August Release Live!
Well what're ya doing here? Go check it out!
posted by Mr. Linty @ 11:03 PM, ,
Starting to sink in
So the other day I glanced at my calendar and realized that my tentative departure date for China is just 2 WEEKS AWAY. Then I had this sudden realization that I'm actually moving there. Not just visiting, but moving. Wowzers!
On the plus side, I'm stoked for it, and it'll be good for me. When I first got back to the US, I remembered how relaxed I felt, how much being over there had chilled me out. I think a big part of stress here in Atlanta is driving. People do the dumbest things and freak out on each other. I've seen some pretty insane road rage result from it all. Driving = stress. Over there, I don't have to worry about all that. Riding the bus all over the place means I don't need a car, don't need to fill it up with gas, and don't need to stress out on the road. Wonderful!
Also good (as I mentioned countless times) is the prices. Rent's cheap, food's cheap, transportation's cheap, groceries are cheap. And to make life even better for us westerners are the introduction of new US eateries all the time; I heard recently that the first Papa John's in our city opened up a block down from our apartment! Plus, there's no shortage of fun things to do, something I had worried about before leaving.
Of course, the downside is that I'm leaving a bunch of friends and family. I'm definitely going to miss them, and they're all promising to visit, but it's a long trip, and I can't expect that everyone will be able to make it over and survive the 30+ hour journey...
Can't have everything I guess.
posted by Mr. Linty @ 9:04 PM, ,
Just got off the phone with my translator/advisor for China. She's been so great through all of this. I'm completely sure I'd be sunk without her efforts!
So, the latest (as you may have seen on my Flickr), is that the samples came in from China. They look astounding. The colors are solid and vivid, and because they dyed the material from scratch, the results are actually even better than American Apparel. It's a perfect match for Linty Fresh, and I'm thrilled. On top of that, the material I decided to go with is slightly thicker than my current AA styles (2001 and 2102). It's super, super comfy.
Of course, nothing comes without a little grief, and there were some issues. For one, it looks like the collars have a problem that cause them to stand up (rather than laying flat on your neck, like a normal tee). Apparently the material used was a different blend of cotton, causing it to shrink at a rate different from that of the rest of the shirt. No good. Also, the vertical shoulder seem is just a bit long on the girl sizes. Fixable issues, but things that need to be addressed now.
In other China news, it looks like I'll be moving into a different place than I was staying in while there in the Spring. It turns out that my roommate and I are getting a third friend from the states moving in, so we're upscaling a bit. The new place has 5 bedrooms and 2 full baths. It's on the third floor, has a great view, and is just across the street from out old place. One of the rooms is set up as an office, which I'll try to snag as my workspace. And as typical for China, the place is fully furnished. (We just need to provide mattresses, because who wants to use someone else's?) The best part, of course, is the price. When split 3 ways, rent's just $130 a month. Factor in food (eating out practically every day), entertainment, and shopping, and you're at about $350. It'll be a bit more for me with obvious business expenses, but dude... Seriously. Awesome.
The funny part is that I still don't have my ticket. I'm so close to having enough miles on my frequent flier account to be able to get a free round-trip, so I'm holding out... But my planned arrival is August 12-15th, so I'm running out of time and may just purchase a one-way. Either way, it's looming ever closer. Can't wait to get back!
posted by Mr. Linty @ 9:55 PM, ,
Asheville a success!
Curse my never taking pictures of stuff! The best I could do was snag this shot from one of the organizer's Flickr photostream. It was just too busy to take my own pics though. I had folks browsing through the wares pretty much nonstop throughout the day. In fact, I sold a bunch of stuff before the event even officially began at noon!
Now, Asheville is about 4 hours from Atlanta, so I had to be up pretty early to make it in time for setup (4:30 AM, to be exact). I actually really love driving before the sun is up. There's just something very ethereal about driving through the country into a smudge of light from the sun rising on the horizon. That plus a backing soundtrack of Grizzly Bear and I'm pretty much set.
Got there a bit early so I drove around and explored the city. It's a pretty cool place. Smaller and quainter than Atlanta, and with more personality and artisanship. I suspect it'd be a cool place to live. I began setting up at around 9:30, and took my time with it. I was done by 11:00.
It's always a little nerve-wracking to sell in a new city. Atlanta's fun, because it's home. Each show seems to bring out more support for both the local scene and Linty Fresh specifically (I've actually been recognized around town for being the Linty Fresh guy, which is cool!). But with a new place, there's a certain tension there, a lack of confidence in how the local audience will receive my brand and my art.
The first sale came in a bit after 11:00. It was one of my Hairy Harry tees, and the customer just kept saying over and over how cool he thought the tees were, and how well everything was going to sell. It was the boost I needed, and things didn't slow down till closing at 6PM!
