Meet the Guys Who Make Your Shirts! Part III

June 19, 2012

Today we meet Brian.  He joined the company last year after sending us some freelance designs.  We just couldn't get enough, so we convinced him to stay with us full time.  Today he was busy printing hundreds of shirts.  In between squeegee pushes and sweat-wiping, he answered our questions.

Choke: How/when did you first hear about Choke?

Brian: I was drawing at my desk when my roommate looked over my shoulder and remarked, “You should put that on a shirt!”  The next day, I passed a sign for custom screen-printing in SoDo.  It was destiny!  As soon as I got home, I found Choke on Facebook and “liked” them right away.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Choke: You started as a contract designer and now are a full time employee, what’s that been like?

Brian: Designing original graphics is what originally attracted me to work with the Choke crew.  The shirts caught my eye because they were unique.  They didn’t try to be like everyone else.  That idea inspired me to get creative when offering my first designs for the line.  Today, we incorporate that creative style into everything we do.  It’s been great to learn what goes into each shirt, from the drawing board to the packaging. 
Choke: Where did you work before Choke? How long were you there?

Brian: I made coffee and studied political economics for four years before I joined Choke.  Needless to say, I didn’t always plan on pursuing the screen-printing business.  But I’m glad I did!

Choke: How does working at Choke compare to working at your last job?

Brian: As a barista, you see the best and the worst sides of your customers.  Making someone’s day is rewarding, but the task can be brutal and thankless.  I find my job at Choke more satisfying because the results of my work are more tangible.  Plus, I never have to wear kakis to work again!

Choke: What is your favorite type of shirt? (Blend, cut, style etc)

Brian: It’s all about the blends!  They are so soft, and fit just right.  A crew neck tri-blend in black for me, please.

Choke: What is the best part of working at Choke?

Brian: Do I have to pick just one?  Let’s see, there’s Doughnut Thursday, Ace howling at ambulance sirens, long board obstacle courses, international travel (OK, we went to one show in Canada), ladder-balancing competitions, after-hours design meetings, wheat-pasting excursions, and- of course, signing new retailers!  But the best part about working here is building a friendship with a great group of guys.  We have a lot of fun together!

Choke: When not at Choke what else do you like to do?

Brian: I enjoy making music and riding motorcycles.  Those are two things I can’t live without, but never seem to have enough time for.

Choke: Who is the one person/group that you wish would walk into the shop and want to print shirts? Why?

Brian: It would be cool if Choke were the official screen-printer for a film studio.  I would ruin every film by pointing out “hey! I made that shirt!” during each scene.  Only then could we truly call ourselves screen printers.  Ha!  Get it?

Choke: What’s your favorite Choke Shirt Co. design? Why?

Brian: Our Spring 2012 line is coming out February 29th.  It has some really cool designs.  “Hot Rhino” represents a cool story about saving black rhinos in Africa.  It looks super cool, too.

Choke: If you got to the shop first and got to pick the Pandora station for the day, which one would you choose? Which station can't you stand?

Brian: I think smooth lounge or trip-hop makes good work music.  Something like Flying Lotus is nice.  I can’t stand a playlist full of Adele or Mumford and Sons.  I think they’re great for a song or two, but hours of their soulful bellows takes an emotional toll on a man.  I prefer something light and instrumental.

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