February 27, 2009
My Party Shirt has been creating fun 90’s inspired tees since early 2005. In this interview the folks from My Party Shirt talk about how it all began and how they differ from the sea of novelty/funny tee sites. They even spill the beans about their favorite Legends of the Hidden Temple team! If you’re a fan of the 90’s and tuned in to Nickelodeon daily, then you will surely love My Party Shirt! We got to interview Michael Rutcofsky, founder of My Party Shirt.
CG: My Party Shirt started out in early 2005, how did the idea for the site come about?
CG: Did any of you (the founders) have any experience in the apparel or design industry prior to starting My Party Shirt?
MR: I had zero experience in the apparel industry. I think the best decision I made was not to jump into the business too quickly. I took a half a year and just read up on every book, every website, every video that had information available on how to run the company the right way. If I was going to make this happen, I was going to know everything there was to know about the industry. I have seen a ton of companies come and go so fast because they think it’s all fun and games. They don’t realize the back end is what drives the company. Having a fancy looking website with funny shirts is nice, but it’s the little things that the customers don’t see that makes it all work. I think people look at our site and think we sit around thinking of fun t-shirt ideas all day. Yes it is fun, but it is a small part of what we do. The employees here all have prior experience in the apparel industry. They all understand that the cleanliness and organization of the shirts in our warehouse is as important as the helpfulness of the person that answers the phone when you call us.
CG: There seems to be a novelty tee store in every corner of the Internet. How does My Party Shirt differ from other novelty/funny tee sites?
MR: The experience. From the second you visit our website to the second you receive your shirt we want the customer to feel like we truly care about them and the products we sell (because we do). There are plenty of companies that have copied our shirts over the years. It’s a real bummer when that happens, because it’s a ton of work that goes into every design. But regardless of what happens another company cannot match the experience you get when you shop with MyPartyShirt.com. That is why our customers come back time and time again.
CG: What has been the most popular My Party Shirt to date?
MR: I am proud to say that the most popular shirt on our site has constantly changed based on the new shirts we put out. I think that’s a really positive thing. If you check back each week to our site you will see new shirts posted. We do our best to put out better shirts every week. The shirts we are putting out now in 2009 are much better than the ones we were doing back in ’05. And I hope 5 years from now I can say the same about our shirts and our website as a whole is vastly improved. It’s a constant work in progress. I think our customers really appreciate that.
CG: My Party Shirt carries all 6 Legends of the Hidden Temple team shirts. I grew up watching Legends of the Hidden Temple! Of the 6 teams, which was your favorite and why?
MR: Blue Barracudas! I always rooted for them, even though they weren’t the best. They absolutely had the coolest name and logo. I refused to root for anyone else.
CG: I can’t help but notice the overwhelming amount of 90’s themed tees at My Party Shirt. Do you often get requests to do designs from 90’s pop culture that you currently don’t have in your store? If so, what have been some popular requests?
MR: Our customer base is extremely loyal and for that we are extremely grateful. They are as passionate about our products as we are. I can’t tell you how many emails we get requesting shirts that are already designed and ready to come out the next week. The most popular requests we get are for 90’s pop culture t-shirts and movie jerseys.
CG: What’s the best bit of feedback from a customer that you’ve received? Any funny t-shirt stories sent in by customers that have worn your tees?
MR: We have received some really great feedback over the years, but I think the one that trumps them all was sent in a couple months back. Have a look:
‘I saw the Mr. Feeney shirt advertised online and had to buy it. 4 months later I’m at a bar and I see Danielle Fishel (the girl who played Topanga Lawrence on the show ‘Boy Meets World’) This girl was my childhood crush growing up and thanks to me wearing my Mr. Feeny shirt, I had an ice breaker and got to chill with her and such. I even have a picture of she and I with my Feeney shirt!