TM: What’s the idea behind Indivisual Clothing?
DP: Essentially Indivisual produces exactly what our independent artists want without branding it in any specific way. It’s a way to capture the work of peers and individuals, including myself, onto a medium that is accessible to anyone and moving and walking around the streets.
TM: How long have you been in the t-shirt business? What have you learned?
DP: I’ve been screen printing since I was 15, so that would make about 15 years now. I’ve definitely learned a lot in that time, but still don’t have my head wrapped around the whole selling/buying experience. I’m a better maker than seller who just enjoys making cool stuff that hopefully others react to and enjoy for themselves. I’d like to think that it gets people to either question, ponder, or smile. I’ve learned that others have better equipment and can make a better, more environmentally friendly product than me, so I don’t do the printing myself anymore. There’s also so many niches that usually each new design release is manufactured by someone new making each design a unique learning experience.
TM: The ‘Doves’ shirt seems very intriguing. What does that shirt represent?
DP: The artist Robbie Bolick, or IRONCLAW is very interested in peace and the few controlling heads that decide their peoples’ fates versus our duty to stand up, question and respond when necessary. His response for the “Why” section about his design probably wraps it up the best – “It still amazes me that so many close family members are pro war. Why fight here on American soil when we can do it somewhere else instead? Why do we so endorse war as a nation? War in the name of peace is for those who don’t really understand the horror of war. Can we someday trade our weapons for books? Schools? Can our immature country learn from the mistakes we’ve made? Will I ever be proud of the nation I’m a part of? Maybe I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. Until that day, I speak peace.”
TM: The ‘Life Cycles’ shirt also seems to have an interesting concept. What’s the explanation behind that design?
TM: I see you’ve gotten your products into a few stores all around America. How did you go about getting your products into stores?
DP: To be honest, I really know the least about retail and push for online sales. Our costs for production at these small limited run quantities make for terrible wholesale pricing for us. I’d have to price the garments at well over what I would like the affordability rate to be. Making it an exclusive high end price point would eliminate who I would think respond to the designs the most. The stores are just an extra bonus and an excuse to work with great stores and people, and get the work in front of the public eye. The only downfall is that so many people are understandably “hands-on” about their clothing buying experience. We provide sizing instructions and detail shots, but unless you get to throw a shirt over your shoulders, feel it, and take it for a walk, I suppose its always a bit of a gamble and you may have to send back for another size. We’ve all been surprised with some companies showing one thing on screen and getting something totally different in the mail, or with a big logo on the back that they didn’t know would be there. We of course, don’t do this, but others have damaged the public trust of online buying.
TM: What are your future plans for Indivisual Clothing?
DP: Continue to stay small, limited, inspiring and approachable. Look for a new design release every 2 months to nab ’em before they’re gone forever. Also, continue to look for our stuff in small independent boutiques across the states and a few select international cities.
TM: What are some helpful tips you can give to others trying to get into the t-shirt industry?
DP: I’d suggest either starting small to be small, or start big to be big. If big is your goal, get a loan or some startup funds and go for hit. Get some partners who make up for your weak points and hit the trade shows and get your clothes in some chains. If staying small is your deal, have fun. It’s hard work and the rewards aren’t huge, at least in my case, but it’s a fun and more “manageable” ride.
For more of Indivisual Clothing, check out the site.