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Conscious Apparel has only been running for a month at the time of writing this, they are run by Gary Cassidy and Carly Conkie. Already, they have achieved more in the last few months before launch and after than it has taken a lot of brands a few years to do.
I first came across Conscious Apparel through their Facebook page. This is usually a good indicator to me, of exactly what a clothing brand are about.
I found them as they were just about to launch their new dot artwork skull design t shirt. I found them both professional and very easy to approach, when looking at any new brand it is always good to get a ‘feeling’ of the people behind the brand. The new design wasn't bad either, I actually got one of their cool new t shirts (review coming very soon).
Let me get Gary and Carly to tell you more about Conscious Apparel.
Founded in Spring 2012, by Gary Cassidy and Carly Conkie
Conscious Apparel is a clothing label with a difference, it’s based completely on hand-drawn designs, with not a sniff of Photoshop in sight!
Conscious Apparel started up when Gary – a twenty two year old Media graduate from Glasgow – started drawing up to build up a portfolio, aspiring to become an apprentice tattoo artist, however while finding it difficult to break into the industry.
Gary’s artwork found popularity online via his own social networking sites, as well as blogging sites such as tumblr, and sketching almost two pieces a day, his unorthodox alternative style began to catch the eye – especially when he started drawing custom pieces for the window of the record store he works in, being seen by hundreds of people every day in Glasgow City Centre.
Coupling his sketching ability with his creative marketing expertise, Gary had a vision to create a clothing label with a difference.
Conscious Apparel is far from a one man operation, as co-founder Carly Conkie, aged nineteen and studying Business at University – plays an integral role as business advisor, accountant, and public relations manager.
Carly is very much the anchor steadying the ship, bringing a level head, and discipline to the label. Carly, a former PR for a Glasgow nightclub, has a pretty large contact base too, and has utilised her resources ruthlessly to help build Conscious Apparel’s potential target market.
Carly also uses her fashion expertise, altering t-shirts to custom fit our female customers, who have the option of having the sleeves rolled and the neckline altered for a more feminine fit, as well as making bracelets by hand.
Gary and Carly
While both Gary and Carly have very different basic roles in Conscious, both combine to great effect to ensure that communication makes Conscious Apparel a very dedicated and efficient service for the consumers.
All designs are a joint decision, with everything from what design goes on the products, to when the products will be released, where, how, etc. being decided unanimously by both parties, as well as both parties modelling for photo shoots, packaging up orders, and seeking publicity for the label.
Three months of preparation went into setting up the launch of business, but Gary and Carly spent less than two weeks from announcing that Conscious Apparel would be launching, until launching the first three products online, getting absolutely everything in order, and when the store finally launched on July 2nd, featuring a simplistic gypsy head design t-shirt, a hand-drawn A4 print of a Japanese tattoo flash style Koi fish, and hand-made bracelets.
Another big part of Conscious Apparel is the option for a custom personalised drawing from Gary, customers can commission him to do a one-off custom drawing to their specification, and the orders have been flying in for those two, with some pretty interesting requests!
Within one month of launch, due to a completely overwhelming response, Gary and Carly decided it was time to get the heads down and get more products available online, so they sat browsing Gary’s sketchbooks for inspiration, and Gary sketched up intensively for the next week, to get the two new dotwork skull t-shirts into production.
These shirts launched on August 1st, and just over one week later, having shipped t-shirts as far afield as Mainland Europe and USA, Conscious Apparel have sold out of the black variation of the shirt, and have very limited numbers of the grey design left.
Conscious Apparel, have proved in a very short space of time, that not everything has to be perfectly photo shopped, altered or mass produced, in order to look good, and there’s so much more to come in the last quarter of the year, so it’s worth keeping an eye out.
Also there is an exclusive permanent code for 10% off any t-shirt, and the code is GEEK10 if you want to share that with your readers!
Gary on Conscious Apparel:'For me, I've always had it in mind to start a clothing label, purely because I think quite a lot of clothing looks the same nowadays, while there are some awesome indie labels out there, quite a lot of stuff looks the same, cartoony photo shopped designs on basic t-shirts, so I thought it'd be pretty cool to show that not everything has to be perfect, and I love drawing, so why not put some hand-drawn designs on t-shirts?I never really knew how to start it though, but Carly gave me that push needed to get my ideas off the ground and start putting some concrete around the plans, she brought her business acumen to the table and helps out with the creativity too.It works because we both bring something to the table, and we bounce ideas off of each other, none of us are scared to tell the other one 'No, that's crap' or 'Yeah, brilliant idea, BUT why not…' etc. etc.The response has really been overwhelming, I don't think Carly or I can believe how popular it's been, but yeah, it's just pretty awesome seeing people order, or even seeing people walk about in t-shirts with stuff I've drawn on them.'
Carly on Conscious Apparel:'As I have studied business for years throughout school, college and university I've always had a dream to one day run my own business. I wasn't sure what kind of business and certainly didn't expect to be a co-founder at the age of 19! When the opportunity came along to start Conscious Apparel with Gary it was far too good to miss.It feels amazing to be able to actually put everything I've learned to action and see the results that we have. The response that we have had from launching just over a month ago is seriously overwhelming, I never imagined that we would gain anywhere near as much recognition as we have and just hope that the people that are supporting us will continue to do so.'
Gary on the Dotwork skull:'We really just sat browsing my sketchpads for a bit trying to think of a new design, and we see an old Candy Skull I'd drawn, it was kind of one of those 'EUREKA!' moments, we both just kind of looked at each other and thought 'that could work' – then we both just thought of a few things to change, and I'm a huge fan of dotwork tattoos, so Divine Canvas tattoos, Cammy Stewart, Xed Le Head etc. were big influences on me wanting to draw this out as a dotwork piece, one thing led to another and it just kind of turned out the way that it did.We both decided on grey tees with black print, and black tees with grey print, we wish that sounded more exciting I think, but it did just happen as simple as that. Obviously it worked too, 'cause we've just sold out of the black design, and numbers are very limited in the grey design – but without saying too much, it won't be the last you'll be seeing of that!'
Thanks you guys! Don't forget to check out their site! They are looking to add new designs all the time and Conscious Apparel are a brand worth watching out for, judging by their designs so far.
Conscious Apparel Contact information:
There is also an exclusive discount for readers of Geek Shirts HQ Conscious Apparel have a 10% discount off your order using the following coupon code:Coupon Code: GEEK10