Family Reunion Shirts from Queensboro

To walk from my desk to the microwave, you have to pass the digital printing setup. I am nosy, so I always like to see what Lilly is printing. (Lilly runs the printers for the 2nd shift, the shift I am most in the warehouse.) I have noticed that Queensboro prints a fair number of custom screenprinted tshirts for family reunions. Some just have the family name on them, while others have photographs or more extensive graphics. To spread the word about our logo services department, and give them a challenge to express their different artwork styles, I devised the “Family Reunion Shirt” project. Hopefully their designs will give you a feel for the unique artwork Queensboro can create for your family reunion shirts! We do have an artwork fee, but it is low! Currently $25 for custom artwork.

The Rules
1. The design had to be for printing artwork.
2. The design had to be family-friendly
3. About the “hypothetical” family
The family has 28 members. Two grandparents, five children, 12 grand-children, and four great grand-children. The family’s name is Inman. The reunion will be in Brown County, Indiana, where the family will be swimming, hiking, horseback riding, eating pizza, making s’mores and shopping.

With the above information, the logo specialists created three designs. Bryan created the top two and Melissa created the bottom design. (Unfortunately, Kit and Eli didn’t have time to create designs for the project.) Needless to say, I was really impressed with their designs. Which is a good thing. More about that later. . .

Logos Specialist Bryan created this logo. He said the inspiration was a “large family tree.” Extra credit to Bryan for looking up the Inman family crest from England and including it in his design!

Bryan also created this design, which is more modern in feel. This is a family reunion shirt that folks of all ages would like to wear. Including picky teenagers!

Melisa created the print artwork for this Inman Family Reunion shirt. I really like it because it communicates the rustic feel of a Brown County vacation. (Those of you who have been there know what I’m talking about!)

In the Interest of Full Disclosure
So, maybe my methods were more than altruistic. The “Inman Family,” is actually my family on my Mother’s side. We used to go to family reunions in Brown County every year and they were tons of fun. Since the time we went on reunions, several of us have gotten married, there are new great-grandchildren and everyone has undergone a fair number of life changes. Due to health issues, work, etc. we can’t get together for a reunion this year, but I can send everyone shirts. So, I get double duty out of this post: promoting our artwork, and a chance to do something nice for the family. In the meantime, contact Queensboro today for help designing your 2009 family reunion shirt!

Hey CNN–What’s the Big Deal About “A Christmas Story?”

I’m going to come right out and say it: I am completely uninterested in the movie “The Christmas Story.” This is unfortunate, because my husband’s favorite thing to do on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day is to watch the all-day marathon of “The Christmas Story” on whichever network is running it this year. Imagine my dismay when I click open my laptop and head to CNN as part of my morning routine, and find a front page (of the website) article about leg lamps from the movie. Good Grief (clearly, I would rather be watching the Charlie Brown specials). If my holiday nostalgia comes from Charlie Brown and the Rudolph pseudo-claymation movie, my husband’s comes from Ralphie, the lamp and the toy gun. All that movie makes me think about is sitting, cross-legged, on the cold school cafeteria floor, eating popcorn and drinking fake orange juice for movie day on the day before winter break. I was so consumed with trying to “wake up” my own legs (fallen asleep from sitting on the floor for hours), that I don’t ever remember any of the movie. Now, I find it mildly funny, but do not have the fanatical obsession that my husband has. He even has a pink bunny suit- well, he had it. I made sure to pack it up tight when we moved to Wilmington, and he still has not located it! I guess I can’t blame him for liking that movie and not Rudolph, because he looks just like the elf who wants to be a dentist in the Rudolph movie. Poor Joe! Joe the dentist-elf!

The Queensboro Connection
Here is how I connect Queensboro to the ghastly 1983 movie. The leg lamp
selling man mentioned in the CNN article, Brian Jones, bought the house
where the movie was filmed and turned it into a museum. He also began
manufacturing leg lamps after he got lots of compliments on the one his
parents gave him as a present. His museum receives over 30,000 visitors a
year, and employs 10 people, making Mr. Brian Jones an entrepreneur of the first degree. Not only does he do what he loves, but he makes a living at
it. Therein lies the Queensboro connection. Queensboro was founded by
entrepreneur Fred Meyers, when he decided there was a need for comfortable, custom-embroidered shirts like the famous French Lacoste polo. Tired of the holes in his shirt resulting from unraveling the alligator from the left chest area, he started making his own shirts, which sold like hotcakes because they were comfortable and customizable. In one of his shirts you could be at once part of a trend and an individual. Basically, both were entrepreneurs-embodying creative spirit, self-confidence and business savvy. They each saw a window of opportunity and jumped through it!

