Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Years Resolutions: The Importance of Happiness

At LadyUmbrella t-shirts we champion the phrase of "Stay Happy" and the importance of happiness was acutely highlighted to me on the 23rd of December. This blog is titled "LadyUmbrella t-shirts and life" - this post falls into the latter of the two.

On the 23rd of December my loving, caring and healthy mother got paralysed. She woke at 8am and was getting breakfast ready in the kitchen. She got some pins and needles in her feet and then 15 minutes later was paralysed from just above her belly button down. It transpired after emergency surgery later that day that she had suffered a prolapse disc (aka herniated disc/slipped disc) which 73% of the time does no "real" damage. Unfortunately my mothers was a rare rare case and it turned out her disc was "calcified" making it a lot harder and doing more damage. I've been with her every day since in the hospital and just willing feeling to return to her once active, dancing, life loving limbs. Feel free to send some positive energy her way so that she can recover.

And so, the importance of happiness. The happenings of the last 8 days has starkly highlighted to me that we are but fragile creatures with no real control of things. The saying of "you're not here for a long but a good time" is resonating with me now, reverberating around my mind. I would say my outlook on life has changed - things can't be taken for granted. There really is no way of knowing what may happen at anytime. My mothers plight hammers this point home.

As a result of my mothers misfortune the launch of LadyUmbrella t-shirts is still undetermined. We pretty much have everything lined up and hope to get going soon but my time is now more divided than ever before. Also, I'm down a "member of staff" as my mother was looking forward to spending time in LUHQ and help me pack up the orders as we receive them - she is one hell of t-shirt folder, she folded mine for so many years..I dearly hope to have her by my side folding t-shirts sometime soon..

So, as this New Year approaches I have my resolutions nailed down: focus on happiness, don't take things for granted and try to live life each day..what are yours? I genuinely wish all who read this a great 2010 and that you don't take things for granted..stay happy, really - why not?

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Touchdown T-shirts

So, some good news for all of you out there - our LadyUmbrella t-shirts have touched down and I can confirm they are glorious. To finally get them to LUHQ is something kinda special, it is the culmination of over a years work and to see it come together is truly memorable. It was a Kodak moment.

We wanted to get them sooner so that we could get them shipped to you in time for the festive season alas things did not transpire that way - out t-shirts sadly won't be with you for Christmas. We are working away frantically on our site to get it water tight and easy for you all to use and would like to thank Pawel Witkowski and Steven Fitzpatrick for their help and skills. Our site is going to be ready for you all..real soon..

We are in the final stages of preparation now for launch and thank you all for bearing with us and supporting us thus far. Its been said before but I'll say it again, the people who tweet us and say hi on facebook and all those that have mentioned us in a blog - really, we are overwhelmed and most thankful..

Our sights are now set for launching at 12.00 noon GMT on January 1st 2010 - hangover or no hangover..will you be with us? We've been practicing our packing so that we are ready for your orders - what do you think of the pack job?

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

How LadyUmbrella Comes to Life Video

Hello all..just a short blog post to herald the era of cinematic goodnes here at LadyUmbrella t-shirts. Some of you may recall that we recorded a movie a weeks ago which has been edited supremely to become "How LadyUmbrella Comes to Life".

The man in charge of the edits was the very capable, the Latvian Spielbert, Mr. Ivars Burtnieks. You can find more of his videos on his youtube page. We are most thankful for the time and effort he put into making our video and can only say good things about him. If you want a video made he is the man to get in touch with..

Anyway, without further ado I'll leave you with our movie - How LadyUmbrella Comes to Life - sincerely hope you enjoy and want to know what you think? You like the clouds in the background? Know all about us after watching it? Want a tee? Feeling happy?

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

A t-shirt photo shoot fairy tale pictorial..

Hello LUFANs, I apologise profusely for the lack of updates in the last weeks but I now have the pleasure of recounting the tale of the LadyUmbrella t-shirts photo shoot and showing you pictures that you won't be able to see anywhere else.

So lets kick off the update with the photo shoot. On Saturday 28th of November we enlisted the help of model Elaine O'Carroll, make up artist Ciara Thompson and camera man Darren Christie from Life in No Motion Photography to take some photos our beloved t-shirts.

After just 5 hours sleep an early start for me was remedied by 2 turbo boosted cups of coffee..the door bell rang three times as the team assembled in LUHQ to enter the room which we had "rigged" (I'm a big fan of describing the rigging efforts). We applied wrapping paper to the wall to create the backdrop. The room had to radically transformed to make space so the bed was put up on its side against the wall and used it as the accessory rack - the mattress was delicately wedged into place in a different corner of the room between wall and wardrobe. Another feat of engineering was our wind machine - Ciara doubled up and daintily jigged from zeyphr to gale and delighted the Beaufort scale fanning Elaine with a shoe box lid - golden. Hopefully the pictures depict the scene and check out Elaine wearing "LadyUmbrella is Friends with Sir David Attenborough" (yep, we have changed the name of the t-shirt to give proper kudos to the great man).

Darren snapped frantically and captured the magic as it unfolded. The whole day was an enjoyable one. A pizza break and lots of laughter with the lights.. The lighting providing a never ending muscle burning challenge to me as I tried to keep the illumination steady and constant whilst not laughing too hard at the fan machine in action. Sometimes I laughed too hard though.

A total of about 8 hours were spent in the room taking about 452 pictures not to mention the pictures Elena took. Time thankfully flew though and and we are very pleased with the results - check out Elaine rockin' "What Came First - the Chicken or LadyUmbrella". This blog post coincides nicely and announces the fact that we are now uploading the finished photos - firstly to the LadyUmbrella Facebook Fanpage and then to our website when we open our store doors (which, I can reveal, will be soon [and I know I've said that before but we hope to receive the t-shirts on Thursday - you heard it hear first sush])..

We have already uploaded two designs and will upload the remaining 4 in the next 4 days - check them out and let us know what you think..which design will be your favourite?

And so, the fairytale ends..lots more tales to recount to you though in the coming days so stay tuned and stay happy...

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Where will you stick our stickers?

Hello all, well, it is with tired eyes that I frantically type this - so much has happened in the last week here at LadyUmbrella..Our stickers have arrived from the good people at Sticker Robot and we are really happy with them? want one for free? on..

Holy Cow - A sticky treat

Fresh fruit sticker salad anyone?

How did that get stuck there?

So, there you have it, both of our stickers in all of their glory - who wants one? Leave a comment letting us know where you'd like to stick one of our stickers and we'll send you a free sticker...