Incredibly, I actually did better at this show than I did on either day in Brooklyn's Renegade show, which is just about mind-blowing to me. So yeah, Asheville pretty much rocks.
In international news, things are coming along speedily! The first batch of tees is completely ready to go, so now it's time to get busy arranging the photoshoot, which will be handled by a friend there who claims to know plenty of willing models. We shall see!
posted by Mr. Linty @ 8:52 PM, ,
The Big Crafty!
Just woke up and about to head out for Asheville, North Carolina. It's about a 4 hour drive, so I should be ok.
Anyways, If you're in or around the area be sure to stop by! The event is called The Big Crafty and it's today only (July 12, Sunday from 12-6PM)! It will be held at "Pack Place" (check the site for info).
Come say hi!
posted by Mr. Linty @ 3:50 AM, ,
China. Let me count the woes.
So for the last month and a half I've been working on paying the people in China for the tees. It might seem weird that I didn't pay up front, but it isn't, really. We had a contract, and I only had to pay a percentage at first, with the bulk coming later. Well, that later finally came, and I was required the pay the rest of the money. So I go to my bank, get a formal wire transfer request, and fill it all out. The money in my account is sufficient, the details look good, the teller stamps it and puts it in her little tray for processing.
2 days later, while in California, I get a phone call from my bank. They ask for a "Purpose for Funds", because the Chinese bank won't touch the money unless they know why it's there. I explain succinctly, "reimbursement for tshirts". The reason I noted "reimbursement" was because at this point, the money had actually been fronted by an associate there, so I was repaying him what he paid the factory. Ok.
A week goes by, and I get an email from the associate there. He can't get to his money. The bank has it alright, but they say his name doesn't match. One of the letters is an "A" when it should be an "O". Nevermind that his address, phone number, and account details are completely accurate and there is no possible way it could be anyone else... That .01% room for doubt is enough to fire up sirens and put a lockdown on the wire. Awesome.
So a couple weeks ago, I go to my bank and explain the problem. She shows me my original paperwork and the final, type-transcribed request, and sure enough, somewhere along the line, someone misread my handwriting. I point this out to the lady behind the counter who nods sympathetically and promises to send an addendum to China explaining their mistake. Success seems to loom closer...
10 days go by. I'm in the car with some friends, and my phone goes off. The caller ID says it's "UNKNOWN", which I immediately know to be China.
"Hello, what's up?"
"Ok. Let me have it."
"China still won't release the money."
"They say that since your associate isn't a company, it doesn't make sense for him to get money for products like tshirts."
"You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding."
"It should be more generic. Just say "repayment"..."
It was the first time I'd ever dreamed of putting my head in a microwave.
A true story.
posted by Mr. Linty @ 10:37 PM, ,
So as you all are very aware of by now, I'm out of stuff. Lots of stuff. If you're a guy that wears smalls or mediums, you probably aren't too happy with me right now... What can I say? The tees go fast! I'm especially surprised with how fast Dr. K's Chemistry went. Although I only printed them back in February, I'm completely out of them in guys' sizes, and only about half of the girls' are in stock. If things go well, I'll try to reprint it for the fall. It's funny how tees sell, though. Sometimes it's the really simple ones (like the recently reprinted Keiths) that do the best! I'll have to keep this in mind for future releases. I have a bunch of ideas for late-summer tees, but if things keep going at this rate I'll be too booked with reprints to do anything new! In any case, I guess it's time to start ordering a few more with each run, especially with the wholesale orders that have been coming through and cleaning me out... (see pic)
The other thing that's made this a tricky summer is that my resources are now being tugged in two different directions: USA and China. China's doing well though. I got to finally see the samples of the first line (5 designs) and was blown away at how great they look. To be perfectly honest, they actually look better than some of the originals! I still haven't seen the completed tees, though. Because they're making my tees from scratch, they dye the material, then print it, and then stitch it. This is great for a lot of reasons, but it means that the trickiest part, the measuring and fitting, is still in the wings. I have confidence, though. They've given me no reason to worry. If anything, sometimes they're too concerned with details, like when they wanted to know how many millimeters each design fell from the collar seam. Yikes.
So I'm busy. I have a notebook next to my computer with a running to-do list that is constantly being added to, amended, and scratched off. In the last week, I've done 22 of the 36 things that I've got listed so far. The bulk of my time is being spent on arranging affairs to head back to China. I went through my apartment and put a bunch of things in the main room for friends to come over and pick through: books, movies, CDs, computer parts, office supplies, and other junk I can't lug with me to China (or can re-purchase there for cheap). I'm pretty bummed about having to get rid of stuff like my acoustic guitar, but I really don't want to take it on the 30+ hour, 3-flight trip there.
Feels like life has been on fast-forward lately... Whew.
posted by Mr. Linty @ 4:21 PM, ,