As Coloradoans, we’re all for celebrating our wonderful state – and we’re lucky to have companies like ColoradoCool Apparel that allow us to show our CO pride in the form of t-shirts, hats and more. Started by founder John, a local graphic artist, ColoradoCool Apparel offers apparel and accessories that sport John’s unique Colorado-themed designs. Be sure to visit ColoradoCool Apparel at the Spring Market so you, too, can add some creative Colorado flair to your wardrobe.
WHAT DOES YOUR BRAND MEAN TO YOU?
We love creating products that people within our Colorado community and living our lifestyle identify with. A big part of the reason I started ColoradoCool Apparel was to try and create products our friends could wear that featured things we love to do in all the amazing locations Colorado has to offer. It’s easy to take for granted how many epic spots Colorado has, but when you start trying to choose a handful of locations to rep an entire state, or even just an entire area code…its pretty wild how hard it is to narrow it down. We hope our brand grows enough to where we can begin to give back to the environment and the community that inspired our brand. It’s not just about a lifestyle or the geography Colorado offers…we love the people here as well.
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR STARTING YOU BRAND?
I have always loved creating art….I majored in design at CSU but spent so much time partying during and for a few years after college that I wasn’t giving it a real shot. A time came in my life where I realized I needed to escape the self-destructive cycle I was in – and diving into
WHAT WAS THE FIRST PRODUCT YOU CREATED?
The “COat of Arms” was part of our original lineup, and I believe it was the first design I finished.
HOW HAS YOUR BRAND EVOLVED?
The biggest change is that we now use the Colorado Flag in our designs. We really wanted to be unique and stand apart from the other local brands, so for the first two years we didn’t use it at all. However, we got so many requests that we work the flag into our designs, we finally caved. To be honest, we have had a great time with it and are happy we now use it. However, we do still manufacture plenty of products that do not include the flag to keep our brand unique and its own. We also do our best to make our flag designs as unique as possible, although it can be difficult with everything out there! We have also changed printers several times because we refused to settle for less than spectacular quality. We now print through Superior Ink in Denver and absolutely LOVE working with them. We have always manufactured our hats through Zephyr and have never been disappointed with quality, they make terrific hats!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PRODUCT OR COLLECTION YOU’VE CREATED?
Probably the Paintbrushed Denim. Ironically, this is the only product that features artwork that is not mine, but I suck at painting so I hired an awesome local artist, Eric Johnson, to create the painting on the visor. I love that a local CO artist has his work on our product and I hope to provide that unique platform to many other local Colorado artists as our brand continues to grow.
WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF YOUR DAY?
Finishing my morning run with my dog Raji and firing up a pot of dark roast coffee for myself and my girlfriend while wondering if she is awake so I can rant about all we can get done that day. I love being full of energy early in the morning and being excited about what the day might have in store.
WHY DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO?
I love diving into a design and getting lost trying to create something concrete and real that is loose and fleeting in my imagination. The excitement that I get when I feel I have a picture of a design in my mind and then feel the rush of momentum that is the first step towards creating something real is like nothing else I experience.
BEST PART ABOUT BEING A COLORADO MAKER?
Endless sources of inspiration to draw from.
ON THE FETCH WISH LIST:
The Montage Tank (which comes in both men’s and women’s sizes), so we can make the most of the warm days Colorado’s Spring season allows us.
QUICK FACT #1
Our owner’s day job is as a product development artist at Zephyr, a hat company based in Colorado. He has several custom Avalanche and Nuggets hat designs in the Pepsi Center as well as in several other pro arenas across the country.
QUICK FACT #2
We did not use the Colorado Flag in a single design for our first two years in business. We wanted our brand to be unique, but got so many requests for it that we finally started using it.
QUICK FACT #3
The shirt “The Roadie” is based on an actual jacket our owner had in college that could fit four forties into the four front pockets…somewhat ironic now because he longer drinks.