On Sundays I reflect.
I didn't drink alcohol this week.
But before I get into doing trades with Bobby Hundreds...
Stephan Peirce blog is coming soon, and we still have his mugs on the site. His water bottles came and went before we could get them listed on the site, but you can contact us to get on the list for the next batch.
Dux sent us a handful of goblets with his signature fortune cookies as stems. He also sent some stemless cups with opals inside, but you’ll have to stay tuned for pictures of all that coming soon.
I’ve been working on a batch of cups with Rob featuring his sections in the bottoms of my scalloped pint glasses. We have a half dozen of those to choose from for the first time, but they’re also waiting for our next photo shoot.
We listed a handful of Ed Wolfe’s mugs and we’ll have more fresh drops coming to the site as photos edits come in. Reda tells us she’s editing as fast as she can (between all her other jobs and responsibilities).
I’m leaving soon for my trip to California, Oregon, and Washington where I’ll be wrangling up some drinkware from some new artists. I’m also hoping to get a few collaborations in with some of my favorite artists you won’t want to miss!
This story starts when I was in college. I was living in Bloomington Indiana from 2008 until 2014. It was my first time living independently of my parents and outside of the suburbs of Chicago where I grew up.
Some of you may be familiar with a brand called DOPE Couture, one of the largest streetwear brands today. Back when I was in college, the owner had come up with the brand for a school project. He then turned it into a reality, with a gallery that opened in Bloomington where he sold his own designs along with a few other streetwear companies.
I should mention that my freshman year of college I had a side hustle that I ran from my dorm. A men’s clothing boutique called Long Island Apparel had gone out of business and the owner had inventory he needed gone. I sold Ed Hardy, True Religion and other high end clothing from a huge tupperware bin to other freshman in a town that had nowhere else for young men to shop. My dorm room was the place people popped in to do their shopping.
So DOPE opened my sophomore year across the street from my apartment. I wandered in more than a few times. I was a broke college student living frugally, but the few purchases I made there (out of my budget) are items I still cherish and even use to this day. The backpack I use every day is one of those items, a limited edition INCASE x Paul Rodriguez collaboration. The other scoops were a knit sweater I still wear,and a few flannels from The Hundreds that I wore down so hard they can’t be worn without some much needed repairs.
I lived in the green flannel specifically. Every day for a decade. That was my favorite piece of clothing, the most comfortable thing I own. I learned it was a limited edition Christmas release offered in three colors. Green, white, and red. My friend Max bought a second green one online after seeing (and feeling) mine. He later gifted it to me when my first one fell apart. I can’t remember how I found the white one but there is a strong likelihood that max bought it for me as well knowing how important it was to me.
I never found the elusive red one. I’m still looking but since it's out of production it’s unlikely I’ll find one in new condition in my size. I’ve accepted that I can’t get any more of these flannels and I’ve never found a shirt as comfortable or that fit me as well.
So fast forward to a few weeks ago. My brother plugged me with a new book by Bobby Hundreds called “This is not a T-Shirt.” Around college I stopped reading books. I never had the patience. Recently, I’ve gotten back into it and I’m really enjoying reading again.
I tagged Bobby in a photo of his book on my Instagram story. I did not think he would see it. He has 212k followers. I posted it so that my audience would see that I was reading the book, and maybe some of them might read it themselves. I’ve gained so much insight about building a brand from this book, along with building a community through a brand.
The next morning I had a message in my inbox from Bobby that said “Enjoy!”
Wow! It really meant a lot to me that he got back to my message. A lot of brands and celebrities get too big for the people who support them. The Hundreds is not a brand of that type. I hope Drinking Vessels is not that way either. This brand is about “you.”
I went on to tell Bobby how impressed I was, and I shared my experience with his brand before the book. I sent him pictures of my two green special edition flannels with holes or patched elbows. I told him that for a decade people knew me by that flannel, and how most clothes don’t fit me but that shirt was a perfect fit. He replied, admitting he had not seen the piece in years. I asked him to interview him for my blog, a long shot for sure. He didn’t have time to respond, but I was not deterred.
The next thing I did, I would consider a bold move. I sent Bobby a picture of my sweat pant shorts that are falling apart and also ten years old. I asked him if he would trade me $60 The Hundreds sweat pant shorts for a handmade cup worth at least $100.
“Haha sure,” he replied.
I rarely buy new clothes, unless they’re my friends handmade or original designs. I rarely spend money on anything that isn’t directly involved with my brand or my studio. Despite what it looks like on my social media, I’m not rich and I am struggling. I’ve been “making it work” for a long time, often denying myself things I need as a way to cut costs and keep the brand alive. Additionally I’ve denied myself time and space away from work, which I’m starting to do for the first time thanks to help from J. Cost.
So now just as summer winds down, I’m rocking some fresh sweat pant shorts! Fortunately, now I’m ready for next summer.
(We also acquired a bunch of used free frames from Linda at Mount-N-Frame)
Much appreciation to Bobby and the team over at The Hundreds. Your clothes have kept me comfortable, your book has helped me tremendously with my own brand, and your trade has kept me going. Thanks for the inspiration.
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