Little Independent Publication

Interview with DanLachman

Dan Lachman has been an entrepreneur since high school, business owner since 2004 and art lover since birth. His clothing company, Sharp Shirter was created after a series of rejections from other clothing companies. Since 2004 Sharp Shirter has grown from a couple mens tees to a collection of clothing for men and women along with ipod and laptop skins and many other products. Now having a team of designers, Dan looks back on his trials with happy reflection.


The true beginning of Sharp Shirter began when Dan was in high school. Sketching, drawing and thinking of ideas he would want on a shirt and then sending them to clothing companies hoping for the illusive vein of gold to pop up. After being turn away again and again Dan decided to take his passion a step further and do it himself. Over a summer Dan teamed up with a designer via Craigslist and together they began creating and printing a modest number of shirts, most of which displayed a simple slogan with some humorous punch line. 


As the summer ended and Dan lost his designer he made the decision to continue with his pursuit of Tee Shirt Glory. Hitting up a few designer via Threadless he was able to really get his company going. Growing away from the simple slogan idea, Dan and his team of designers found solace in the fanciful and imaginary. From Pirate Octopuses to burly woodsmen fighting bears, Sharp Shirter has become quite a fun company to follow.


Dan took sometime with me to answer a few more questions and trust me, this guy is pretty cool. 


Adam- at what point in the Sharp Shirter growth did you realize this was going to really grow? 


Dan- I’d say that about 2 years deep into the company I realized that this was going to be more than just a hobby. After I moved on from doing funny shirts, and started doing designs like the Plane Tree, I began to get some really good feedback. People were actually buying my clothing because they liked them, not just because they knew who I was and wanted to support me. It was at that point that I realized my passion to create things that people would want for themselves. 


Adam- I know how hard it can be to get over that “support” line and get connected with outside people. Congrats on that. So do you ever test out your designs on friends first or do you just do what you want? 


Dan- When I started, it was all my own decision on the ultimate design and tee. That didn’t always work out since I was choosing for the girl’s choices… Now, I send out an email with a list of different color options for a design and different tee styles. This way I can get a compilation of about 100 replies, and I have a good idea of what people will like. 


Adam- So that method works best? What is the best part of what you do? 


Dan- So far so good. I never say no to free advice, and people tend to have a pretty good idea of what they want to wear. As for the best part of what I do, I’d say it’s the moment when I’ve finished setting up my booth at a craft fair, and I step back and see all the work that I’ve accomplished. It’s pretty cool to work in tangible goods, and seeing a project through from start to finish is extremely rewarding. I used to intern in an office and do excel spreadsheets and such, and it just doesn’t have the same ring to it…


Adam- How many events do you vend at within the year?


Dan- I try and hit about a dozen. The next ones are coming up May 16-17 @ Sowa Market in Boston  in Boston and May 17 Nyack Famous Street Fair 


Adam- Do you have a creative process? i.e. Do you have a certain band or movie you play when you create the designs? Perhaps a special place or time of day? 


Dan- I have a couple of creative outlets when I’m thinking about new designs. I tend to listen to a lot of trip-hop like Sneaker Pimps or Tricky when I’m thinking, and I always work best at night. I just keep a lamp light on by my desk and truck through my ideas. 


Dan’s clothing can be found not only on his website but also at many outlets nation wide. I got my Octopus Pirate and am loving it! Thanks Dan for the interview and your great shirts! Keep it up!


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