Are you aware of Cleveland’s FIRST (yes, FIRST!) T-shirt truck? How cool is THIS??
Like a popular food truck, but with Cleveland tees instead?
This is soooo up my alley!
I will be working with Fresh Brewed Tees in several upcoming GlamKaren blog posts! I will be sharing all kinds of information, contests, events and more about Fresh Brewed Tees with you! <insert squeal!>
I will even be ON THE TRUCK on Sunday, June 16th in front of the downtown Cleveland Harry Buffalo before the Indians game… be sure to be there! Would LOVE to meet you!
This will be AMAZING. Get ready for giveaways and more!
To get started, I had the opportunity to interview the owner of Fresh Brewed Tees, Tony Madalone.
Describe your creative process – how do you “brew” your fresh ideas?
I’m blessed to have a great creative team and strong designers. While I come up with a number of the ideas myself, I often get input and ideas from my design team. We also utilize our fan base via social media sites like Facebookand Twitter. We ask our followers questions and get their feedback before finalizing most designs and we also have to stay in tune with what’s hot (what players and teams are doing, what’s in the news, etc). It’s difficult to continue to be creative, but that’s where having a strong team and strong following comes into play.
Tell me your favorite success story about how you really helped out Cleveland City Mission.
We’ve been able to help the Mission in a number of different ways and I believe each is equally important. We’ve given money, time and product and also been able to connect people. They do unbelievable work and we’ll continue to help in any capacity we can. There’s a reason they’ve been around for over 100 years.
Who are some of your design heroes?
I love researching other brands and staying in tune with what they’re doing. Two of my favorite brands are Johnny Cupcakes and Ugmonk. Johnny Earle has done an incredible job building his brand and he’s helped pave the way for a number of other entrepreneurs. Jeff Sheldon’s work with Ugmonk is strong and he’s built a great brand & following. Two of my favorite designers are Cleveland’s own, Glen Infante from ILTHY and Sean McCabe (SeanWes). I’m inspired by dozens of artists, but these are definitely a few of my favorites.
How do you stay on top of current design trends?
Continuously researching other brands and designers helps me keep up with current trends. I also use a number of different designers and they’re also continuously researching and trying new things. We’re spoiled because of the internet – everything is at our fingertips.
Originally starting your business in a dorm room, what started the spark for your business idea? Did you get an idea from a college class you took?
I don’t think a specific class I took shaped my idea, but I’d attribute some of my success to my education from Ashland University (shameless plug). Fresh Brewed Tees was actually created after I earned my MBA, but I started my first company while in my dorm room. I sold vintage tees on eBay and became a powerseller. It was a lot of fun. I loved t-shirts and finding old tees at different thrift stores was exciting. It’s amazing what people would pay for a t-shirt. I sold some for over $100. I learned the industry and learned how to run a business. That made it easier for me when I decided to start Fresh Brewed.
How do you see your company giving back to your community in the future? Any bigger plans to support Cleveland?
I will always give back to Cleveland. No matter where I end up, Cleveland will always be home. I think our greatest contribution will be creating jobs. When we expand, I’d love to keep our headquarters in Cleveland and employ as many Clevelanders as possible.
How do you see the future of your tee-truck? Will you have more than one truck in the future?
The t-shirt truck has been awesome. The people have responded great and I expect it to do well for a while. We do have some big plans, but you’ll have to wait to hear them. 😉