How did you arrive at “Vintage Made Fresh” as your niche aesthetic?
It’s kind of a mix up between an ode to the classic moments in history and our generation’s take on it. There’s so much to be told about things that came before us and our goal is to bring those stories to life in a new way. Those sentiments leak into not only the design process, but the fit and feel of our shirts. This company was built on recreating some of the classic t-shirts from the past and bringing them to light with a modern twist on things.
In building your fan base, what’s worked best for you?
Social is where it’s at. We put nearly all of our marketing budget into social media and building organic outreach. Instagram has been a core focus of our brand as it allows us to test market products and build awareness outside of our current markets. We are currently using a platform called Nuvi to keep track of our social analytics which allows us to make educated decisions based on who is talking about us.
Describe the moment you realized this idea was going to work out.
I always had a passion for vintage t-shirts and simplistic clean design elements. Vintage t-shirts just have more character and they tell a story. I used to sell thousands of t-shirts on ebay before designing our own, but after a while we started having success with our own designs. This was kind of a moment in time where I started to realize we needed to put our full attention into building a brand around our designs.
Come 2012 we launched Charlie Hustle with market tested products. Through research and development, trial and error we were able to hit the ground running. We quickly realized the popularity of the Heart t-shirt and decided to market around that. As we grow into the company we envision we are proving we’re more than a one-hit wonder here in Kansas City.
How do you see your offerings changing over the next few years?
We are already in the process of adding several new products to our online store including some awesome collaborations with companies very similar to us. We spent time building our brand identity in the start-up phase and now we are developing products that fit in line with our image. We also are building out a flagship store as we speak on the Country Club Plaza that will help us further our brand into a brick and mortar, something we’ve had in the works for some time now. Expect lots of new goodies dropping throughout the rest of this year and beyond.
What is your latest epiphany?
That’s a great question. Being a serial entrepreneur the epiphanies are never-ending. It’s just deciphering what ideas are the greatest and not overextending ourselves. Our knowledge in building a brand has spawned thoughts of new brands as well as adding new things to the mix when it comes to Charlie Hustle. We are building a level of trust with the consumer and will be able to leverage that into new ideas and new companies.