I believe it was last summer when I was in Old Navy checking out T shirts. I have always loved T shirts- but not just any T shirts. I’ll only buy a concert T shirt if the look AND feel is cool. I have to like the design and feel good when I wear it. Like most women, I don’t like boxy, ill-fitting or scratchy shirts. I want something soft and stylish that also starts a conversation. If you haven’t already figured this out, I have a silly personality and like to make people laugh.
Back to Old Navy. They have some cute stuff, but what I saw on that late summer day was a shirt that said, “Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner” with images of a doughnut, a taco and slice of pizza. While this is cute, as a nutrition professional, I can’t really wear this without getting the old sideways glance. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the above foods in moderation, but I wanted some FOOD in my food T shirts.
Fast forward a month or so. I start thinking of all the food puns I’d thought up over the years and all the fun food shirts I’d seen while on vacation, at farmer’s markets or food trade shows. I thought to myself, “why can’t I make my own”? And so, I did.
I had met a guy named Chris Glass through People’s Liberty. Chris is a designer and photographer with his own line of T shirts called Wire and Twine https://wireandtwine.com/. His designs are simple, eye-catching and whimsical- just my speed. We met over coffee and I asked him what he thought of my ideas. At the time, I had a handful and he helped me narrow down the top 3 he thought “had legs” as he likes to say. Chris put together some ideas and voila- Peas Romaine Seeded, This. Is. The. Wurst and Praise Cheeses were born. We decided that unisex would be a good way to start without having to invest too much money. The brand I chose is 90% cotton and very soft.
Chris put me in touch with a few local printers but I’d hear the best things about Aaron Kent at DIY. http://diyprintingshop.com/index.html I can’t describe Aaron any other way than to say he’s a character. He is a daredevil when it comes to sports and has a soft spot for the community, humanity and his 3-legged dog, Stealer (the healer). Aaron has been printing my Ts in his shop in Essex Place (Walnut Hills) since the beginning. I always enjoy our quirky conversations.
Now comes the hard part. I have to sell a fair number of shirts to break even. I made a “test batch” of Peas Romaine Seeded and gave them to 30 friends, family and foodies that get me and would enjoy the Ts. From there, I set up a pre-sale and sold 60 or so around Christmas. In addition, I connected with a friend that worked with the Dairy Council and pitched her a T shirt idea and “Eat, drink and be dairy” emerged. The Dairy Council has purchased at least 50 of them! I have donated a fair number of shirts to school, church and other raffles. To me, it’s a kick just to see people read them and smile.
I literally went door to door to several Cincinnati gift shops and small markets to ask if stores would carry them. I was lucky that a few people at the Epicurean Mercantile at Findlay http://emcotr.com/ liked them as well as Clifton Market https://cliftonmarket.com/. I also have a handful of shirts at Kennedy Heights Arts Center. The shirts are “on consignment”, which means, if they sell, the store takes about 20% of the sale. If not, they are under no obligation to buy them.Typically when items are sold wholesale, the store buys them at 50% of the retail price.
Flash forward a few more months. I am struggling to keep some inventory at home for when I get a random order (about once or twice per month) and wanted to offer more ladies cut T shirts. I was also trying to figure out how to keep some shirts at stores and fulfill online orders. So I learned about POD (print on demand) from my web designer. I played around with a few and decided on printify.com.
So if you’re looking for a T shirt, tote bag or mug for yourself or a friend, check out my online shop! It is a labor of love and I hope the items bring a smile to your face. https://soundbitesnutrition.com/shop