Other big news here at LUHQ is that we did our photo shoot today and it went really well..a very long day but we're really pleased with it..Behind the scenes photos (hehe, some are hilarious) will be posted on this blog soon so stay tuned...Also, if you didn't know you can now pre order a LadyUmbrella t-shirt on our Facebook fanpage and we'll send you a 10% discount and free shipping code if you leave us a comment there letting us know which design of ours is your favorite (or, just leave a comment here, all good)...We're delighted to say that over 100 are already spoken for so speak now...

And thats me done..I can go on no longer...stay happy all..

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Blog No. 20 about a Blog and a Discount

Hey all, well, things are hotting up here at LadyUmbrella t-shirts as we have been informed that our t-shirts should be in here about 10 days NICE!!! So, in the run up to their arrival we are now giving you a chance to pre order on our facebook fanpage by simply becoming a fan and leaving us a comment letting us know which t-shirt you'd like..then, whenever you decide to purchase we'll give you a 10% discount - simples...

But, this, blog number 20 (yep, I've made it to twenty blogs - anyone even read them hehe?) is about anther blog..We got a great shout out from Loving This Tee which I'm really delighted with..Bo, the author, gives his own views on what it would be like to have an umbrella for a head and it does make for some interesting reading...hope you enjoy it...

And, any views yourselves on what life might be like with an umbrella for a head? Get creative, get surreal and leave a comment with your thoughts and awkward umbrella scenarios..

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Patriotism and Flash Mob

Here at LadyUmbrella although our designer is Spanish the remaining two thirds of the team are Irish and so this is just a real quick blog post to firstly say "COME ON IRELAND!!!!!" - for those who don't know, we are taking on the might of France in the 2nd leg of the World Cup qualifier, we are a goal down and have a date with destiny in Paris later today...

I'd also like to share this video with you guys, I think its kinda cool..A flash mob dance party extravaganza kinda thing that happened a few days ago in Cork. How can so many people get so co-ordinated so quickly?, really it is impressive. You ever take part in or see a flash mob dance party? Enjoy..

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Monday, November 16, 2009

The Samples of Life

Well, this is just a quick update more or less to let all you LUFANs (LadyUmbrella fans) know what is going on with us...

We have been busy. Really. So much work has to be done to get a t-shirt company up and running but thankfully we are nearly there. In the last week we have opened up our company bank account (although it is painfully empty..really empty) and are filling out all sorts of forms for the online side of things. Also our shop section is almost finished - I might as well give you a sneaky peaky at how it is going to look - sush now though, for your eyes only...

Ah, and the sample of is our Lion King moment when things have more or less gone full circle..We've received a myriad of envelopes in the last week containing all sorts of sought after jewels..and one of those sought after jewels were our samples. We are very happy with them and with a few slight modifications we're happy for them to go into production - we'll have pictures up soon...The wait, the agonizing wait, for our LadyUmbrella t-shirts to arrive is slowly coming to an feels like we have been just a matter a weeks away from launching on so many occasions but now I really think that is the case...

As I mentioned earlier, another sample of life I'm happy to show you is a screen shot of how our online shop section is going to look...We are really happy with how it has turned out and have to give major thanks to Pawel Witkowski who is the gifted web designer who created our site. I really can't speak highly enough of Pawel and would recommend him to any company out there looking to get a website done. Check out more of his sites at his Web Design Info site.

So, exciting times here at LadyUmbrella. We are approaching the final hurdles for lift off now and really can't wait...until next time, stay happy..

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Buttons are prickly...careful now..

Buttons are prickly..especially when they get booked for salubrious photo shoots with LadyUmbrella womens fashion and Elena wielding the camera...

In the last few days we here at LadyUmbrella HQ received our dainty buttons from the awesome guys at Pure Buttons and set about capturing them glory. I'm going to show you what I deem to be my favorite picture from the shoot, the most stylish cactus this side of Tucson..You can check out the rest of them on the LadyUmbrella Facebook Fanpage - they are pretty nifty...

Anyway, hope you like the picture and our buttons...Look at that dapper cactus..let me know what you think..

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What grinds your gears? Dell rhymes with hell...

To all my avid readers out there who have been checking daily for a new blog post I do apologise - I've been hampered and lagging behind with a nasty dose of the flu (no oinking sounds thus far though thankfully) which has hindered my blogging about all things LadyUmbrella and in this post I'm going to take a moment to vent...brace yourselves...

Anyone out there have a Dell computer? - laptop or otherwise? Had any problems with them? Well, I have had my fair share of problems with this hunk of recently celebrated its 3rd birthday - I got a call of sorts to remind me about it, more on that later.

Well, my laptop has become my life. All of my documents relating to LadyUmbrella t-shirts are contained on this cumbersome unit. All of my online work (this very blog) is done via this solid lump of Inspiron 1300 and it has failed for me catastrophically so many times I've lost count.

Last January it well and truly gave up the ghost. It was around this time that I had most of the pieces of the LadyUmbrella puzzle in place (or lined up to be put in place) when for no valid reason my laptop decided not to turn on. The only remedy was to reinstall Windows and I lost everything - not only my work stuff but also all my music/pictures/etc that I hadn't backed was truly sickening. Once I reinstalled Windows I thought it would be plain sailing as the hard drive would be clean etc...what an erroneous assumption..

The next problem encountered was a complete failure of the power cable which I had to replace for like 70euro. My laptop is also prone to "overheating" even if I'm doing nothing with it - it will just power down and it will take a while before I am able to turn it on again. I'm then greeted with a BEEP "Your computer overheated press F1 to start" screen..needless to say whenever these ad-hoc over-heatings occurs whatever I'm working on is lost. Also, my laptop doesn't work unless its plugged in, the battery life is zilch, nada, zip, zero..

And so, onto the 3 year birthday wishes phone call I received from a phone number about 20 digits long. I was informed that my warranty had just expired. To be honest I didn't know I had a 3 year warranty but getting a call the day after my warranty expired to try sell me a new one irked me no end. As did the "sales pitch".

I was asked if I had any problems with my battery. To which I said yes, it is non existent and I was given a spiel that that was because it was a 4 cell battery and I could get a new 6 cell for 130euro. I told her I didn't have that sort of money to spend on a piece of junk computer. She then inquired if I had any other problems with the laptop and then she tried to act surprised when I listed off all of the above. Dell computers are far from reliable and as a Dell sales staff I'm sure she is well aware of that fact. The thing that really got my back up was that if she had have called me 2 days earlier, when my computer was in warranty, I may have been able to get a new computer/the issues resolved. Of course, the fault lies with me for not getting in touch with Dell and inquiring about my warranty - I tend to shy away from these big organizations, I just don't really like them, and their "squeeze every last cent out of the customer" attitude, which was epitomized in firstly the timing of the call and the repetitive sales pitch in the call really sickened me.

