Jan 6, 2012

The way to my heart is through t-shirts

So remember these awesome shirts I've been talking about? Today I'm happy to introduce you to Ryan - the creator behind NIFTshirts. His sense of humor is fabulous - just read these shirts if you don't believe me!

How did you get started with your Etsy shop? Etsy was actually suggested to me by my mother. My mom was watching the Martha Stewart show one day, and on the show she had a guest that had a shop on Etsy. My mother checked out the Etsy site herself and was instantly in love with all the creative creations. She told me to take a look into it and I too was hooked.

What inspires you? What inspires me...hmm. Well when it comes to t-shirts. I'd like to say that happiness is what inspires me. It sounds kind of corny I guess, but people always say, "do what you love," and I have finally found it.

Is your Etsy shop a full-time business or something you hope to grow into a full-time business? Has it always been that way? The shop is now a full-time business. In the beginning it started out as a "part-time" business, due to the fact that it took a bit of time to get the orders going and to get the shop name out there. After graphic arts school I jumped right into a desktop publishing job. It was the worst job ever! The job scared me - I'd studied graphic arts in high school and also college and was working in the field and couldn't stand it. It was a bad feeling, so after quitting the desktop publishing job, I worked part-time jobs while I started creating a website and selling t-shirt designs.

After a few years the t-shirts began to take off, so much that I had to quit my part time job and work full time on my website. I had t-shirts featured in Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, and People Weekly magazines. I also had two shirts that found their way onto the TV shows Scrubs and Kyle XY. Seeing something that I made in magazines and on TV was and still is an amazing feeling.

How did you come up with the name NIFT Shirts for your shop? I forget the exact way it came about, however there are a few things that I do remember that I was very specific about. I wanted to make sure that the name was short and an even amount of letters. You'd be amazed at how a word with an odd amount of letters can mess up a design, which is why there is no Y on the end. Once I had the name NIFT then the acronym was soon to follow. New Imaginative & Fresh Threads.

How do you come up with the items in your shop? Can you explain your process? A lot of the designs originate from a story or something that has happened to me. I could go on and on and tell you a story and where I was when I came up with the idea for some of the t-shirts. I also use my notepad to take down notes or ideas when I get an idea for a new design. Ideas can hit at anytime or any place. Once I have an idea, I'll come up with a few designs and pass it around to some friends, or email and post it on facebook to get some feedback. Once I'm happy with it, I post it on Etsy to sell.
What's your favorite item in your shop right now? This is tough, I have so many of them. Right now though my favorite is Cat Plisken. It's based on one of my favorite sci-fi movies growing up Escape from New York City. The main character (Kurt Russell) played Snake Plisken and since I couldn't make a shirt of the exact character (infringement issues), I did the next best thing. I took a cat, put a cig in his mouth, added an eye patch and some cross bones and there you have it. When I wear it out, 9 out of 10 people don't have a clue what is going on with the shirt, but the one person that gets it usually comes up to me and we'll have some random conversation about the movie.

And just for fun, if you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Ravioli with lost of cheese please.

What do you think? Aren't his creations awesome? And how cool that he's been featured in magazines and on TV, right? Be sure to head over to his Etsy shop to see a lot more! 

Happy Friday!

(All photos courtesy of NIFTshirts)


Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

You know I love it! I didn't end up buying the shirt because my birthday is coming up and it is now on my wishlist! ;)

Unknown said...

His t-shirts are awesome! I really love the HP one, of course. I also like the "We Roam the Great Plains," simply because I can relate. Haha! And it looks like all of his shirts are $16.99? That's amazing!

Great feature! Happy weekend, Becky! :)

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

Ohh I wanted to get the Ohio Grown one for my dad but I don't know if he'd fit in an extra large or not.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Wow, that is so cool! I love hearing about people who have made their Etsy business a full-time job. And how cool to see your shirts on tv/in magazines.

His creations are awesome! Very clever!!

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