Today on day ten of the 12 Days of Christmas #WishList; We bring you an interview and showcase of the works of Online t-shirt and hoodies Store 604 Republic. We recently got a chance to talk to the man behind the brand, Sebastien and I discuss who 604 Republic are,What role has social media taken with the 604 Republic brand? and What their #WishList for Christmas is in 2010.
Hi Sebastien, It’s great to introduce yourself to the Design Juices readers. Why don’t you tell us how 604 Republic came together and what you bring to the world of online t-shirts.
604Republic is a very young company, our store has only been open for about two months, but already we’re seeing some amazing results and feedback from customers and the community. I started the company with the intent to apply the experience and knowledge I had gained in my first online retail venture to something bigger, better and with a wider market to pursue. Although we started 604Republic with a particular focus on a garment type, we’re now refocusing on creating a store that will, as our new slogan says have “Gear for every Geek”. That is to say, sell apparel and accessories that appeal to various interest groups that are passionate about their particular topic. So whether you “geek out” about photography, or dinosaurs, or retro video games, tv shows, comic books, zombies, etc… we’ll have something in our store that will appeal to you.
You’ve recently launched some new designs on the 604 store, is there a favorite design you have launched? What kind of process does each design go through from the idea to its inception into being printed and for sale on the store?
I’ll tell you my three favorites. The Epic Duel t-shirt is probably the one that makes me laugh the most, next is Stoned in Wonderland which I love because I find the art to be incredible and last is the Zombert & Zernie design. I’m fond of that one because it’s a perfect skewing of a childhood reference many of us can instantly relate to. It’s cool and creepy at the same time.
As far as our design process goes, there’s two sides to it. Sometimes a random idea pops into my head and once that idea has been formed into a cohesive concept I think will appeal to our customers, I outsource that idea to a graphic designer and begin the process of initial rough sketches all the way to a final design. In the second scenario I simply find designs that already exist and try to acquire them for the purpose of carrying them in our store.
Does 604 Republic have a long term plan for the next 3-5 years? Any plans to have your own retail store?
Long term plans when running a start-up, especially one as young as ours often change in the blink of an eye but we certainly have our eyes set on a particular segment of the online retail space that we plan on growing into very quickly. That’s all I’ll give away for now 😉
As far as plans for a retail store, that’s not something I have a particular interest in, but if there is enough demand for one down the road, it’s possible.
You’ve been known to run your own giveaways with social media and using twitter the most. What role has social media taken with the 604 Republic brand? Is this something you at first were skeptical or is Social media a vital marketing tool in today’s economy?
Any marketer that ignores social media is doing themselves a huge disservice. With that said however, tools like Twitter and Facebook have an odd way of being capable of forging both meaningful and shallow connections between your company and the market you’re looking to reach. They’re valuable tools in a modern marketer’s arsenal and wisely used can help with both exposure and community building. I do find however that too many inexperienced online store owners focus on these tools so much, they lose sight of the fact that before you can hawk your wares via tools like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc, you need wares worth hawking. No amount of social media magic will help you succeed if your wares suck and your online store sucks even more.
Will 604Republic be doing anything special for Christmas and New years?
We expect that subsequent Christmas seasons will be a regular boost in our sales numbers, but we’ve been online for such a short amount of time that we don’t have anything special planned for this year.
Complete this sentence: “All I want for Christmas is…”
All I want for Christmas is to get through the meeting of the families without it resulting in a huge international incident that winds up in the papers.
604 Republic: Favorite Designs
Stoned in Wonderland
Zombert & Zernie
Thanks to Sebastien of 604 Republic, for talking his time out with this interview today. Tomorrow we will be interviewing and featuring SogeShirts and Tats2ts. #WishList
Don’t forget to enter the second part of our #WishList giveaway with some photo fun, which will be judged by Jason Sadler of I Wear Your Shirt.
Special thank you to Greg Wilson of @Your_Say on twitter, for event social media consultation.
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