Like, I'm starting a business now and genuinely want to add value to our customers at every turn, not take them for a ride and leave them disgruntled and feeling shafted. If Dell wanted to make me a happy customer why not give me a call 2 days before my warranty expires to see if everything is ok - surely they have confidence in their product that it can last for the period of the warranty? although, clearly, they build them to backfire to keep the sales machine ticking over and instead of adding value by aiding customers add anger and frustration.

This is the last Dell I will ever buy. And, akin to the scene in "Office Space" (what a great movie) I look forward to the day when I can get a new laptop and well and truly lay waste to this nighmare...

So what grinds your gears? Any laptop issues similar to mine? Any bee in your bonnet that you want to get off your chest? Go on, let it feels good...and watching this clip most definitely will...

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

And the results are in...

Wow, the LadyUmbrella compe-tee-tion has come to an end and it has been an absolute marathon...Genuine thanks to those who took part and voted and now...without further ado I'd like to give you our winners....

First place, with 32% of the votes, Dorothy Cotter
"Warning: LadyUmbrella may not keep you dry but will brighten your day in the blink of an eye"
Second place, with 28% of the votes, Catherine Miller
"Warning: LadyUmbrella may not keep you dry but will mean you become irresistible to all other forces of nature"

Third Place, with 18% of the votes, Susan Kramer
"Warning: LadyUmbrella may not keep you dry but will not melt"

And here is a screen shot...luvly jubbly...

In true competition fashion though we have yet another prize to award for the one entry that we all just loved and that made us all chuckle...Stand up Elizabeth Perring and take a bow - some t-shirts are heading your way as well for your entry of
"Warning: LadyUmbrella may not keep you dry but will stop a storm in a D Cup"..

Ok so, thats it, thats a wrap..I'll be in touch with all the lucky winners to sort out the prizes and stuff...on a personal level though I'd just like to say once again thanks to all those who took part and told their friends about our competition - we're just a little t-shirt company from Ireland and were really blown away by the number of this space for more competitions, yes yes, there will be more...

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

like an X Factor Judge (ye, those guys - Simon Cowell, Dannii Mingoue and Louis Walsh)

Is anybody a fan of the X-Factor? familiar with Simon Cowell and co?..well, I had to put on my Simon Cowell hat when trying to determine the top 5 entries for our LadyUmbrella competition...Yes, it is fair to say it was like our own show, "The Umbrella Factor"..

It really was tough. Being honest, I didn't think it would be but it was. The sheer volume of entries (144 I believe) makes it hard to pick a favourite, let alone a top 5 that we could all agree on. So, like Mr. Cowell and co. we had to be a little bit ruthless in whittling down the numbers...Not too dissimilar to the problem they have on the X Factor, only on a much smaller scale as they have thousands of entries...

Of course, Dannii Mingoue (Elena) was arguing the case for this entry or that entry and Louis Walsh (hehehe, Richie [he won't be a fan of that comparison, I know that for a fact]) was also sticking to his guns regarding certain entries. In the end we followed a democratic and what we deem to be a fair process..All of the entries were assigned a number each of us picked our favourite 20 or so and then cross compared...this left us with a smaller number and then we just thrashed out the final five...then we looked up the numbers to find out who they corresponded to..
Thankfully the decision of the three winners doesn't rest in our hands but in the hands of the fans (if you are reading this that means you)..we need you to vote for your favourite one please and you can do it here. Voting ends at midnight Sunday November 1st and we'll announce the winners the following day. When the top 3 are announced we'll also reveal our favourite (yes, an extra prize as suggested by the good people at theLoquax Competitions forums - we listen) and will notify the winners...

And so, now, onto the final five (in no particular order)...
1) Susan Kramer - Warning: LadyUmbrella may not keep you dry but will not melt
2) Catherine Gregory - Warning: LadyUmbrella may not keep you dry but will look the height of fashion when wet
3) Gracie McNab - Warning: LadyUmbrella may not keep you dry but will keep all the drones very close to the hive
4) Dorothy Cotter - Warning: LadyUmbrella may not keep you dry but will brighten your day in the blink of an eye
5) Catherine Miller - Warning: LadyUmbrella may not keep you dry but will mean you become irresistible to all other forces of nature

So, which one is your favourite? Leave a comment and let me know (I crave comments hehe) and please please please go and vote, its really easy to vote and there are no SMS charges hehe, not on "The Umbrella Factor"...

I'll publish the full list of entries soon and genuine thanks to all who took part, I'm delighted the response the competition got and hope you enjoyed taking, for now, I leave with some famous words...


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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When Twitter Fails?

I'll admit I'm new to the twitter world but it has drawn me in, hook, line and sinker...I now admit that I get a sinking feeling whenever I'm greeted with the "Twitter is over capacity" or "too many tweets" screens - however I'm still not too sure why. At worst I might miss a few "secrets to white teeth" tweets, any mentions (@ladyumbrellaltd) will always be there for me...and I like them - say hi..

So, why does Twitter fail? I don't know - probably because there are, like they say, too many tweets going on for their lil ole servers to handle...that or the whale has put on some weight or one of those birds didn't pump enough iron for the task at hand...also their lack of coordination could be a factor...

When twitter fails how do you spend your time? I find the lulls in the tweet-a-sphere allow me a break from the barrage of non stop 160 character (or less) penchants ranging from the nuts to the nude (we all know br.1tneY whatever her name is) to the teeth whitening to t-shirts (I actually get a lot of t-shirt tweets, I like that). During these lulls I like to read about sports (I'm a huge Manchester United fan, anyone else?) and well, get the social "fix" over at facebook and on the LadyUmbrella fanpage - its a busy place and I like to stay on top of it..

My question then readers - how do you spend your time during "twitter over capacity" time? Any TV shows that you watch online to fill the void? some sweet music station that no one has heard of? Perhaps a t-shirt blog that you peruse daily? There is only so much sports news in any given day, please let me know - I need ideas for when twitter fails...

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Kind of Magic...

Sometimes I just can't wait...When I was a kid at Christmas I used to get up at all hours to try see the booty that the main man, S. Claus, had dumped for me from his sack...they were good times..

This inability to wait has continued in my life - I like doing things quickly..once I created the LadyUmbrella t-shirts YouTube page I had to get some sort of video created for it, to fill the void til our other video gets edited..

