So lets start about telling us whom you are and what you do at Of New
My name is Aaron and I am the owner and designer for Of New Astronomy apparel. I develop the designs, handle all the business and promotion, run the merch booth at festivals and events, and do pretty much everything except for physically applying the design to the shirt. I got tired of doing that part, and found people that can do it way better and faster than me!
When did Of New Astronomy get it started and what sparked your interest in starting the line?
I guess it all started in 2007, but things didn’t really start to get serious until last year after my band broke up. I am an artist, and I will always be creating things. If I’m not focusing on music, I will be focusing on some other creative form of expression. Having my own clothing line was always an idea I toyed around with in high school (I graduate college next year). ONA actually began with one shirt design that I sewed by hand when I was sick one day. I didn’t like it, so I tucked it away in a drawer and didn’t find it again until a year later. For some reason, I found it and decided that I liked it a lot this time. I posted it up in a blog on my personal myspace and everyone loved it and wanted one, so I made an official myspace and started making more tees! Since then, ONA has continued to grow.
How would you explain the ONA style to someone that hasnt seen your brand?
It’s my art. It’s whatever comes out of me at the time. There are simple designs, there are sewn designs, and then there are really busy collage-like designs. Some people like wearing just the brand name on their shirt, and some people don’t want a brand anywhere on their shirt. I’m like this myself, so I like to accommodate both styles. Either way, you’re bound to stand out when you wear ONA. You will see recurring themes in the designs, as I am influenced by western art, electronics, nature, and music. Sometimes I have a point to get across, and I won’t hesitate to put it in a shirt design so that others can express themselves as well.
It’s no secret that there are a ton of clothing companies popping up how
does ONA separate themselves from the crowd?
Of New Astronomy separates itself from the other clothing companies in several different ways. First and foremost, ONA is dedicated to making sure that customers (and non-customers) have an excellent experience with us. I have seen other indie clothing lines with blogs and notices saying to stop sending them messages and that they will not support or sponsor your band unless you’re huge. ONA encourages people to chat with us, and we love supporting music and all things independent. Even for bands we don’t sponsor, we reserve a space in the pics section on the myspace for any band that sends in a pic of at least one member wearing ONA. We will also post the bands name along with a link to their page and even post a bulletin for your band if you ask. If a customer ever has a question or problem, we encourage them to contact us and we will figure out an answer! Another thing that sets ONA apart is that all the artwork is original and not hired out to other designers. Many people may not realize it, but a lot of those bands and indie clothing lines hire other artists to design their merch, and many of them are hiring the same artists. This is a quick way to get decent designs made, but it makes everyone’s designs look the same and kind of dilutes the brand! ONA keeps it original. Also, you see a lot of zombie and demon and cartoon designs everywhere in the music scene now. Those are cool, but ONA likes to keep it fresh and creative. We always have at least one design for sale that’s sewn-on and made by hand (just like our very first tee). You don’t see a lot of that nowadays!
So your line is pretty small right now, when can we see some more designs hit the store?
ONA has been known for having only a handful of designs available at one time. This keeps the designs rare and limited edishh. However, we have realized that selection is important to making sure you don’t have the same ONA shirt as other people, so we are going to slowly expand the line of clothes this time! Instead of releasing a seasonal line like in the past, we are just going to add the new products to the current ones as they come. This way, you will have more to choose from. The designs WILL keep changing though. You will see new designs leave, and old ones come back! You can expect a new item or two to appear next month.
I see that you guys even have a cut and sew shirt! Can we expect more
of this in the future?
This is the style that started ONA, and you can definitely expect to see more shirts like this! The “Midnight V-neck” currently for sale is the fourth shirt made this way, and more will be coming! They will appear in the “Sewn Threads” category of the website when they become available.
What has been your biggest obstacle in starting ONA?
There actually hasn’t been much of an obstacle with ONA. Maybe that’s because there was actually never any business plan or goal for a company. I have just been making shirts, making friends, learning and experiencing a ton, and it’s been catching on. The help and support from all the cool people I meet is amazing! I’d say the biggest obstacle to get over so far was having to cut and sew and stencil-paint every shirt for orders and events. Thankfully though, I now have a team to help me! Then there was the whole website thing. I made the new website all by myself and I had never made a website before. Luckily though, I had tons of help and support from my very smart friends. Basically when there’s a problem, I do my best to get rid of it.
I see that you guys sponsor a few bands. How did you get hooked up with them and how has that impacted your brand?
ONA has and always will be a part of music. Music is inside of every human being. Some of the bands contacted us, some of them were contacted by us. Then you have Harp & Lyre. These guys HAD to get sponsored because of how passionate they were about the brand and how they promoted it. Tip for bands wanting a brand to sponsor you: act like you’re already sponsored by rocking their brand and spreading their name like crazy! Once you’ve given to a person or company, it’s harder for them to not give back to you. Hush Hush Commotion is another band that has been a big impact on the brand. It’s definitely easier to get involved with the bands from around here, but it’s great working with all of them. Jake Germany wears ONA a lot whenever he plays keys for The Secret Handshake.
Are there any sales or coupons our readers should know about?
Enter the discount code “IAMTHETREND” before you checkout this week at ofnewastronomy.com for 15% off your order!
Thanks for the interview! : )