“Major Awards” from Queensboro
Today, Queensboro offerings have expanded quite a bit from the original pima pique cotton shirt Fred developed back right around the time when the movie came out, but we still focus on our small and medium-sized entrepreneurial customers. If you need to find some “major awards” for your employees, and would like to give them something they might actually use, rather than a leg lamp (though in all fairness, the leg lamp did not come from the movie father’s employer), head on over to the Queensboro website. I would estimate that your staff and clients would rather receive a custom embroidered attaché, cooler, stadium blanket or jacket than a leg lamp.

October 2008 Logo Contest Winner: Hobos for Hire

The day Queensboro Customer Service Representative Matthew sent the “Hobos for Hire” logo around for all of us to see, we immediately started “spinning yarns” (pun intended!) about the logo. What would you hire a hobo to do? We conjectured a wide variety of tasks, some politically correct, others not. If we had just bothered to notice that the email address of the contact was [name]@hobosforhire.com, we could have visited their website. We were having way too much fun making up our own stories.

What Can a Hobo do for You?

“Hobos for Hire,” it turns out, is a band. I emailed the band, asking them about how they became the Hobos. Adam Repp, the head songwriter, wrote me back a wildly entertaining story, befitting of a talented writer. In order to do justice to his witty humor, here he is, in his own words, Adam Repp (cue applause):

Kate: How did you guys choose your name?
Adam: I’d like to think that the name chose us. After a handful of shot down names and an earful from our Nannas, we needed to decide. At the time I was much like a hobo…a transient really. Working during the day, and moving from couch to couch at night. I could only have hoped for the sharing of a spaghetti noodle from a kindred soul.

Then it happened. While fishing empty beer cans out of a customer’s pool, it hit me. Like Eddie Adams from Boogie Nights, the name flashed in my head like a blinding light of realization. Flashbulbs erupted over the illuminated title. We were then and will forever be known as: “The Hobos for Hire.” It suited us…hardworking lovable transients that just wanted a chance to prove their worth in the music industry. While some hobos work for food…we play for respect.

Kate: How did you get together?
Adam: The story goes like this: Josh, Colin and I have been friends since childhood and have always wanted to be in a band. I had a lot of time on my hands while basically squatting at my uncle’s house so I wrote and wrote. I’m pretty sure the space was haunted; so it was either call in Paranormal State or write songs to keep my mind off of the ghostly wails. When Colin and I started collaborating, we brought Josh on as a second guitarist and our friend’s brother, Matt, to hit the skins for us. After about a year we enlisted the services of our fellow pool boy, Justin, to wail on the sax. For our new EP (coming soon at www.hobosforhire.com plug* plug *plug*), we have recruited Josh’s future sister-in-law to lay down some sultry backing vocals. She will hopefully become a permanent tambourinist at our live shows.

Kate: Where do you play?
Adam: We started off playing in garages and basements and have progressed to some of the premiere hotspots of the Northwest Illinois suburbs. No gig is too small for the Hobos…we will play any soup kitchen or junior high-school dance. Hopefully after the release of our new EP “We are your tired, your hungry, your poor…we are the Hobos for Hire” (coming soon at http://www.hobosforhire.com ehh hemm *plug *plug *plug) we will venture out into the city and be available to play in Michigan Ave. penthouses. . .

Kate: What are some funny things that have happened to you as a result of the name?
Adam: The public has been very responsive to the name. Usually a slight chuckle occurs followed by a quizzical look, followed by “That’s a good name, man.” As a pool boy, I run into the upper echelon of society and upon the mention of our band to one customer, he insisted that he had heard of us. I left before he started ripping at my shirt and stealing hair from my pocket comb…but I was excited that our name was familiarized in his brain…even though I’m pretty sure there’s no way he could have heard of us.

Hobos Hire Queensboro

I also talked to Colin Croft, one of the founding members of the band (who also does administrative tasks, such as ordering shirts from Queensboro).

Kate: How did “Hobos for Hire” find Queensboro?
Colin: As a band, promoting is #1 and we felt the best way to do that was by getting some custom t-shirts. I began pricing out t-shirts from local businesses, which I really like to support, but they were all trying to charge me setup fees/ graphic fees and then those sneaky order minimums. I found Queensboro online, through Google. I quickly created an account and immediately uploaded my Logo, which was ingeniously created by our dearest Hoboette Carly Stangeland. My logo was approved that same day and I was sent a confirmation to view my design on the shirts. After one more confirmation, my order was in line for printing and within a few short weeks my order arrived.

Kate: Now that you are famous and stuff, why do you stick with Queensboro?
Colin: The Logo Locker is great, and the product selection is diverse. I find both the web and phone support is top notch and you can’t beat the 4 piece minimum order and the FREE embroidery or printing anywhere. Viewing my account information and order details is easy on the website, which is important to me. And, your e-mail marketing is super efficient. I have placed at least two orders from those sweet deals that are offered every so often.

There you have it: “Hobos for Hire” in their own words. Just don’t call them “bums.”