The thing is though we don't have a camcorder (or whatever they are called these days?) so we had to improvise..Our improvisation resulted in this "lighting rig" being created to get enough light on the, eh, "set" (desk). I'm quite happy with the tower structure - 3 cushions from a couch for base, fold out chair for height and external hard drive combined with an art deco book to give the bedside lamp the perfect angle - yep, twas a professional set up alright...

To actually make the video I moved in super slow-mo as Elena set her camera to rapid-picture-taking-burst mode and captured over 200 stills of the magic unfolding..Then she sewed the pictures together in iMovie, we got some funky old school music, some choice sound effects and added a lot of time to get what we call a kind of magic..we got so lucky with how the timing of the music worked out (or we think so anyway) and are happy with the end result..for your viewing pleasure..

Its fair to say the Steven Spielberg probably ain't quaking in his boots and that Tom Cruise has no job concerns but we are happy with our first foray into the silver screen...if you like the video - please, tell a friend, tweet it, share it, shout about it from a mountain..the choice is yours...

Alright, nice and sweet..I'll let the moving images do the talking...oh but, ye, should also mention that we are taking pre-orders - leave us a comment on the LadyUmbrella Facebook Fanpage telling us the one you want and we'll give you a 10% discount and a guarantee of a tee - nice...peace out...

EDIT: Since posting this blog I'm delighted to say that our video has been mentioned on the awesome Teeoff Blog and the insanely cool t-shirt video page...anyone else like to mention our blog? Let me know and I'll link you...rock on..
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

I received pure gold today from the postman...

Now, I don’t know about all of you guys out there but for some, strange reason, whenever I hear mail coming through the door its delivery also gives me a sense of excitement and anticipation. Now, it is fair to say that often times this excitement proves to be folly as bills, bills and more bills are not what I would deem pure gold from the post man..

There are times though when hastily getting out of bed upon hearing the clank of the letter box and dumpf of the mail landing on the floor are merited. Like today for example..we have received our long awaited LadyUmbrella neck labels.. these babies have taken over a year to get here…no no, it didn’t take a year for them to arrive here, the good people at Franklins run a tight ship and post promptly but we have had so many redesigns throughout the process it has taken a year for the finished article to get here. So, again, big thanks to Franklins and in particular Karen who had a never ending well of patience and understanding throughout the many e-mails we exchanged. So, pure gold for us this morning when we got our neck labels, check out the them? Another example of some pure gold we got are our swanky buttons.

Lots of times we get junk mail. Junk mail, such a condescending term..sometimes it is true but sometimes those deals for pizzas or furniture or gardening tools are golden – it all depends on what you want to come through the letter box… There is a whole variety of things -well, everything more or less, obviously not a car though or giraffe or similar, they’re just too big - that can be sent through the post these days.

And what about the guys who review t-shirts and write t-shirt blogs? Is that not a cool job or what? The likes of Rangga at Cottonable, Brad at T-Shirt Review Blog, Coty at Coty Gonzales Reviews and Kat at T-shirts Around the Internet must receive a whole bunch of cool t-shirts on an almost daily basis, some of which must be pure gold...they're blogs are also pretty damn good and well worth checking out...

So, my question to you, what is the most bizarre thing you have received via the great postal services of your respective nations? Were you expecting it to arrive? And how happy were you when your own form of pure gold arrived? Really would like to know, I’m sure people out there have received the most bizarre things – let us know about it..

And, if you want some more pure gold, we’d be happy to send you some LadyUmbrella t-shirts..our online doors will soon be open…stay happy ya'll...
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lights, Cameras, Action...

It may not be the silver screen but it was my first time in front of a camera, 8 hours of shooting, one room, 3 people, 1 bottle of rum, good times and the first ever LadyUmbrella video..

We (me, Elena and Richie - the LadyUmbrella team) figured we wanted to create a nice little video to help let people find out about us and who we, we came up with "How LadyUmbrella comes to Life" - a short little movie about LadyUmbrella..Unfortunately Richie wasn't there as he is in, eh, Norway - many miles myself and Elena persevered and got in front of the camera..

We shot the movie last night on location (the directors house)and well to say we are excited is an understatement. I'm absolutely bubbling with anticipation and just can't wait to see it..sadly, it will take about 2 weeks of editing, the main man, the Latvian Spielberg, Mr. Ivars Burtnieks, has big plans for how it is going to look and we are confident that he will make it look insanely confident we set up the LadyUmbrella YouTube - I'm still just trying to figure it out though, so subscribe and check will become a stockpile for all things digital, moving and LadyUmbrella..I'd love to divulge a lot more about the movie but I can't..all I can do is hope that you'll watch it when the time comes...

What I can do however is show you some pictures..Whilst "on set" (hehe) we took a few, a behind the scenes expose if you will, of us making the video...hope you like can see more of them at the LadyUmbrella Facebook Fanpage and sure, why not become a fan whilst you're there...

And thats it, lights, camera action baby..Ivars - a big thank you to you man, we know it will look incredible...and readers, LUFANS (LadyUmbrella Fans) and general lost surfers don't forget to check out our Compe-tee-tion for a chance to win some LadyUmbrella t-shirts...Take care all..

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

A big idea and a big beard..

One serious man, with one serious beard who I recently came across is a fascinating character called Aubrey de Grey. It was during one of my many sleepless nights when I happened upon It's Only a Theory, a TV show where scientists or those with theories come before a panel of judges who'll say whether or not their theory is credible.

Mr. de Grey's (although he might prefer Aubrey, or at least he did on the show) theory was that "the first person to live to 1,000 years has already been born"..Wow, I thought...He then gave what I believed to be very convincing arguments as to why this is true...the advances we have made from 60 years ago when life expectancy was about 40 to where we are now with life expectancy at a haughty 70 years + in some places. He believes that the advances we have had in "sickness prevention" (his research is not to keep you alive forever but to try keep you healthy whilst living) will increase exponentially and that we are living a lot longer now due to medical advances and the reduction of child mortality rates. Now, the the medical profession - of which I have absolutely no connection or knowledge of, I just watched this show and was gobsmacked - are turning their attention to medical techniques that will rejuvenate our biological age, roll the clock back as it were...if we have added 30 years in the last 60 years (and my figures may be wrong, I'll happily stand corrected, just lazily going from memory as I'm tired) then any sort of exponential growth will see us adding many more years in a short period of time giving rise to the idea that the first person who will live to 1,000 years is already born...

