Could you start out by telling us whom you are and what you do for 11:11 Apparel?
My name is Heather Tunches and I am the founder/owner of 11:11 Apparel.
When did you decide you wanted to start a clothing line and what was the inspiration for doing so?
I decided that I wanted to start a clothing line when I was only 15 years old. You would think at the age of 15 that I would have other things on my mind besides developing a company, but that wasn’t the case!
My inspiration came from my core beliefs and I wanted to share those beliefs with others through positive messages on t-shirts and accessories that I felt would appeal to other people. (Ex: Live With No Regrets and Live for Moments like These) It was important for me to include messages of faith in oneself and/or with God.
In the online world of t-shirts guys seem to really be the target audience, but what I love about your line is that you have really focused on women and marketing tees to women. What are some of the bigger challenges you have faced when targeting women and do you see it as a positive or negative for your brand?
Actually, I never deliberately targeted women. Maybe the positive messages have attracted them to my clothing; however, in all honesty, my customers are composed of nearly half men and women.
With so many indie t-shirt companies out there, what makes 11:11 Apparel different and why should customers spend their money with you?
11:11 Apparel uses one of the highest quality t-shirts to have screen printed and the print quality is 100% guaranteed to please. Although there are a lot of great companies out there, we produce unique t-shirts along with positive messages that many can relate to whether they are religious or not. Our customer service is top notch; our turnaround time is 3-5 days and it is easy for my customers to contact me and receive a quick response as I am available through email, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced launching a clothing line and also trying to establish a customer base?
The biggest challenge I had faced when launching a clothing line was finding a good quality screen printing company. I worked with two local printers before using the one I work with today. The first printer I worked with was not dependable and the quality of their work was substandard. They were a new company and really don’t know their business well. The second printer actually sent their jobs out, making them the middle man, and their prices were so high that it was impossible to make a profit.
Establishing a customer base takes a lot of time and effort promoting and one of my biggest challenges was waiting for that customer base to grow. When I first launched my company, it took about a month to get my first customer and the second one slowly came two months later. Today I have a large customer base and I attribute that to the quality of my products. That has always been important me and always will be.
What is the best part and worst part about running a clothing line?
The best part of running 11:11 Apparel has been meeting people at large concert events where I sell my t-shirts such as the Never Say Never Music and Arts Festival in Mission, Texas and musicians that are interested in wearing my clothing. Its always exciting to meet people who already know who I am and tell me how much they love my company and ask for hugs and pictures.
The worst part of running a clothing line is making time for my school, I am in college, and I have a part time job.
One thing that I found a bit odd, is that 11:11 Apparel uses MySpace as their homepage. What were your thoughts behind that choice?
Our reasoning behind having MySpace as our homepage is because we have been secretly designing our very first homepage/website which is coming soon to http://11elevenapparel.com. We will be releasing this new online store / look on November 11, 2011 along with our fall collection. Who would have thought!? We announced this a few days ago online, so I guess we can’t call it a secret anymore! (Haha) It’s very exciting and I think this a large step for 11:11 Apparel considering we have had the same website design for over 2 years. It’s time for change!
With Fall and Winter fast approaching can we expect any new apparel to keep warm in this year?
As I said above, our fall collection will be releasing on November 11, 2011 and the winter collection will shortly arrive after. 11:11 Apparel will keep everyone nice and cozy during this holiday season.
The floor is yours! Any last minute shout-outs or announcements?
I would like to thank IATT for giving us this interview. Don’t forget that our new collection will be released on 11.11.11 along with the brand new online store! Check us out on twitter – @11elevenapparel and like us on Facebook
Lastly do you have any coupon codes or sales you would like to share with the IATT readers?
Get 11% off by using IATT11 at http://shop.11elevenapparel.com