Welcome to a brand new T Shirt Brand Undressed Interview
where we lift the lid on the apparel brands and discover what goes on behind the scenes.
This week we have a cool UK based brand whose aim is to promote independent designers.Their submission process is easy to follow and any designer can submit a design for consideration.The garments they use for printing are also ethically sourced, so there is no need to worry about the conditions in which the garments were made.
Geek Shirts HQ Welcomes Bakso
the latest brand to get undressed
Who are the people behind Bakso? Can you start by giving some background about yourself?
My name is Rob Breen and I am the Founder of Bakso, the team behind me consists of talented web developers, marketers, a few of us who print the actual tees and an accountant.
Where you are from? How did you get into selling t shirts?
I'm originally from Essex, England.
Bakso was bred out of the frustration I felt about high street fashion, we were left disheartened by market trends that saw goods mass produced in a way that deaden what we see as one of the purest forms of expression – the clothes we wear.
After confronting these issues Bakso was born and we created a platform which would help to breed more individuality in clothing.
Where did you get the name Bakso?
It is actually an Indonesian meatball soup. I was in Indonesia when I was first coming up with the idea and eating a lot of this soup and it just seemed right to use the name of the company as a homage to this great dish.
Can you tell me more the brand Bakso?
We pride ourselves on ethical and environmental practices and helping to empower independent artists.
What makes Bakso different from other Apparel Vendors? What is your USP?
A key aspect to the site is that all ranking of designs is based on current popularity. So unlike some of our competitors a new artist is not at a disadvantage in terms of gaining visibility. All designs are run through a trending algorithm which works off of a 30-day period taking into consideration purchases, comments, likes and views meaning that interaction with a design directly affect its success on the site meaning that our customers are offered the most popular designs first.
We are also very ethically aware and have turned away from the values held by many others in our industry, particularly in regards to the production of their garments. At Bakso we only use ethically sources garments that are produced in factories that are independently audited to ensure safety standards are upheld and that all workers are paid a living wage.
How can a designer submit a design to your site? Or it is run as a store similar to Redbubble?
We have made the process as easy as possible: If you click the Create Tab at the top of the page then it should take you through the process of setting up an account and then turning it into an Artist Account. Once this has been completed the next time you click the 'Create' tab you will see the uploader and it should be quite straightforward from there
What’s coming next for Bakso?
We would definitely like to move into other types of garments (long-sleeves, hoodies, jumpers, etc.) and also into wall art so printing on canvas and possibly accessories (iPhone cases, tote bags, etc.); anything that will help our artists to spread the word of their art and get people talking about it.
We are also looking into developing the community aspect of Bakso and making it easier for customers to speak directly to artists and actually have an effect on the direction their future designs take.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years both for yourselves and your business?
A worldwide community of dynamic artists and enlightened customers swapping ideas through a range of our products.
How much importance do you place on Facebook Twitter and similar sites when marketing your brand?
Not as much as we should, but we are learning
When getting your apparel printed what is the process that you prefer and why?
We print all of our tees in house and use Direct to Garment printing which allows us to print all garments to order while also offering the highest quality detail.
What brands of apparel do you prefer to print on?
We only use Continental Clothing as we believe they have the highest ethical standards of all the blank tee manufacturer, their tees are also the highest quality we found on the market.
What would a customer expect when ordering a product from you?
High quality tee, a unique design and a highly detailed print. We don't pretend to be able to compete with others on price as that is not our game we pride ourselves on the quality of our garments and the level of individuality our endeavours allow us to offer.
Who are your influences?
Threadless are probably top dogs in our market in terms of the artists that they work with but our model is still quite different from theirs as you only have the opportunity to buy tees that have won backing from the public. It is more important to us to be a platform for our artists to help them get their work out there and to give every t-shirt an opportunity to be worn whether we print 100 of them or just a few.
I think ideally we would like to slot somewhere between Threadless and Deviant Art so an active and ever-growing community of artists showcasing their work and discussing it while also having the opportunity to create fantastic garments that please the end user and bring some recognition (and money) to the artist.