I believe the title of of Aubreys theory was "The Methuselah Theory" and after a quick google have found a video link to it here. I won't let you know whether or not the 3 judges thought his theory was valid but from where I stand (or sit rather) I really do think its possible and I agree with what Aubrey said. He is clearly a man of immense knowledge and clearly a man who likes his beards...As beards go that is one of the most impressive I have ever seen, so on every level, Mr. de Grey, you impress me very much...I don't know if I would like to live to 1,000 but to have the choice would be nice...what do you think? 1,000 years possible?

So, thats the big beard covered, now the big idea (although the following is a let down compared to living 1,000 years)..this idea is big I think..real big, in fact it could be so big I don't yet know how big it is or how big it may get, I think that the key thing to note though is that it is a big idea..The idea has kept me up for 2 days, full with excitement, anticipation and thoughts of how it might work and if it will work..It'll be an experiment of sorts but unfortunately I can't divulge anything yet - just watch this space..

So, again, will we live to 1,000? Is there already a person on the planet who will live to 1,000? And, would you like to live to 1,000? Or, who is the oldest person you know and how long do they have until they reach 1,000? Love to hear what you all think about this possibly life changing (or extending at least) theory...

EDIT: Since posting I've become even more interested in the whole thing and figured I'd do a google or two, here is a newspaper report about the show in question for more information.
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Monday, October 5, 2009


Hola todos..I'm back after attending my first Spanish class so feeling positively in the mood for a siesta..also ready, willing and able to count up to like 20...alas, I can't count how many buttons we have here...buttons, lovely, finger pricking, buttons...

For me its an exciting thing - you ask, how can buttons (or badges) be an exciting thing? But, they represent the progress at LadyUmbrella ladies t-shirts. We're at the point now where we are just tying up the loose ends as it were in the anticipation of our launch..buttons were something we wanted to get and once we came across Pure Buttons it was a done deal...they have a great friendly service (really, they do, thanks Jeff) and the product they provide is genuinely top have lots of different options and ordering is a pretty straightforward thing - check the site and you'll see...And, to top it all off, they'll even give you some buttons for free if you give them a link to their page (or, they used to anyway) which is ideal if you want to test the water as it were...speaking as someone who has their toes wet I'm about to don my Speedos and do my best Phelps impression...UPS are gonna be hauling a Santas sack worth of buttons my way pretty, look at them, they're swanky in the extreme...

So ye, Spanish...I figured its time to learn...signed up to a beginners course and am rolling r's and coughing up chunks trying to say J - ah, languages...I've been to Spain a few times so for now the Spanish course is handy enough, I do have a feeling though that we are just being eased in only to be engulfed in a bewildering world of wild ñ and other strange looking letters...anyway, I'll keep ya'll posted...

Our great LadyUmbrella T-Shirt Compe-TEE-tion is still running and we have almost received 100 entries which is startling in the extreme but also pretty damn cool...keep them coming...

Alrighty, and that'll do it for now... would love to hear what you think of our buttons? and, if any of the readers out there have any questions about LadyUmbrella, SEO, marketing, t-shirts or Spanish (well, maybe in a few weeks) - feel free to ask...would love to hear from you guys...rock on..
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Friday, October 2, 2009

Blogs, t-shirts and competition tips..

Hello again avid readers - the multitudes of you out that read this, I hope..I'm sure..Well, as always we've been busy here at LadyUmbrella ladies t-shirts, foraging away diligently behind the scenes, running our competition and trying to get the word out..trying to get the word out - the story of my life, I'm a bonafide promo pimp now..

..and, I'm happy to say things are working out nicely so thing I've learned is that you need to, or should really try to, get blogs written about you, your brand and company..Its incredible what happens if you get a few and then as a result you get some nice traffic to your page and can connect with some more people who like what you are doing..We've recently got 3 blogs written about us and I'd just like to list them here for you all and also say thanks to those who wrote them for us...
Mums Day Out - A blog all the way from New Zealand..nice to get a mention from the other side of the world..Shirt Snob - An informative blog that you don't have to read - it will read to you - how nifty is that? And lastly, but by now means least, Rock Steady Vibes - a very well written blog, longest one yet about stuff..These blog posts have help spread the word of LadyUmbrella and we're forever indebted..

And what about the LadyUmbrella t-shirt competition..well, its too early to call it a success but to any t-shirt company out there looking to get more fans or whatever I can't recommend getting a competition going enough..They are incredible..To date we've had over 80 entries from all over the world..We have gained about another 150 LadyUmbrella facebook fans and ultimately a lot more people know about LadyUmbrella t-shirts. So, how do I suggest you do it?

Firstly, I think its important to make sure your competition is easy to enter, not just the actual entering part itself but also the question or want to include as many people as possible and make it simple for them to enter..KISS - keep it short and simple..

Secondly, you should set targets for what you want to achieve out of a competition..Do you want to swell your mailing list numbers, get more facebook/twitter/myspace fans or do you want to try get sales as a direct result of the competition? For us, we want to get more fans and spread the word of LadyUmbrella..this is primarily because we are a new t-shirt brand and company..more bedded in brands may want to get sales directly from the competition..

Once you have decided upon your competition and how it will be entered with some realistic targets set now the games begin..You have to promote the life out of the competition..Get on twitter, facebook, myspace and shout about your competition (obviously don't shout aggressively though, be friendly like)..this will get you some traffic and entries..Get down and dirty with Google and see what it returns for searches like "sweepstakes submit", "online sweepstakes", "sweepstakes forums"...If you get lucky you'll find some incredible forums with thousands of active members who just live to "comp" (as they call it)..there are also lots of directory type sites for competitions that also have huge numbers using them to "comp"..Here are a few that we have used and that have been effective for us:

- - very active forum in NZ, quite a few entries and a nice friendly forum
- - not sure how much entries this one has given me but we do get page views from it
- - has got a lot of traffic for me, not sure about entries/new fans
- - got a few entries from here
- - not that successful but they all help
- - not a lot of traffic from here but again all helps
- - not a whole lot of success here but....

Ok so, the last three listed weren't dynamite fan making entry yielding machines for me this day and age of King Google it is important to get backlinks to your page to appease the SEO(verlord) and the even if sites don't give you a lot of traffic they will give you that all important backlink..hopefully some of you will find some use for the above?

And what about LadyUmbrella t-shirts..when will they be here? The quest in trying to get t-shirts produced to our exact spec is drawing to a close..we hope..its been a long and winding road but the end line is almost in site..Production should commence soon and then it will be party time..(or time to sell t-shirts rather)..Rest assured that once we get them I'll take pictures of them like they are a new born baby and have them up here for you all to see..

