Today on day three of the 12 Days of Christmas #WishList; We bring you an interview and showcase of the works of online t-shirt store Crock Tees. We recently got a chance to talk to the man behind the brand, Tobin and I discuss who Crock Tees are, what has 2010 been like for Crocktees? and What their #WishList for Christmas is in 2010.
Hi Tobin, It’s great to introduce yourself to the Design Juices readers. Why don’t you tell us how Crock Tees came together and what you bring to the world of online t-shirts.
Crocktees came together almost by accident. After putting together some t-shirts for friends using Zazzle I started to realize that the shirts I had been creating could be sold on an open marketplace. I had never thought of selling designs before, but the ease of using print on demand services gave me an opportunity to try it out. One thing that I think is a key to the success of Crocktees thus far is staying aware issues and trends seen around the world. Crocktees is definitely a pop brand, and the goal of the site is to always have a fresh line of designs. Crocktees has featured artwork inspired by friends, fans, and all kinds of current events. By being open to ideas I feel that Crocktees will always have it’s own unique sense of style and humor as well as grow in parallel with our fan base.
What do you find to be the most enjoyable part of the experience in selling T-shirts? The design stage? Manufacturing? or Selling?
Creating the shirts will most likely always be the most fun part of the process, but this does not exclude manufacturing. As Crocktees has grown we have started a client business as well screenprinted designs in addition to our usual print on demand attire. I really enjoy working with clients, and doing this opens up a whole new part of the creative process, collaboration with others. But in the end, creating artwork and humor is just a fun thing to do. If Crocktees sells one or one-hundred t-shirts the creative process is what is most important and why I decided to create a business from a hobby.
What has been the most succesful design for you? Why do you think it has done so well?
There have been several successful designs from the Cockpuncher t-shirt which was one of our first pop tees, to our Chemists Do It On The Table t-shirt which was our first fan inspired tee. But I think a great example of what Crocktees can be about is our What Would Rachel Maddow Do T-Shirt. I say this not only because we have sold a lot of this design, but because even though it is not a humor t-shirt it was a pure pop creation inspired by the wave of Twitter and Facebook fans of the Rachel Maddow Show. If your not familiar with her, she hosts a news show focused on American policies and politics on MSNBC. The show has a great online presence and following, and without much fanfare or advertising for the tee it was the fan base and Rachel Maddow’s own blog that found my design and posted links. After the twitter posts Crocktees had it’s biggest online day in our short history, and it was entirely social media created. An unexpected, and honestly kinda cool event. This was our first experience getting some viral exposure so it will definitely be a design I remember.
What has 2010 been like for you? Do you envisage more success in 2011? or Would have done anything different in 2010?
2010 was our first full year, so it was definitely a great year. Would I have done anything differently? Absolutely. There is too much to even get into. But more importantly over this first year the site has grown tremendously in scope and popularity. Crocktees has also gained a lot of friends along the way, from fans to peers. And overall the process of building a brand has been a great experience. There are even some connections that I now value more the site itself, Crocktees has been that much fun to share and experience with those we have worked with.
In 2011 we hope to continue those relationships and keep creating new and unique designs. I think 2011 will be even a better year, because now without worrying so much about the logistics Crocktees will focus more on creation. This means even better designs and time dedicated to sharing the artwork with friends, clients, and fans.
Will Crocktees being doing anything special for Christmas and New years?
We will be participating in the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway of course which I am very excited about. There are also several designs which I hope to have done soon as well. Also, Crocktees will be having special sales and discounts as the holidays become closer.
Complete this sentence: “All i want for christmas is…”
All I want for Christmas is.. world peace and goodwill to all. And a bit of Crocktees in the stockings wouldn’t hurt either! But I’ll settle for the world peace if we can get it.
Crock Tees: Favourite Designs
Loving Cougars is Not a Crime
The Birdman Cometh
The Big Shamrock Shaq
Thanks to Mike of Angry Mongo, for talking his time out with this interview today. Tomorrow we will be interviewing and featuring Detour Designables and GritFX. #WishList
Special thank you to Greg Wilson of @Your_Say on twitter, for event social media consultation.
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