Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why T Shirts?

When I grow up I want to be.......

Never once did I ever consider that I would be involved in the manufacture, embellishment, and marketing of t shirts!  Those are Turner Originals in the picture to the left, they are MY creations and they are very different from your run of the mill t shirt in a variety of ways and that is why they come banded!

I would love to lay claim to some life saving invention, or that somehow something I thought about while in college has now come to fruition and is changing the world.  Oh, it would be so awesome to have folks waiting for my next blog post, or to be able to raffle off a lunch with me that would net some charity millions of dollars.  Never happen, because all I do for a living is make and sell t shirts.

When all you have done is make t shirts, embellish t shirts, and market t shirts all your life you find yourself ashamed to tell people what you do for a living; you hesitate commenting on blogs out of fear that someone may click on your profile and realize that you are in the t shirt trade!

You think the whole world has passed you by, that your knowledge is ancient history, that your craft, your vision, is so antiquated that you keep your excitement and passion to yourself. Then you come across an article where Adam Nash, Vice President of Linkedin, and mentor at 500Start Ups among other things actually took an interest in something that you thought the world had given up on:

Then I come to find out that he has three other articles on Tech and T Shirts and has more in the pipeline!

Finally, techies are talking about something I know and understand!  My purpose in life is no renewed!  Mr. Nash, I assure you in four posts you have only scratched the surface in regards to t shirts!

I have been arguing the how, what, why, and when of t shirts for 25 years!  In the mid 90's I came up with the idea for our gift industry start up to package a screen printed ladies tee with one of their potpourri gift products as a spring gift for gardeners: that was their number one selling product that year!  Notice the t-shirts in truck stops?  Well, I sold that idea to a chain over 13 years ago and ended up having to drive a loaded van all the way to Juliet, Illinois in January, to set up the first test store; had to assemble the shelving, load inventory, test the computer system, develop the auto replenishment inventory procedures and then turnaround and go home driving at about 35 miles per hour.  Wanted to make sure that we "executed" flawlessly!

Now we can talk t-shirts! I guess I can start a "T Shirts on Tuesday" series!  With a hat tip to Fred Wilson of course!

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