Alright, I'm going to call time on this soiree...first blog in October, in the can..rock on all...
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

LadyUmbrella in Glorious Black and White

Hello world, Rob here, reporting for duty...well, I'm still dying to find out if anyone reads this thing - really, if you do, if you get to the end of any of my wordy posts, please let me know...even if you just get to line 2 let me know...

Ok so, glorious black and my last post I mastered the art of inserting pictures, my foray into that art has proved timely as we got our first mention in a newspaper the other day..the Leinster Leader, a Kildare based weekly newspaper..sure, its no Wall Street Journal (like they'd write about quirky ladies t-shirts anyway) but it is our first mention in black and white so I'm happy to be able to share it with all our good readers out there...if you're out there...are you out there??

And, I'm going to be disciplined here and keep this blog short but not before I give a shout out to AlwaysThinkin a dynamite site I came across via the medium of twitter. These guys have kindly agreed to interview us to bring the word of LadyUmbrella to the masses...besides that they have a fine collection of all things good..really, check 'em out..

Finally, our competition is rip roaring along now, we've got over 40 entries already, some funny, some cheesy, some borderline sleazy but all greatly appreciated...don't miss out on the party and check the entries yourself at the LadyUmbrella Facebook Fanpage and sure whilst you're there you might as well enter...finish in ten words or less "Warning: LadyUmbrella may not keep you dry but..." - you know you want to win some LadyUmbrella t-shirts..

..and I'm done in no more than 4 paragraphs, a picture and a sentence - nice...
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

LadyUmbrella T-Shirt Competition and Glam Rock..

Hey all, hope this post meets you all in good, the never ending day consisting of promoting LadyUmbrella Ladies T-shirts has taken a new and all together more giving approach..we've laucnhed our first t-shirt competition and are giving away 6 LadyUmbrella t-shirts to 3 lucky winners..see the details just to the left..We really want lots of you to enter so join us on theLadyUmbrella Facebook Fanpage and enter that way or else feel free to leave me a comment here..I'll make sure that it gets job I guess..

..So, what about the prizes?? Well, drum roll time but surprise surprise we are awarding LadyUmbrella t-shirts (of the winners choice)as prizes..In total we will have 3 winners each winning 2 t-shirts of their choice.. The t-shirts should look a little something like this LadyUmrbella is Away with the Birds...

Now, onto the glam I've said before I do like the rock and roll and the other night had the pleasure of seeing Eazy Tyger, a band who are putting the eazy back in sleazy..

These guys can put on a show, now, I may not be the biggest fan of their music (but it is good) but the show was incredible..I've been to lots of gigs and have never seen a band just rock out and have so much fun..everyone who was there was captivated..its fair to say these guys have some balls, take that as a metaphor or seriously - check out a show, tight pants don't lie like - and just rock out to the max..During the first song a string broke "No problem, we'll do it with just one guitar..or, anyone want to play air guitar with us, and I mean proper air shred guitar"..the singers plea got two "hairys" to jump on up stage and rock out with the guys..the whole show was recorded and will be shown on Mixtape (a quality site that shows podcasts of Irish bands, singers, songwriters and a whole host of other interesting things - nominated for 7 web awards, if you haven't heard of them yet you will soon)...So, on Eazy Tygers page you can check out their closing anthem, "One in the Chamber", about well, having balls..Thoroughly enjoyable band to watch and I'd recommend you check them if you want to be blown away by the return of glam rock, to Dublin if not the world..As the guys warned the crowd early on in the gig "We're more than Steel Panther than the Beetles" - that is a fact...A quick youtube search yielded a short clip of what they do...

Until next time, take care and I'll be sure to keep you posted on how the competition is going, any new LadyUmbrella developments or anything that I come across...
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Smörgåsbord of t-shirt this and that..

Hello world, avid readers, lost websurfers...Welcome to the fourth installment of LadyUmbrella quirky ladies t-shirts and life..I do apologise for the delay in getting around to writing another blog alas I was in Spain for a week...poor me - it was sunny in Spain, lots of tapas eaten, cold beers drank and in general good times had..back to Ireland now and back to the grind...

So, Spain, the was great..spending time with family and friends over there and trying to get a shop or two interested in selling our wares..and I think it was a successful, there is nothing concrete but we have some stores in mind and we can dream about having a little LadyUmbrella shop on one of the meandering and bewitching winding streets of the Gothic Area in Barcelona..the place is truly incredible, like something out of a fairytale, narrow cobbled streets snaking between, around and through all sorts of bizarre architecture - really nice..Whilst there we had hoped to meet up with a Swedish friend who works with a pretty damn good Swedish band called Industri Royal. One of the guitar players in the band wants to wear one of our t-shirts, LadyUmbrella is Friends With David Attenborough and we figured why not...rock and roll huh? in fact, heres a link now, a tune of theirs called Location, Location, Location - perhaps fitting considering Barcelona would be the perfect place for LadyUmbrella t-shirts...and its a pretty catchy, funky and cool tune...

In recent weeks it has dawned on me that LadyUmbrella has become my life..and I love it..between twitter (@ladyumbrellaltd - say hi), LadyUmbrella Facebook, LadyUmbrella MySpace and a whole gang load t-shirt forums, blogs and web traffic stat pages I've found that I'm spending about 17 hours a day with the company..and its great..With each passing day we are getting closer to launching and we're getting a whole lot of extras lined up like stickers and badges..these really are exciting times..

Other things of t-shirt interest for us are that there a few shops interested in talking to us about stocking LadyUmbrella which is incredible, well, I think so anyway...sure, for Nike or similar its just another day but when you start out with jack and zero and build it up it feels good, rewarding, satisfying...really, try it yourself...Unfortunately I can't disclose the shops yet but all will be revealed in due time...we also have a lot of pre orders for our t-shirts now..starting to wonder if we are ordering enough LadyUmbrella t-shirts for the first batch, time will tell I can however ensure you don't miss out on the limited edition first batch by leaving us a comment on our facebook page - go go go..

So, I mentioned badges..who would like one? In fact, if you pre order, you'll get a badge or about that? Get in touch, I'd love to know if anyone actually reads this or am I giving my fingers all this ache and agony for nothing??

Anyway, compared to my other "novels" this blog seems relatively short so I'll end it now, short and sweet...
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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Part 2: Dragons Den type investment for a t-shirt company? - yay or nae..

Hello all,

I'm back once again (like the renegade master) to try and finish off what I started in the first part of this 2 part mini blog series regarding a Dragons Den style investment for small and start up t-shirt companies...I'm of the opinion that getting the silver spoon and leg up would curb what you can learn by starting out at the bottom, square one, Google Page Rank Zero.

So, I'll launch into the final points that I want to touch on about what I've learned since I started LadyUmbrella with my girlfriend a touch over a year ago...

