10 reasons I love Tiny Run

Sporting an older Hilesh design

ONE) It’s fun

Is that weird? Since go I have been having a blast. It’s challenging, I feel I’m finally pushing things to the edges, and it was hard to only have ten things on this list. Bonus: It often captures that roller coaster feel. Already there have been a few of the first scary big hills of a ride followed by the endorphin rush and the speedy little hills that follow. I only expect it to continue.

TWO) Big freaking pictures

I constantly find websites that sell interesting shirts with thumbnails of the designs that link to enlarged pictures that are only a fraction larger. I really want to look at it when I follow the link, and going from a 2X3 inch photo to a 3X4 doesn’t let me get in there and fall in love. I decided early that I want people to see what they are getting, so my detail pictures are huge by comparison, and I will always pack several of them.

THREE) I took action

When I have an idea it can gestate for any amount of time. No idea is ever mothballed completely, or enough that it can’t be dusted off and paraded about on my to do list. Tiny Run came into mind, and a month later my foot launched it’s newborn body out of the nest like an impatient parent. Proud, but impatient.

FOUR) The artists are awesome

Really, there’s some neat stuff coming, and they have been patient with me and my beginner’s bumbling. I’ve found a few more that are on my list to contact. Please please please love me.

FIVE) I like what we’re making

I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these shirts. I often don’t wear my own designs, so I look and look for others that aren’t trying to hard to be cute or clever, or aren’t just another shirt 2.0. Those are few and there is far in between. But if I do find them, or something that might be close, sometimes they can range close to $100. Looking at the tiny pictures on a site, I can see it’s a three color design, and I know what it takes to make that happen, so I wonder why I should pay such a margin. Plus shipping.

SIX) Its hard to make people believe

There such an interesting stigma against tshirts. It feels roughly similar to the preconceptions that revolve around comic strips or animation in Western society. People thing it’s kid’s stuff. If shirts aren’t for children then it’s assumed to be aimed at being a trapping of fashion. But the sources that people gain fashion definitions from, magazines and Bravo reality shows, don’t seem to include things of this nature so it must only be so much laundry. Getting through the idea that the shirt is canvas, there can be as much expression as a painting here people, these things are tough to communicate. I’ve already had several very hopeful collaboration requests be met with silence.

SEVEN) Its easy to make people believe

Many people have come forward to laud the idea and the effort, with emphasis. I was forwarded an email from a friend who’s contact had said, “I really love that he’s riffed on & modified the business model of TINY SHOWCASE. They feature terrific artists (and their assorted wares) and for Michael to focus on JUST the T-shirt end of things– it sounds like he’s just BOUND to do well. Especially among the truly clever, the snarky, the special, the ironic, the subtle, and even the awesome!!” I have received a few replies from artist that are willing to take the plunge of faith with me and Tiny Run, early in the going, and I love them for it. They get it.

EIGHT) I’ve never seen the like

I’ve seen pretty much every business model for shirts, and tried a few of them myself. The closest thing would be a subscription service, which has been done before. Boring. That and I really want people to be happy with what they are getting (see #2), and to do that is to offer options. There is little chance that this method of production, take orders before placing them and limited runs, will ever yield a measurable profit, especially due to minimum order requirements of printers. But I really don’t care, I’m in it for the awesome ride (see#1).

NINE) It won’t break my bank, at least not up front

Shirt ventures require a bit of capitol to begin. The initial stock of a store or one’s own production outfit can be a little staggering, and I did that before. Now I only have to make up whatever difference there is between the actual orders and the minimum order requirements. That could be zero! It isn’t, at the moment, but the gap is minuscule and worth it for the value I’m getting from the experience. Over time the bills may add up, but I’m willing to front the money in order to play.

TEN) I don’t know what’s going to happen

It’s very strange, not knowing exactly where you’re going. There’s no five year business plan here. I think it’s possible that I’m already at the point that would be ‘the goal’. Certainly, the measure of success isn’t clear. I’m getting shirts I like, meeting and greeting people, having a blast, and really pushing myself to do new things. I’ve never done this before, where should I expect it to go?