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the world of sparkles

Wonderkid: Activated

For me, Beastvan is more than just a t-shirt printing company.  It's something I have to be doing.  Being a kid at heart, I'm activated by the things that capture my wonder.  So, running my own t-shirt and clothing company is my natural and obvious place in the world.  And here’s why.

First of all, I'm a nerd for cool, innovative, and well designed graphics.  For all our customers, I always want to make sure that the items they order from us are imprinted with logos and images that enhance their brand using good colour, proportion, creativity and legibility.

When we get free rein, the designs that show up in our clothing line are heavily influenced by a wide assortment of pop art and indie culture interests.  From comic books, animation, action figures, tattoos, and skateboarding to punk rock, heavy metal, science fiction, pin striping, and craft beer.  And sometimes baseball.

I’m also a t-shirt fanatic.  Fanatic!  I get a buzz seeing wicked cool graphics from independent artists and businesses walking around on the front of someone’s shirt.  They are pretty much all I wear and I wear the crap out of my favourites.  Starting with the ones from the first rock concert I ever attended (Billy Idol or D.O.A.  I can’t remember which) and the Dark Knight and Cerebus comic books.

For those of us who have never been cool (it feels like I have always been that short, glasses wearing, porridge eating, immigrant kid forced to grow up/survive in a small BC town), a good t-shirt is a quick and powerful communicator and conversation starter.  To help my profs get what I was talking about, I wore a Skull Skates ‘Function Before Fashion’ and a Sub-Pop ‘Loser’ t-shirts at my MA thesis defense on punk rock and grunge.

I don’t know how 'punk' I really am, but I do prefer to do my own thing and figure things out for myself.  Being independent, entrepreneurial, starting your own business, and developing a craft is very punk, I think.  It’s the DIY ethic. And I’ve happily discovered and support a lot of like-minded folks living where I live in the Main St. area of Vancouver.  Of course this is where I need to be, doing what I need to be doing.

Lastly, I seem to have some innate (and some trained) marketing and branding skills.  Which are crucial for any small business wanting to make a good go of it.  I’m a big believer in and get a thrill out of exercising thoughtful marketing strategy for both myself, my customers, and any other entrepreneur I can help grow their business.  Even when only applied to a logo on a t-shirt or hat. :)   

So, Beastvan is about doing what you like doing, connecting and working with cool people, and making a life for yourself and others while doing it.  I recommend it.  It’s kinda like a roller coaster or your first rock concert: looks scary at first, but a lot of fun once you get on.  Let's Ride. :)


Chris Sharples aka 'Sparkles'