- Packaging
When you get to the packaging stage one might be inclined to give oneself a pat on the back and deem the job done...I strongly disagree...the packaging is key to your product, be it delivered from an online sale or hanging on a rack in a shop.. Its similar to the old adage, "you never get a second chance to make a first impression", words which have rung in my ears many times before a job interview, and it is also true for your t-shirts..Go the extra mile..see the packaging as another chance to strengthen your, how should you ship your t-shirts? My suggestion would be to get some good, water proof plastic type envelopes so that your t-shirt is guaranteed to stay dry (we don't know how they'll be handled in transit or what may happen to them, give them every chance of being pristine upon arrival). Then, package the t-shirt itself. It could be placed in a see through protective kinda plastic or perhaps a nice paper the package why not give the customer something extra? - a badge, a postcard, stickers...anything that that might make them smile as they weren't expecting it - some chocolate? and also a personalized "Thank you XYZ for purchasing.." - give it the human for the outside of the envelope again, this a canvas. How many hands might this envelope pass through before it gets to the destination - why not make it look good and have your web address on it, a nice looking package might get some more business but crucially it will make the customer happy from the moment they get it...and if the customers likes your envelope how happy are they going to be if they get extra "goodies" and a personalized note?? ..possibly happy enough to tell a friend or two and you don't get better marketing than that...

- Marketing
To be honest, I know marketing is important but I just don't know enough about it to really try give any heads up or advice on it (actually, the same could be said for more or less all of the "help" I've tried to give - I hereby disclaim any liabilities hehe). I guess with marketing you have to be consistent and clever...consistent in what you are saying and clever in how you are saying it..What is the overall message of your brand or company and how can you best say it? Any catchy slogans that can capture the companies spirit, values or ideas that people can remember easily?...Then, how are you going to market it, via what mediums? Online, papers, billboards, tv, radio, etc...for me and most other start up t-shirt business with no moo-lah online has to be the way to go...

- Online
Its a big world out there...but, the web is even bigger...The internet is a ferocious and fast paced place, one minute no one has heard of you and then one big blog post and you're servers are getting crushed with traffic (or we can all dream at least)..I have found the web to be vital in trying to get LadyUmbrella t-shirts up and start with you need a website..there are lots online t-shirt stores that you can create an account with like Cafepress or similar. Initially you have to decide whether to go the cafepress route or to get your own domain name..for me, there was only ever one option, we had to get (and were thankful that no one else had got it)..I think if you have your own domain rather than a cafepress type one it just seems like you've put in extra effort to get your company somewhere (and in no way am I saying Cafepress sites are no good or that the people who use them took the easy option) but I just think you're own domain is a bit more professional..another bonus is that they can be easier for people to remember..

So, we have our what..assuming that you have your online store up and running the next most important thing is to get people to it and get them, how do you get people to your site? Step 1 - SEO the crap out of it, make sure you have you're keywords set and that crawlers can "read" it easily (just google SEO tips and put the kettle on). Step 2 - get active in the t-shirt community, blogs, forums and the people who already do what you want to do, you'll learn a lot (thats where I got my "knowledge" anyway)..Step 3 - get familiar with how google rates pages and get pages to link to your page..I guess, step 3 is just the marriage of step 1 and 2...the more links you have to your page the better (within the Google rules though)..To be honest, I could ramble on about the online section for weeks, just google, read, prepared to put in serious hours online and cross your fingers that it will pay off..

- Branding
Well, this is similar to marketing for me..I've no background in marketing/branding at all (the rockin' IT man here)..all I have are my own thoughts from what I've seen, read, observed and understood..I think to build a brand you need to get some foundations laid down..the foundations being (as I see it anyway), getting a good web domain so people have a place to go to find out about your brand. Be consistent in your designs (to a degree) especially at the start..try get one thing that is unique to your company/brand and shout it from the hilltops.. Distinguish yourself from your competitors with your USP (fancy lingo I learned on Dragons Den, unique selling point) so that you stand out...once you have the good foundations you can then experiment...kinda like in the music world, the bands first album has got to be good and kick ass, the second (the dreaded second) should be similar to the first and expand on the bands sound..if its a good second album generally the band will have cemented their fan base and can then try and create a few jazz oddities on their 3rd album..

- Selling
The final part of the process...without sales the circle just isn't complete and will quickly fall in upon itself..I hope to report back to you soon with wonderful stories of LadyUmbrella sales soon and let you know what I've learned about how to we're awaiting our stock I'm still yet to sell...although, one thing I have learned is that you can take pre-orders (plug plug - you can pre order your LadyUmbrella t-shirts by leaving a comment ), so why not do that? try create a bit of a "buzz" about your product before D-Day..get your mock ups online and let people "rate" them..offer them a 10% discount on their first order if they rate a tee or something (plug plug - you can get a 10% discount on your first LadyUmbrella order by voting for us here and leaving a facebook comment on our fanpage here)...I guess, what I'm trying to say with regards to sales is make it your job - do not miss a chance to tell someone about what you are selling or what you are going to sell..Your product should be your passion and your life - so tell people about it...over...and over...and over...

Alright, so, another long, rambling blog but its done now...Part 1 and 2 in the can and this, I'm sure you'll be glad to hear, will not become a trilogy..I'll talk about something else next time...I don't know'll just have to wait and see...

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Dragons Den type investment for a t-shirt company? - yay or nae..

Hello world, 2nd blog, exciting times...hehe, I'll try make it briefer than my first one...

..well, I've just watched the final episode in the latest edition of the UK version of the Dragons Den...what an inspirational show I think..a show that shows with a decent idea, some hard work and research, business acumen and real desire it is possible to get a large investment and some serious expertise which would get your business up and great would that be if you were trying to start a t-shirt company??

But then, I started thinking...sure, having lots of money would be great and would make a t-shirt company a lot easier to get going but having a ton of cash initially might slow down the learning curve as it were..the DIY side of getting a company going which has really started to consume me, is absolutely fascinating..anyone else suffering from a similar affliction? enjoying the trials and tribulations of the t-shirt world...

As I don't have a wad of cash and the expertise of a Dragon I've had to just put in a lot of man hours to fill the void..tI'll now briefly list the things that I have learned and done in the last few months to try get LadyUmbrella up and running..

- Idea
Get a decent idea, be it for a series of shirts, a collection or once off shirts, make sure its a good idea..but then, what is a good idea? Ideas and t-shirts in particular are so open to interpretation and totally subjective that not everyone will agree with your idea. One day you may get ego swelling props and crushing and scathing criticism the next but for an idea to be given the chance to become reality you need to believe in it...not to a foolish extent, not if all the research you have done says there is no demand and you're idea is continually being berated, if that is the case it may be time to move on..if however, you're getting a blend of responses then believe in the idea and continue..

