months or so we will be releasing about a half dozen new tees.

PCT: Where in the world is your site located?

ARKA: We are located in Los Angeles, CA and all our products are made in LA.

PCT: Do you ship international?

ARKA: Yes! We offer $24.99 Priority Mail Flat rate shipping to any country in the world regardless of the quantity. For domestic orders we offer FREE PRIORITY MAIL SHIPPING on any purchase of two or more shirts!

Classic Execution

arka_classicexecution

$34.99 + free domestic shipping with 2 items at ARKA Clothing

PCT: Freestyle round. Say what you want.

ARKA: We would like to mention that we were lucky enough to work on set for the indie movie ” The Rise and Fall of Armando Venezuela”. It will be coming out some time next year and we feel that it will be a huge success. Look out for several ARKA Clothings design’s making cameo appearances in the movie!

PCT: x) Bonus Question: Rock, Paper, or Scissors?

ARKA: Obviously Rock! We all know that if Rock really wanted to it could beat Paper, but he would rather be a nice guy.

Hug This

arka_hugthis

$29.99 + free domestic shipping with 2 items at ARKA Clothing

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Final Thoughts from PCT:

I like the sense of fashion that I get when looking at the line at ARKA clothing. There is a streamlined elegance to their shirt collection and I’m sure they would not spend much time in your closet (since you’ll be wearing them quite often). Visit ARKA clothing and you’ll find great designs at nice prices and you can even save on the domestic shipping cost if you buy only 2 shirts. Check them out and join us in wishing them lots of success.

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If you would like your site or shirt featured on PopCultureTees.com, send us an email and let us know.

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Weekly Feature – Rise Laboratories

Our feature this week is Rise Laboratories. We asked a few questions and got a few answers. Here they are for your enjoyment:

PCT: Describe your site and the concept behind it.

RL: Well there’s really three things, a trifecta if you will, that created Rise.
1) For my day job, I have an interactive web agency and specifically, I’m a Flash developer. I work a lot on interactive sites for entertainment brands which is a really fun process as far as bringing things to life on the web.
2) I’ve always been into cool T’s, whether they are band tees or just regular graphics. Like many people, I feel them to be an extension of my personality.
3) Most people don’t know this, but I work closely on web projects with LA fashion designer Darren Romanelli.. he’s actually an incredible marketing guy along with being a RIDICULOUS designer. His gear is insane and he’s collabed with everyone from Looney Tunes to Lupe Fiasco to Fall Out Boy. He’s been a huge inspiration for me to get into making my own gear.

All that being said, with Rise Labs I’m now able to take my love for creating and bring it into the real world and make something that people can wear and enjoy. My whole goal isn’t to sell as many shirts as possible, but rather to create T’s that I love to wear, and hope a few people feel the same way. Also, my shirts are 100% ringspun cotton, so they’re nice and soft. I hate bulky tees.

Squirt

rise_squirt

$19 + shipping at Rise Laboratories

PCT: What do you think is unique about your site?

RL: Probably that I personally designed and developed it. Along with my best-friend/roommate/business-partner TJ Certo, we’ve personally handled the creation of each and every part of our brand. Aside from that, we came up with the name Rise Laboratories and we really ran with the theme of laboratories and science equipment, while also keeping with the theme of colorful and fun. When some of our friends saw the site for the first time, they repeatedly told me “This is so you guys.” So TJ and I are happy to have created something that speaks straight from who we are.

PCT: What type of customer does your site target?

RL: Anyone that loves our style. This is something we’re totally passionate about and we hope to find and meet people who dig what we’re doing.

Bear Trap

rise_beartrap

$19 + shipping at Rise Laboratories

PCT: Do you just offer T-shirts?

RL: As of right now, yes. We’re brand new.. barely a week old. At some point I’d love to get into making sneakers. I have a whole bunch of colorful Nikes and Reeboks, even a pair of purple and yellow Pumps.

PCT: How often should we see new designs?

RL: I would love to get a new shirt out about every two weeks or so. We’ve launched with the six currently on the site, narrowed down from about a dozen or so originals. Some of those will get to see the light of day soon. Also, I’ve got a really cool artist collaboration in the works so that will be the next shirt available.

PCT: Where in the world is your site located?

RL: Technically, the site is at a data center in Michigan 😉 Really though, my office is in Milford, Connecticut.

Do you ship international?

RL: I’d love to.. I would just ask that my overseas customers hit me up at michael@riselaboratories.com 🙂

Girls Tee

rise_girlstee

$19 + shipping at Rise Laboratories

PCT: Freestyle round. Say what you want.

RL: I think my next profession will be some sort of Life Guru, so here goes. I’d like to remind everyone reading this to do what YOU are passionate about. I know it’s hard, but try not to be influenced by what other people are doing or saying.. that’s where we make the most mistakes. Aspire to be the best at whatever it is you do, and try to find a way to keep motivated. You’ll find that being apart of something that you truly love is the most rewarding of all.

Be inspired to rise!

x) Bonus Question: Rock, Paper, or Scissors?

Haha! Gun!

Just kidding.. I always hated when kids did that in elementary school. I’ll take scissors.

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Final Thoughts from PCT:

We normally do larger sites on the Weekly feature, but there is always time to give an up-and-comer a little bit of shine. I especially like the bear drinking the XXX beverage. If I was a bear, I would be drinking that too. Give Rise Laboratories a visit and pick up the bear (or another shirt will do.)

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If you would like your site or shirt featured on PopCultureTees.com, send us an email and let us know.

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