Welcome To A Brand New T Shirt Brand Undressed Interview
………….where we try and bring you the inside scoop on clothing brands.
This week we have a brand based in the UK, from the city of Bristol.I have been working with them closely over the last few months with a monthly hands on t shirt review.They are a brand that are a pleasure to work with, however they do look like a bunch of students just come back from a Saturday night curry but don’t let this put you off!Any successful brand needs the right people behind it and I think Truffle Shuffle has achieved this.However if they continue with the dodgy haircuts it might be Truffle Shuffle’s downfall
There is also news at the end of the interview of an exciting contest where you can win a £50 voucher to spend at Truffle Shuffle
Geek Shirts HQ welcomes Truffle Shuffle
………….The Latest Brand To Get Undressed!
Who are the people behind Truffle Shuffle? Can you start by giving some background about yourself? Where you are from? How did you get into selling t shirts?
Truffle Shuffle was a light bulb moment for our founder Pat Wood in 2004 when he was out in a pub in Bristol wearing a Goonies t-shirt he’d bought in America. Loads of strangers approached him during the night saying what an awesome t-shirt it was and wanted to know where to get one for themselves.
Pat realized there wasn’t anywhere in the UK you could get your hands on quality, official retro movie & TV t-shirts, so drunkenly hit the internet when he got home, bought another Goonies t-shirt from America and immediately listed it on eBay UK.
The t-shirt sold and with the £10 profit he’d made, Pat bought the domain name and web space for TruffleShuffle.co.uk. After that, for every t-shirt sold, Pat would buy two more. Fast forward ten years, we’ve got 2,000 designs in stock, we’ve sold 1.5 million t-shirts and employ 13 members of staff in our Bristol headquarters.
What you think? Students with dodgy haircuts? Am I right?
Who creates the designs?
We have our very own in house designer James who works closely with Claire, our MD and Buyer, to design our own brand of exclusive T-Shirts.
What process do you follow when designing a shirt?
The first step before designing a T-Shirt is always to do your research, because the majority of our tees are licensed it's always vital that you know as much as possible about the character/film/show you are designing for.
We specialise in retro licenses from the 80s and 90s and having grown up during this time myself we remember a lot about these properties but it's always important to brush up on popular characters, slogans or scenes.
We're designing for the fans so we need to make sure each design is the best it can be! A recent example of this is when we asked our fans on the Facebook page what their favourite Top Gun quotes were and the most popular ones were added into my design brief to work on, this way we know the demand is out there and hopefully the fans will love what we come up with!
Once we've done some research, along with Claire our MD and Buyer, we decide upon which designs we would like to launch most. Returning to the Top Gun example we updated the design brief with a 'I Feel The Need For Speed' design, a "Take Me To Bed Or Lose Me Forever' design as well as an updated logo design and a large photo print design featuring a popular character.
My next step would be to tackle each of these designs and make a set that sit together and are cohesive as a collection. I work closely with the licensors to obtain the best imagery that is most relevant for each design.
We always try to steer clear of copying things straight from style guides as these are often found in various other places online and on the high street and we want our T-Shirts to be unique and stand out on their own. It also gives us the chance to tailor each design for the fans.
Once I've finished a set of designs we usually discuss within the office which designs work the best and have a little vote! The most popular designs then get sent off for approval and if the licensor is happy with it we go ahead to sampling and eventually it arrives fresh on our shelves to go onto the website!
Are all of your in house design officially licensed?
Yes, we hold over 50 licenses.
Can you tell me more the brand Truffle Shuffle?
The name Truffle Shuffle was kind of found by accident – it was one of the only Goonies-related domain names available when we were looking for cool names for our website!
Over nearly ten years, we’ve excelled at customer service and become very popular with celebrities and magazines – through this combination we’ve built a strong brand which customers love returning to and visiting again and again.
People know they’ll get a great product, delivered very quickly and if they need to they can deal with really friendly customer services staff who care passionately about their customers and t-shirts. This all combines to make a magic formula to ensure our customers keep coming back!
What makes Truffle Shuffle different from other Apparel Vendors? What is your USP?
We’ve stuck to our guns from day one, selling only officially licensed cult/retro t-shirts and gifts from your favourite TV shows, movies, bands and games.
We make sure our customers know what to expect – something different, something rare and something that’s guaranteed to provoke a reaction every time it’s worn. Here’s a recent review from a customer that sums up exactly what we aimed to achieve back in 2004, and something we’re proud to say we still achieve in 2013:
“I was delighted when I saw this Round The Twist t-shirt on the Truffle Shuffle website. I thought no-one but I remembered this TV programme!As it was on sale at £9.99 I snapped it up with a few other things (Penny Crayon tee and Rainbow Dash 20% Cooler tee for my brony man so he wouldn't complain I was spending too much!)I have worn it with a very apt dress from M and S with sailboats on it. I've shared on Facebook, worn it to college and work and had the same reaction everywhere – they all point (or like) and say Oh My God I remember that and start singing ' Have you ever felt like this when strange things happen, are you going round the twist'.So it brings back fond memories for everyone. The item arrived in less than 48 hours which I was super impressed with and packaged beautifully and as this was my first order I didn't realise you got some sweeties in there too so that was a treat. I sing the praises of TS products and service wherever I go! And have been a regular customer since.”
What’s coming next for Truffle Shuffle?
We are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting product and brands to add to our current ranges, keeping a close eye on fashion trends and listening to what our customers are asking for.
Emerging on the high street now and sported by the likes of Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Robert Pattinson, the Varsity Jacket is set to be huge and we have our very own, exclusive range featuring great vintage, licensed prints due to release this month.
