Budi is an experienced T shirt artist and joint owner of Concrete Rocket, with many of his designs previously featured on Threadless. We ask him how his label is doing 2 years after we spoke to him last...View the Tees
Hi Budi. Our paths first crossed a couple of years ago now – how has your business progressed in this time and what difficulties have you overcome?
It has been good. Concrete Rocket now has 26 different t-shirt designs as compared to 3 when we started. We faced difficulty to find t-shirt supplier and printer in the past (as any other t-shirt stores), but we finally managed to found a reliable one. The other difficulty was to come up with new, fresh and sellable designs that were still in the Concrete Rocket aesthetic.
Your playful, graphic style is similar to the technique Banksy uses with his stencils. Do you find Banksy an influence in particular or has this style developed naturally?
I would not say Banksy is the only one, although his images are some of the strongest. There are a lot
of stencil graphic artists out there. If you check my other works as graphic designer in general, you will see I use a lot of silhouette. This particular approach for Concrete Rocket comes as expected.
I notice you are now selling jackets on your website – was your aim always to expand from the tshirt lines?
Not really, the strongest selling point for Concrete Rocket is the graphic t-shirts. We just thought it would be nice to open up the possiblity of making Concrete Rocket as an extensive clothing store.
I’ve noticed the advancements in your website over the last 2 years – how important is your website and online marketing to your business and what offline strategies do you use?
We are still selling most of our t-shirts online. The online presence is important because it means we can open our store to wider audience (worldwide), 24 hours a day. I must admit we do not do online marketing that extensively. Online marketing consumes a lot of time and resource and I think we still need to formulate the correct way to do it. As far as the offline goes, the word from mouth to mouth is the way to go.
Which online marketing methods do you find work best for you currently?
I market the artwork instead of just the t-shirt. I know a lot of people talk about selling the brand/name, but Concrete Rocket is entirely about the graphic. I post the designs on graphic design blogs and articles. So far it has been the best way to market Concrete Rocket.
You say on your website that you ’started out on a small scale with big ambition’. What are your plans over the next 2 years and how do you see yourselves expanding?
We want to have more designs on Concrete Rocket. We are also planning to find a way to start wholesaling the t-shirts again (we abandoned the idea because of previous problems with post and customs) and marketing the t-shirts more rigorously. The dream right now is to find a few reliable offline and online partners to carry the t-shirts.
Visit Concrete Rocket to view more of Budi’s work