Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Palooka Tees

My friend Jo is an awesome woman. Smart, funny, hard working, creative, outstandingly musically knowledgeable and generally far cooler than any one person ought to be (she ran my favourite and massively popular DJ night in Exeter for 8 years but sadly has now retired!).
I recently found out about a new string to her bow, Palooka Tees but I think I'll let Jo tell you herself what it's all about!

Here's the history of Palooka Tees:

I bought the licence for loads of original 30's, 40's and 50's advertising art, with a view to doing some shirts about 10 years ago. Due to difficult personal circumstances at the time I never got round to doing anything with them until now. I've always loved vintage Americana from this sort of era. There's something comforting about it. Naive, if you will. When times were simpler than now.

Then I discovered Twitter! I started being followed by and interacting with, a graphic designer from Eastbourne. We have become great friends, although we have never actually met in person, we use the great technology such as 'Face Time', to talk to each other. I showed him some of the images and we decided to give it a go together. He sorts out the images, makes them ready for the printer and designs the shirts and I do all the bagging up, labelling, sending out and marketing! 

The t-shirt industry is absolutely saturated with people trying to make a go of things. But what I like about our designs is that they are authentic. There are so many 'retro' or 'vintage' shirts out there that are just a theme, whereas these are the real thing! They're quirky, innocent and funny.

We initially had 40 or so designs in mind and decided to make a first run of 9 images. We decided these by making our initial first 'Top 9' and comparing. It was surprising how many we had both picked.

In the future, we will add more designs and maybe take some of the ones away that don't seem as popular. It's a case of playing it by ear. Eventually, I'd like to be at a point where we can have our own Palooka labels in the shirts. Wouldn't that be exciting!

It's both exhilarating and scary starting things like this up. But I believe in what we are trying to do. Let's face it, the designs can suit anybody! Young, old, fashionable, standard.

Jo has set up a website: and a Facebook page: and is looking at setting up an ASOS Marketplace store soon!

I personally love the ethos behind these tees and agree with Jo about the designs being great because they're authentic, so much better than the made up cheesy ones you see so often! I've got my fingers crossed that Palooka Tees brings lots of lovely things Jo's way :)

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