And, as always, we have a load of new collections from much loved brands such as Chunk and Junk Food.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years both for yourselves and your business?
In ten years’ time, we hope we’re still doing what we’re doing today! Over the last ten years, we’ve been very successfully keeping within our niche and offering hard to find and interesting designs.
We hope to continue that mission long into the future.
We of course have to change with the times, for example when we first started out in 2004, Baywatch had only been off our screens for a couple of years.
Fast forward ten years and Baywatch is now considered retro, and Baywatch t-shirts sell really well for us.
I’m sure in 2023 we’ll be telling you how well our ranges of retro Skyfall, 24 and Moshi Monsters t-shirts are selling!
How much importance do you place on Facebook Twitter and similar sites when marketing your brand?
Social media is very important to us, it’s become the face and voice of Truffle Shuffle and we aim to reflect our personality through those sites to our fans.
These days people expect to be able to ask a question, get updates, and generally engage with brands far more than ever before and it’s a great chance for us to see exactly what makes our customers tick.
We can quickly find out what our customers like, what they don’t, designs they would like to see from us or even just share their 80s memories.
One of the greatest things we can do now if get feedback for future designs and concepts so we can offer exactly what our fans want.
We also hold a lot of competitions to help engage with our audience and reward them for their loyalty.
When getting your apparel printed what is the process that you prefer?
We love a vintage, distressed look when it comes to prints and find that screen-printing is the best way to achieve this. It looks great and doesn’t have that sticky, shiny feel of some of the alternatives.
What brands of apparel do you prefer to print on?
Over the last year of so, we have been working on producing our own blank tees, vests, sweaters and hoodies.
This gives us complete control over the quality, feel and fit of the garment and we are also able to react to our customer’s feedback, offering a wide size range and creating a flattering, comfortable silhouette which looks great as a showcase for our fabulous prints!
What would a customer expect when ordering a product from you?
We strive to ensure that all customers experience a simple and easy browsing and ordering process on our website, be it on a computer, tablet or mobile phone. Once the order is placed, we are very clear in communicating when it has been dispatched and when it can be expected.
Most of our parcels fit through a letterbox and don’t need to be signed for, so our aim is that you arrive home the very next day after placing your order to find your brand new t-shirt sat on the doormat, with a little retro sweet in the package as a thank you for being such an ace customer!
If you have any problems with your order, or it doesn’t fit, you can contact us by phone, email, live chat, Twitter, Facebook, Skype – whatever your preference, and our ultra-helpful customer service team will guide you through the process of returning or exchanging your purchase for something more suitable.
Our vast amount of positive reviews are testament to the great service we provide to each and every customer…
Who are your favourite designers and/or brands?
I love Junk Food tees, they're usually quite simple but really effective and have a great distressed and faded look which gives them a real retro vibe.
I also love Chunk tees, they're really clever and do unusual and unexpected things with their characters to create designs that really stand out from the crowd!
Who are your influences?
Because the range of licenses we work on are so varied it's easy to be influenced by each separate property. For instance My Little Pony has always been cute and girly, Transformers is bold and dramatic, and the Beano and Dandy is really fun and wacky.
These licenses have been around a long time and have created their own unique identity over the years so it's always important to be influenced by its past and stay true to its feel. Having said that, it's always quite fun to do the odd design here and there which turns the franchise on its head and do something fun and unexpected.
We did a My Little Pony Rocks design which was made to look like an old fashioned rock music poster and it proved to be really popular!
Anyone you want to give a shout out to?
Yes! My Mum for letting me watch TV in the 80s.
Is there anything else you want to add? Where is the best place to find your designs and buy some of your shirts? And of course get in contact with you
We have a numbers of way that people can get in contact with us whether it’s to ask a question about their order, a product or even just to say hi.
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone our amazing customer service girls on 01179 828884.
Alternatively you can find us on:
Any new products in the pipeline for Truffle Shuffle that we need to look out for?
Keep your eyes peeled for shiny leggings with awesome retro inspired designs.
We are totally loving the whole 90’s trend which fits in perfectly with what we do.
We have never sold leggings before on the site, and feel that these are an important part of the everyday wardrobe these days so should be something which we can offer in our very own, special way!
Truffle Shuffle are not finished yet!
Truffle Shulffle Contest
What Would You Buy If You Have £50?
Well after seeing some of the cool tees over at Truffle Shuffle, I think I would spend it there 🙂Now you can if you Enter out contest to win a £50 voucher to spend over at Truffle Shuffle.
How To Enter
Head on over to Twitter and simply retweet the following tweet that will be running all week from Monday 25th March 10:00am GMT until Monday 1st April 10am GMT
You can enter as many times as you like, The winner will be picked out at random after the closing date.
Do I need to follow @truffleshuffle_ and @Geekshirtshq on Twitter to be entered in the competition?
We will be announcing our winners and fulfilling the prizes via Twitter and so following us will be very helpful should you be selected as the prize winner(see ‘How will you contact the winner?’ below.)
How Will You Contact The Winner?
We will announce the winner via GSHQ Twitter.We will also attempt to contact each winner directly via Twitter.If we do not receive a response from a winner after a period of five business days or if for any reason we are unable to arrange the details of fulfilment with a winner, we will select a new winner and begin the process again.
Thanks guys! I just want to say a personal thanks to Iain Matheson, for help setting up the interview and the contest and of course sending out the t shirts for me to review!( really hope your haircut is not as dodgy as the rest of your colleagues.)