Welcome to another edition of T Shirt Brand Undressed. This week we have a brand that is making waves over the Internet and has been featured a number of times in the press.
GoodBoyRoy is a Mother (Kim) and Son team with a great inspirational story, Zack the designer (and son) has had to overcome a number of challenges in his life, but this makes his story even more remarkable. The teenager, certainly has a lot of talent judging by his great designs and it is a pleasure to welcome GoodboyRoy to Geek Shirts HQ.
Who are the people behind GoodboyRoy?
Kim: My son Zack, aka the REAL Good Boy Roy. Zack and I comprise the entire team. He draws and creates all the characters, and I do the rest.
Can you start by giving some background about yourself?
Kim: I am a wife and mom, 2 kids, part time Person trainer, mental health advocate and now owner and Pres of Good Boy Roy. Zack, my son is now 17. We began the business when he was 14.
Where you are from?
Who creates the designs?
How did you get into shirt design?
Kim: By accident. Zack has always liked to draw, mainly super heros and cartoons. He handed me a stack one day, I thought they were cute, sent them to a friend who owned a t-shirt printing business and had him put one of the characters on a bright red shirt for Zack as a surprise. This character was "Roy" (Zack names most all of them).
As he wore it, people commented and wanted one, so we started thinking, Zack drew more characters now known as the Good Boy Roy Gang, and now we have a full t-shirt line.
Where did you get the name GoodboyRoy?
Well, as you see, the first character brought to life was Roy. And the Good Boy part comes from something Zack use to say as a young boy…you see Zack has lived with and struggled with severe and numerouse neuropsychiatric illness his entire life.
One side effect of this is unctontrollable rages, on the spur of the moment, he has no impulse control, no "breaks" to control his emotions.
This is due to brain illness, and head traumas he has suffered.
So, after these rages, he often times would not, does not, recall what has happened, and he would cry and be very distraught about what happened and he would say "I rally am I good boy. I dont like doing these things, why did GOD make me this way". So, we thought it fitting to call the business Good Boy Roy, since every character is a piece of Zack.
Can you tell me more about the brand GoodboyRoy?
Well, really, it is about hope, and never giving up.
We have lived on lots of hope, faith and love in our home, and for Zack. Good Boy Roy is about inspiration as well, that everyone has a gift, of somekind, just like Zack, who always felt different and inferior because of his challenges, yet he creates these cute, fun, and unique characters.
This is his dream, for Good Boy Roy to someday become a household name, for his characters to come to life in a cartoon series, for them to become as recognizable as The Simpsons and Life is Good someday.
Drawing is what brings him joy, and purpose. Good Boy Roy is about Dreams, and following them.
You give 10% of each purchase to NAMI for mental illness research. What is the inspiration behind that?
Simply undersand the significance living with mental illness plays in millions of peoples lives on a daily basis. It can be crippling,and destoys many. As a family we know first hand how devastating it can be.
We hope to help bring awareness to Mental illness, that it does NOT make a person unworthy, unproductive,unlovable. It is simply an illness of the brain, not the persons fault.
Many millions of people with brain illnesses live long, happy, productive and fullfilling lives, many excell in certain areas they are "gifted" in.
We believe, we know, creating is Zack's gift, one we hope will be his means to support himself some day. NAMI helps families and people with mental illness by providing support and resources. It is a much needed, and helpful organization.
Where do you get yourinspiration for your designs?
Zack : "I just think of them, they come to my head"
Do you try to convey any message in your designs?
Zack: "Sometimes, like God Rocks, I enjoy my church and youth group. The Angry Allen was done becasue I was bullied alot…he says "Bullies Make me angry" . Rocker Rick was drawn when I was taking drum lessons, I still beat on them sometimes. And the Gone Fishin…well, becasue I like to fish", some of them, just fun characters to draw"
Looking at your own portfolio what is your favourite design and why?
Zack: "Gone Fishin and Decisions Decisions. I like Decisions, Decisions becasue I like sports, and its a kid, well me, my character Zman tryng to decide what to do."
Who are your favourite designers?
Zack:"would be better to say comics or cartoons…The Simpsons, Spiderman, South Park, Family Guy"
When you create a new t shirt design, what is sort of process do you follow?
Zack: "No process, just draw, erase, draw, erase…until it looks on paper the way I see it in my head"
What's coming next for GoodBoyRoy?
Zack: "Not sure. Hoping, praying for Big things."
Kim: Of course hoping it will catch on, be the next trend, collectable type accessory for kids. I hope someday to be a company large enough to provide jobs to others, others with disabilites, so they can work in a relaxed atmosphere, and work when they can and are capable of working, to allow them to be independant if they want to. I hope we can make this dream come true, to make Good Boy Roy a household name.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years both for yourselves and your business?
To rival Life is Good !! To be a full merchandising powerhouse, to give back and help others. I would love to be able to go out and help other people fulfill their dreams, take care of others less fortunate, pay for life saving surgeries that someone may not be able to afford. That, I think, would be the most awesome life.
What other interests and hobbies do you have when you're not Designing/running the business?
Zack: " Biking, fishing, xbox, hanging out with friends"
Kim: I spend most non-GoodBoyRoy time doing some kind of fitness related activity. I have been a Personal Trainer for almost 10 yrs, starting taking and teaching Crossfit a little more than 2 yrs ago. I love the outdoors inthe summertime. I also volunteer as a Guardian Ad Litem.
Anyone you want to give a shout out to?
A very kind George Ford, creator of AddanacCity Comics. We "met" him via Twitter when we first started, he was so kind, encouraging and helpful. We got to meet him and his family when we went to Hollywood.
Zack wa invited to Hollywood to share his designs at a gifting event for the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards in 2011. It was awesome, and got to meet so many celebs. (You can see some of the celeb pics in the online "fan gallery") And Katie Campbell, a sweet,kind blogger in NC that has been so generous as well. We have been blessed by so many wonderful people along this journey.
Is there anything else you want to add?
Here is one of the interviews a local magazine did on Zack, Town Magazine
And thank you for sharing your platform and allowing us to share the Good Boy Roy name and story.
We would so very much appreciate any suggestions or connections from anyone reading this, please feel free to contact us. We are working hard to get the line into retailers and in front of buyers.
Where can we find your designs and get in contact with you?
Thank your for taking the time about to be interviewed. Don't forget to check out their website and their great tees.
Don't forget you can get a MASSIVE 20% off their tees with the following code:Coupon Code: 2012