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One of the cool new features of our T-ShirtForums newsletter will be the "Featured Member" section.
(not to be confused with our yearly MHM awards)




This section be our chance to showcase some of our helpful and knowledgeable members from all over the world. Hopefully this will help the community get to know a bit more about the helpful "faces" they see here at T-ShirtForums.com

Our first Featured Member is Tim, known on the forums as kimura-mma.
8 Questions with Tim from Bambooista and 8thDegreeBlack
Do you remember when and why you originally joined T-ShirtForums.com?

I originally joined in July 2008. I was in the research phase of starting up my first clothing brand. I was specifically looking for information on all-over printing and how to relabel blank shirts and use my own custom label.


What type of t-shirt business do you run?

I run an independent clothing company, in addition to being a freelance graphic designer.

Do you have a website?


Yes, it's www.bambooista.com. I also have www.8thdegreeblack.com, although that side of the business has morphed into doing custom apparel programs.


How long have you been in business?


The company launched in February 2008, so it's been almost two and half years now.


What was your reason for getting into the t-shirt business?


I started in graphic design in 1999, working for a pro sports team doing various marketing and advertising materials. I then moved on to do graphic design and merchandising for a sports licensed apparel company. It was there that I really learned about the ins-and-outs of the t-shirt business and gained experience in various aspects of the industry. An opportunity came along that allowed me to branch out and start my own company, so I went for it. And I can honestly say that I have a passion for the business and love what I do.


What was one of your biggest obstacles and how did you overcome it?


The biggest obstacle has been juggling the many areas of the business. As a graphic designer by trade, I've had to learn on the fly about other areas like legal, sourcing, marketing, distribution, building a website, etc. I've overcome it by spending countless hours researching, especially on T-Shirt Forums (shameless brown-nosing... lol). I have also made some great contacts along the way and have had a lot of help from family and friends.


What's the best piece of advice you've given or been given?


I think the best advice I've given is about intellectual property issues. I'm certainly no attorney, but I do have experience in licensing and IP. It's a common subject that comes up and I like to help people understand more about it.

The best advice I've been given was from Lewis aka Solmu. The post was not even directed towards me, but it had a lasting effect nonetheless. The quote was...
"But there comes a time when a potential business starter is just hiding in the research because they're afraid of every little decision they need to make." You sort of have to know the context of the entire thread for it to completely make sense, but the value I take from it is this... There is only so much planning and research you can do, eventually you have to bite the bullet, take a chance, get yourself out there and sell your product.

Anything else you'd like to add?


Much of my time lately has been spent on my bamboo baby clothing brand, Peek A Bamboo. I'm currently working with a buyer to get into the local region of a national retail chain. So hopefully that keeps going ahead as planned. If anyone needs to buy a baby gift, check out www.bambooista.com.

==
Feel free to use the replies area below to say Hi to Tim or to ask any follow up questions about his answers or company.

Got some great interview questions you'd like to see in future features? Post and vote for them at: TwenTEEQuestions
 

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Great choice for a first "Featured Member" Rodney, I follow all of Tim's posts that I can, he's a wealth of knowledge and a real asset to TSF.
 

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Hi, I have some questions for Tim.

I am on research mode ! . . . And am wondering if you started doing your own printing or if you sourced it out, and also, who is doing the manufacturing of your blanks, or are they standard blanks that you just order. I am looking getting into bamboo but don't know if people are ready to pay for the price point. And another, what is going on with the 8thDegreeBlack brand?

Thanks ! & good luck with your brands.:)
 

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And am wondering if you started doing your own printing or if you sourced it out
I outsource all of my screen printing. I believe production should be left up to professionals. There are so many talented printers out there, I feel it's right to support them.

and also, who is doing the manufacturing of your blanks, or are they standard blanks that you just order.
I have used several different suppliers, all domestic. I haven't done custom blanks, I think there are suppliers doing great work producing fashionable styles.

I am looking getting into bamboo but don't know if people are ready to pay for the price point.
Yeah, bamboo is at a premium price right now. But I'm finding the consumer is fairly educated about it and that's only going to get better. People will typically pay for quality and something they believe in. So with bamboo, they are getting both. It's definitely important to stay within the target market, however. I'm finding that different regions are more apt to support a bamboo brand. Regions that were the first to support organic cotton are typically the first to support bamboo. But the same way organic cotton has become more mainstream, it's just a matter of time before bamboo does too.

And another, what is going on with the 8thDegreeBlack brand?
The 8DB brand has kind of morphed into a custom program. I was getting a lot of different requests for different kinds of shirts. People would say, "The guys at my gym would love a red judo shirt" or "Can you do a muay thai design on black?" It would have been expensive to create inventory for all those ideas, so I basically asked if these gyms would buy shirts in bulk. So it kind of put the brand on hold, but sometimes you gotta follow the opportunity even when it's not what you originally planned.
 

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Thanks for sharing this interview. I love the part about just biting the bullet and getting out there. It's so true and something that I continue to work on. Think about the quickest and easiest way to do something then go do it. Adjust as you go but don't wait to release your product / idea any more than you have to!
 

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Can the Bamboo fabric accept the two step paper application of the laser transfers?
AL
 

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I am not sure if the two step paper will work on Bamboo fabric.
Have some sent to me and I will test it for you.
AL
 
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