Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Shop Spotlight: Rad Dad Tees

Kevin is a 28 year old graphic designer/illustrator from Connecticut, and the creator and owner of Rad Dad Tees. When his wife, Renee, became pregnant with their first child, Canaan, in November of 2012, the excitement of becoming a dad quickly gave way to the inspiration to start a tee-shirt company just for dads. Before long, Rad Dad Tees was born.

"I'm passionate about being the best dad I can be and I strive to encourage men who have kids to be rad dads. My vision is for Rad Dad Tees to be the platform in which to cultivate a community of family-focused dads who are devoted to raising their children with love.

When I'm not doing Rad Dad Tees stuff, I'm either spending time with my family and friends, hiking, running, listening to or making music, enjoying a cold beer, watching TV, and/or eating cookies. I also really love pizza, and burritos. Like, a lot.

I came up with the idea for Rad Dad Tees shortly after my wife and I found out we were having a baby. That was back in November, 2012. I noticed that there were plenty of dad t-shirts available online, but none of them were ones that I, nor any of my dad friends, would wear. I felt like not much thought or time went into the design of the majority of dad shirts that were available. So, I thought I'd start my own 'dad t-shirt' company. For the better part of a year, I spent much of my free time designing t-shirts, and the Rad Dad Tees branding. I set up a website and store. I got my friends to model my t-shirts as I took photos with a borrowed Nikon camera. I had stickers made, a custom stamp made, I ordered boxes, and fabric tags. I bought a sewing machine to sew those tags on with. I set up social media accounts for Rad Dad Tees. I spread the word to all of my friends on Facebook. I was super excited.

I launched raddadtees.com on November 22, 2013. Shortly after that, I launched the Rad Dad Tees Etsy shop, at the suggestion of my super supportive wife. I've been running both completely by myself ever since. From design, to ordering inventory, to customer service, packing orders and logistics, to marketing, social media, and bookkeeping; I currently wear all of the hats at my young company. I even sew the small fabric RAD DAD TEES tags onto each and every t-shirt. It's a small touch, but I believe it makes a big impact on my customers, and one of my main goals is to make my customers happy and keep them coming back and telling their friends. 

My t-shirts are screen-printed at a Connecticut print shop called Print Indie. Two of my very good friends just so happen to be the owners of Print Indie. They do a great job, and I couldn't be more satisfied with the quality of their work. I currently use American Apparel t-shirts exclusively. Everyone likes American Apparel because their t-shirts are very well made. I also love them because they are American-made and sweat-shop free. That is very important to me. I want to run a company that is recognized for it's ethical practices. I'm not interested in purchasing inexpensive foreign-made supplies if it means that the people who made those supplies were exploited in any way, including unfair wages, unsafe working conditions, unreasonably long workdays, and/or physical abuse. I and my company are strictly against the contribution to those types of business practices. I want to actively avoid treading on anyone for my own advantage, even if it means my company grows at a much slower rate than the average successful company.

To further drive the above point home, Rad Dad Tees donates 10% of every item sold at full price to a non-profit organization called Love 146. Love 146 exists to help put a stop to human trafficking and child exploitation. As the founder/owner of Rad Dad Tees, I believe I have a responsibility to give back. As I've said, my company is still very small, so the amount I'm giving back is not relatively substantial, but as Rad Dad Tees grows and becomes more and more successful, that 10% of profits will one day be a good chunk of change. Enough to make a change.

Rad Dad Tees's website and blog.
See more of Kevin's work in his Etsy shop or connect with him


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  1. Love this! And love the idea of giving back. I, too, have been a supporter of Love146 over the years. Not through my shop, just in giving :) Great feature! Awesome tees!

  2. Great shop! I love Rad Dad Tees!


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