September 12, 2008
We interview the crazy characters of the clothing line ‘Rogue Squirrel’
TM: Your brand has an interesting overall theme to it. Could you go in depth as to how you decided to go for this brand image?
RS: We come from a generation brought up with comic books & “Saturday Morning Cartoons”, which actually helped inspire our creativity. When we started forming our company we wanted to do something against the grain. The theme and brand image we took as a way to differentiate ourselves and pay homage to the concepts that contributed in making us the artists we are today. In-fact that’s a reason you’ll notice that our website has a story-line and characters.
TM: How long have you been in the t-shirt biz? And what have you learned?
RS: We’ve been around for just over a year. So we’re still young in the game, but we’ve honestly learned a ton. I think the most important thing that we have learned is patience. Building a brand is like raising a baby, it takes a lot of time, thought, care and money. There are going to be frustrations and growing pains, but you have to endure. So patience is key.
TM: Which of your shirts is your absolute favorite?
RS: Aaron: I don’t have a favorite, I like them all. Brian: You know, I like whatever our newest shirt is. Because we’re always stretching ourselves and making ourselves better. So each new shirt is like watching our growth and the product of our cohesive efforts. Joe: What he said. Rich: What Joe said. Aaron: Wait, can I change my answer?
TM: It appears you have an interesting team. Or are those made up characters in the ‘The Squad’ section on your site?
RS: It’s really an amalgamation of both. Each individual character represents one of us, and is loosely based on our own personas. We eventually hope to expand the story and characters in a future project, and even integrate them into later designs.
TM: Where do you get your inspiration from when it comes to designing t-shirts?
RS: We are inspired by each other, as well as what happens in our day to day lives. We, as individuals, have our own experiences & interests. We’re all influenced by movies, music, video games, and art in general, but many of our ideas stem from random conversations and brainstorming sessions where we’re just hanging out, vibing with each other and being ourselves.
TM: What’s in the works for the future of your label?
RS: Currently we’re finalizing our fall line, which will be our largest simultaneous product release to date. It will include hoodies, along with a number of new t-shirt designs and styles for both men and women. We will also be co-sponsoring some events throughout the DC, MD, VA area, in the near future. One that we’re very excited for is an event that we’ll be hosting along with, D.C. company, Urban Artistry, which will be held in early 2009, as well as an event this October in Va. Beach that will feature some of the contestants from America’s Best Dance Crew.
TM: What tips could you give to others trying to get into the t-shirt biz?
RS: 1) Stay in the game. Don’t quit just because a shirt doesn’t sell, or you don’t make money at an event. Each event is an opportunity to spread the word about your company. Don’t get negative about it, turn it into a positive by learning from your mistakes and experiences.
2) Do your research, see what other companies are doing, but don’t be afraid to do something different.
3) Take your time, don’t try to make things happen in an instant. That’s true for designs as well as your company. Type treatment is just as important as the imagery. Try to exude quality all the way around.
4) Make connections. There are thousands of clothing companies out there, and it doesn’t help making enemies. Talk to everyone.
CHECK OUT THE ROGUE SQUIRREL WEBSITE AT http://www.roguesquirrel.com