then we made shirts
Remember when we had this awesome idea to make shirts with our designs on them? Shirts that are super comfortable. Shirts we’d sell to friends everywhere?!
Then we were like “Oh so how do we actually make them?”
Enter our new friend Scott Ellis of Blue Button. Non-profit owner. Man on a mission for teens. Screen printer extraordinaire. New mentor and friend.
When I say that Scott is a generous person, it’s a total understatement. On a Thursday night in November we drive to Spokane to meet Scott. He’s going to show us how to mix colors, teach us all about water-based inks, and so on.
We tour the shop. He jumps right in. He’s mixing this, mixing that, pointing to a can of something rather, saying ‘jot this down’ and we’re just bobble heads taking in all the knowledge.
Hours pass. We all go home around midnight.
Next day, we meet with Scott around noon. We get to meet Erica, Scott’s lovely wife. Scott and Erica tell us about this awesome two-week trip they have planned to Spain, Paris, Texas, and so on. Oh and by the way, they leave TOMORROW MORNING!
Instead of saying no to us, to our self-imposed deadlines, our over ambitious goals and going home to pack, prepare, find glasses and a passport, they stay with us. All day and all night. Teaching us, laughing with us, getting our hands dirty, really putting the labor of love into these shirts.
2:30am. Time to go home.
Exhausted, but we made new friends and started really learning to love this new craft of screen printing.
- We learned that plastisol inks (the kind that sit on top of shirts and crack) are nasty.
- We learned that water-based inks are so flexible and good for us, for shirts, and the environment.
- We learned that most of this craft is a lot of trial and error. LOTS. This is perfect for us! We don’t want shirts that are factory perfect. Each one has unique, handmade character.
- We learned that if you want something you can do it, learn it, find people to help.
We have so much more to learn to become master printers and selfless business owners like Scott and Erica. Printing this first batch of shirts has been a true labor of love – slightly surreal, fun, lots of learning, and worth it.
Hope you love them too. Happy New Years, the store opens this week!