- The Tee
Make sure its good. Don't settle. Don't do anything half assed. We have gone through so many samples and stages with LadyUmbrella to get to where we are now...we didn't settle with our first concept, sure, we liked it and lots of other people did too but we weren't 100% behind it...don't be scared to say no to your screen printer or t-shirt supplier, tell them exactly what you want and until the produce it don't accept..If it happens that they give you exactly what you specified but the reality is that your idea isn't where you wanted it to be then rethink your idea..evolve it, roll with it, expand on it...thing big with it...or, thats what we are trying to do with LadyUmbrella t-shirts anyway...

- How to specify your tee
This has been one of the most painstaking things for us at LadyUmbrella..coming from an I.T background measuring t-shirts is not something I had any idea about...Google is there though, google will help, it always does...if you need to measure the arm hole depth of a t-shirt, the upper thigh, the lower tight, the hem yada yada - do it...Don't assume that your manufacturer will know what you want...try get samples or similar styles as reference for your manufacturer...for your artwork get down and dirty with Pantones..the PMS (Pantone Matching System) is what screen printers use to determine the exact colour of the artwork- use a swatch book to get the exact colour or you can find the pantone from bear in mind though that generally monitors are all calibrated differently so the colour you see may not actually be the same when printed - get the book or a sample to ensure you're got the right colour...Measure you're designs..measure their orientation from the hem, the neck and the sides of the t-shirt..sketch it out with the measurements overlaid on a mockup - you do this then you'll get the product you want..

- Finish the tee
Personally, I'm a fan of neck me, they say that the person who made the t-shirt cared enough to put their name on it clearly and went the extra mile to get a kick ass t-shirt...Neck labels are a great place to put a web address, slogan or some words to make the customer thing...they are also another way of getting creative and to put your logo..Make sure your customer never forgets who they have bought the t-shirt from...There are lots of other ways of finishing tees but my favourite is a neck do you finish your tees?

I must apologise..I've had a quick scroll up and am horrified at the length of this blog already..I had intended to make it a shorter my next blog I'll try to discuss what else I've learned to date regarding t-shirts - packaging, selling, marketing, branding and online...Hope there was something of use in this to some of you out there...let me know...
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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Heuston: We Have Lift Off (t-shirt blog lift off)

Hello world,

Well, first thing I'm going to do before I launch into this blog is to introduce myself, I don't know if its customary to do that in blogs or not but I'll be polite and do it anyway..

I am Rob, 26 years old, living in Dublin, Ireland and currently starting to run a t-shirt business called LadyUmbrella..."t-shirt business?" you say - already intrigued huh?

Well, to get to this stage I've avoided all the shortcuts, gone down many long and winding roads (which I'll divulge in future blogs, oh the stories) and pursued different things...So, how did I stumble upon the t-shirt business - not from anything I studied anyway...

When I finished school I went onto performance music college for a 2 year diploma..I rocked my socks off there in a band called Made in Taiwan and made some life long buddies..the 2 years there were all too short and the good times that were had there were unimaginable: being on stage in a pretty good band, meeting new people, "chillin", being around creative/musical people and having a cool bunch of teachers and lecturers who just, to their very core, lived and "vibed" with the music...they were phenomenal times where I met life long friends (like this guy, Richie, who played bass in M.i.T and also works with me in the LadyUmbrella business - here is his blog) and I fondly recall all the sweet rockage...The course was truly great and although the credentials I gained from it might not have been stellar, it was wonderfully put by one of our lecturers as we were leaving for the last time "You've gained some very important and useful life skills"....Rock on!!!

Then, once I obtained my diploma in music I did what all budding rockstars do and went on to do a degree in, eh, I.T...why I did this I'm still not sure...I guess it was a combination of A) Being able to type B) Having enough points to get accepted to the college C) In the back of my mind (even though I was wearing purple flared cord pants at the time - no, they weren't in fashion) I figured getting a degree and living the student life for 4 more years would be a good idea..set myself up for life as it were so that, in case and just in case the rockin' didn't work out, I'd have something to fall back onto..

Well, I did my time...4 years of I like computers now? - no...can I still type - yes...would I do it again - its a coin toss...I learned a whole heap about computers and got a good degree but sitting in front of a computer all day was just not for me (blogging and facebooking are totally different though, ye?)...I got a job in computers when I graduated and lasted for....drumroll...1 week..I e-mailed my boss on the Saturday just letting him know that I wouldn't be back - one week was long enough to solidify the fact that computers were not for me...

Since then I've had spells as a door to door salesman, a fund accountant, and a band manager..all interesting in their own right but I won't go into to them at length at the minute...ultimately, the key point to note is that I've found my way into the realm of t-shirts...

How? Well, I've been unemployed for a while, not lazy or being a spunge, but just trying to see what will fit for me..Being my own boss is the, how could I do this, be my own boss and live the dream...I fortunately came across a Spanish designer, befriended her and started going out with her...turned out she, amongst other things that she is wonderful at, could draw and photoshop like no one I'd ever seen before..

So, about a year ago she had some sketches and did her magic and made them appear in photoshop (its not magic really, I know that, I have a degree in I.T hehe)...the designs were pretty narly and the concept and name, LadyUmbrella, were also pretty interesting..I did some online research and created a survey...went and begged people to do my survey (not just friends but randomers, friends tell you what you want to hear) and got some pretty positive results...We then decided to have a good go at it and see if we can set up a t-shirt company.

We are a year down the road now...the designs have been rejigged numerous times, tears have been shed, set backs have been met, google has been utilised to the max and many many hours have gone into, we are online at and Facebook (feel free to "fan up") and are just weeks away from getting our stock (how many weeks, we're not quite sure but we wait patiently/frustratingly) and are getting giddy about our launch..

Finally, what is this blog about? We'll, I'd like to think I've learned a bit in last year or so about t-shirts and hope to divulge that to whoever may be reading (please say hi or leave a comment if you read this, otherwise my finger ache is for nothing)...Also hope to tell some interesting stories and post the rare gem of a Youtube link when I find made me laugh...hard...I also hope to let the world know about how LadyUmbrella and our t-shirts are progressing as that is what I do now - 18 hours a day, 7 days a week...would I change it for an I.T. job? - no...for a fund accounting job? - no...for a door to door sales job? - be a rockstar? - quite possibly...

On that note...

Rock on...
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