After several months of hard work, we're proud to announce the official launch of TogTees. Why are we proud, you ask? Because it took a clickload of work, that's why.
TogTees are the first tee made by Photographers for Photographers. They are designed and printed by hand in Philadelphia by us, the Photographers at TogTees.
A little more about how we got here...
A long, long time ago (in mid-2015), a photographer in Philadelphia was looking for a cool t-shirt with some sort of photography theme on it. He'd been a photographer for a long time (a very long time...) and felt that it was time he start representing his passion and profession in public with something cool. After all, skateboarders have their own apparel brands, as do snowboarders and rock climbers. Heck, even cat people have their own apparel brands to represent them (Hello Kitty, anyone?)
Well, after many hours of fruitless searching, this poor photographer realized that the only thing available in the entire world for photographers to wear was really (really) lame tees with super terrible quasi-pun jokes about shooting, hanging and framing people.
Why couldn't photographers have their own apparel brand - a brand that they would love and respect? A brand that would represent their passion properly and do justice to the craft that is photography.
The answer was... they could. It just had to be built from scratch. And like all good things, it would take time. Time, energy, creativity, effort, money, passion, help from friends, from strangers, even from friendly strangers. All this and more, this photographer realized, would be needed to bring this thing to life.
But he was determined. And he had many ideas. Great ideas. But most importantly, he had nothing better to do with his time than spend several months making one t-shirt he'd be proud to wear. (It was the off-season, ok?)
So, he started off. He talked to every photographer friend he could find about it (all 3 of them) to get their feedback on the idea. They all said "great idea", but he could tell they thought it was dumb. No matter. Maybe it was dumb. But it was still gonna happen.
He got together with another local Philly creative, an incredible graphic designer, and together, they came up with a bunch of cool designs. At least they thought they were cool until all their friends said, no, those are lame.
So they went back to the drawing board and made more. And more. And...too many. They had to get rid of some. So they asked everyone they knew for feedback, and took the worst 10 designs and ran with those. Just kidding, they threw those out.
The best 10 designs were selected to be printed, and while they were waiting for the design files to upload, they built a website, took some photos, set up an email account, and voila - TogTees was born!
Then there was just a couple steps left... pick the world's softest t-shirts to print on by testing 20 different tees, try out multiple ink colors with various tees to find the perfect match, find the best way to print each design with precision and clarity, check the quality, go back and print more, take photos of them, find people to wear them, take photos of people wearing them, set up an Instagram account, start posting images, put all the files on the website, create products on the website, set up payment processing, shipping automation, order packaging materials, design package inserts, print package inserts, reprint them because they came out wrong, order stickers to put in the package, wonder why you paid so much for stickers, order a label printer for shipping labels, test-ship a tee to your brother in California, find out he didn't get half the inserts cause they fell out, re-ship a tee with more tape on the package this time, make sure payment processing works on the website, make sure all the notification emails go out properly, get all the printed tees together in your basement, fold them up real nice, realize you folded them wrong and need to re-fold them all, start telling all your friends about this crazy idea, send out an email to everyone you know, and BAM! Website launched. See, that wasn't too tough, now was it?
Anyway, that's (most of) what it took to launch TogTees and how it came to be. Our tees are the softest thing in the world, and most importantly, they are extremely high quality. They will never stretch, shrink, fade, or otherwise disappoint you in any way. Seriously, three years from now, you'll wonder why your TogTee still looks like it did the day you got it. And then you'll want to get another one. But by then, your favorite design will be mostly sold out and only available in hot pink 3XL. So yeah, get it now before it's gone.
You won't regret it.