I was totally blown away when I first stumbled upon Sullen Clothing. In a time where I often cringe at the idea of a tattoo related t-shirt company, Sullen Clothing is a breath of fresh air. The roster of artists they have is absolutely ridiculous – and it continues to grow.
I shot the Sullen crew a couple questions about the brand, and what the future had in store. Jim was nice enough to answer them, and even nicer for tossing in a discount code for you!
Tattoo Snob: How did Sullen first get started? Who was involved at square one?
Jim: Sullen trademarked in 1999. In March of 2001 we sold clothes off our couch in an apartment in Downtown Huntington Beach. Ryan Smith and Jeremy Hanna were the primary partners in the beginning, an investor came along around year 5 to help make the ship run smooth.
TS: How many are involved in the daily business now?
Jim: Currently we have 9 full timers and a few outside sales reps.
TS: The Sullen family is an array of artists, musicians, and extreme sport athletes. Is the family a representation of what are interested and involved in?
Jim: We sponsor professional athletes like TJ Ellis who is a Freestyle BMX rider, who finished 3rd overall at the Dew Tour. Destin Cantrell is our FMX rider, who was nominated for best new rider at the Transworld Motocross awards show. Chad Knight skates for us, and we have a hand full of fighters who call Sullen home.
Sullen is a family for sure we work with tattooers such as Jeff Gogue, Nikko Hurtado, Carlos Torres, Big Gus, Bob Tyrrell, Jack Rudy, Corey Miller, Tom Berg, Jack Mosher, Hunter Spanks, Jason Butcher, Carlos Rojas, Norm, Jay Langer, Preston Chambers, Steve Soto, Christian Nguyen, and Shawn Barber to name a few. Most of these guys paint and draw with us, but we have a personal realtionship with all of them. Being a small company without big money, we focus our efforts on building friendships and hope to grow them lifelong.
TS: That’s an impressive list. I know several of them have their work featured on various products, who’s in the Fall ’09 line?
Jim: For Fall 09 we have Corey Miller, Preston Chambers, Shawn Barber, Big Gus, Carlos Rojas, Carlos Torres, Jack Mosher, Hunter Spanks and Jeff Gogue.
TS: Can you tell us if any of them are going to be in the next line of clothing?
Jim: Our next offering will be Holiday where we are dropping a Collaboration T with Carey Hart’s Hart & Huntington Brand. We started a design and emailed it to there creative team and went back and forth till the piece was finished.
Spring’s our next big season with Franco Vescovi from OC Inkhouse coming on board, also Paolo Acuna, Flaks, an amazing apprentice from Europe named Vicky Morgan adding to the line. Kim Saigh also has a piece in our womens line.
TS: Have any of these artists tattooed any employees or other family members of Sullen?
Jim: A bunch of the guys here have been tattooed by the artist we work with including the owner, Ryan Smith, who still tattoo’s people on a regular basis.
TS: Where can people find Sullen clothing at?
TS: Any chance we could get a discount code for Tattoo Snob readers?
Jim: We will make a code called “Snob” for your readers 15%
TS: Any last minute plugs?
Jim: We would like to say thanks to all the artists that we’ve worked with – without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Check out Sullen Clothing for additional information.