Before the TV series "How To Make It In America" ever came out, we were creating our very own blueprint to "How To Make It In Canada", or better yet Toronto. Prior to 2007/2008 the only Toronto-based brands that were making any noise were brands like Lounge, The One and Too Black Guys. For those of you who are too young to remember, The One (T.O.) was a dope intersecting logo and t-shirt design that was featured in videos like "Ol' Time Killin" by Kardinal Offishall. Too Black Guys created a classic baseball jersey that can be seen in the famous video for "Real Love" by Mary J. Blige. Seeing these monumental moments for local brands gave us hope when it came to the idea of selling 1 LOVE T.O. t-shirts.
Our story isn't glamorous, but everyone has to start somewhere, and that somewhere for us was a mix between selling t-shirts out of our office space at The Remix Project, the trunk of our cars, personal deliveries (meeting people all over the city), special events and parties, pop up shops, and of course asking friends for help when it came to selling them on the street.
Here's our 6-STEP process when it comes to creating and selling t-shirts:
STEP 1: Create a remarkable logo/design. (something people will talk about)
STEP 2: Find cheap blank t-shirts and hire a printing company to make your tees.
STEP 3: Promote your t-shirts by any means necessary. (Back then all we had was myspace, facebook and good old word-of-mouth)
STEP 4: Sell as many shirts as possible! (Obviously)
STEP 5: Re-invest the money from t-shirt sales to make more tees.
STEP 6: Repeat Steps 3-5 over and over and over again.
"Toronto in 2008 was changing. It was becoming a staple in the world. At this moment when Brock approached me about selling 1 LOVE T.O. t-shirts, I was happy. One, he was a part of the dopest party ever Shuffle. Two, he called me to be a part of it! It was a summer I would always remember. I was wearing the shirt and every where I would go men and women would approach me asking where I purchased the shirt. The logo itself was momentum the city was missing. Something so simple and easy to remember brought the whole city together. I was happy to do this type of work. It helped me understand business, help me learn the importance of networking and most of all, helped me understand there's no better place in the world than Toronto. I will never forget the of summer 2008." - Blake Gabriel
Posted by Bryan Brock