What’s the name of your shop? Your name? Your role?
We are Ryan & Lauren Wade and RadCakes is our apparel company. We are the owners, designers, and printers.
How did you come up with the name Rad Cakes?
RadCakes is a combination of our nicknames: Rad and Cakes.
Where are you from/live now?
Ryan is from New York City and Lauren is from Washington DC. We met as art majors in school in Boston. Currently we live at the beach at the New Jersey shore.
When did Rad Cakes launch?
We’ve been printing shirts since 2005, but we launched our website in April, 2006.
What was the inspiration for launching a t-shirt business?
We both enjoy making art and we wanted a way to share it with our friends. And who doesn’t love tshirts?!
What differentiates Rad Cakes from all the others on the Internet?
Every year gets busier and busier. Our business has expanded to custom designing & printing, so we’ve had to focus a lot of our energy on that aspect. We’ve been doing a lot of specialty orders, such as custom can koozies for wedding favors and band merchandise.
Tell me about the shirt design look Rad Cakes is trying to achieve.
Our artwork has always been full of colors, patterns, nature, and crazy creatures. So we just want to put that same energy into a design that somebody else can connect with.
Who designed your site? That leopard fish background look is stupendous? Were you going for a lo-fi anti-fine art look to the thing? Or was it just making it as fun as possible? Love the hover blow fish. And the octopus arms logo.
If someone has seizure problems, our website is a true test! It’s definitely overloaded with bright colors and patterns. We designed the entire website ourselves, taking a lot of inspiration from our sketchbooks.
Obviously, the ocean is a big influence on you. Why is that? Surfing too?
We have always had a special connection with the sea and we have the utmost respect for the creatures that inhabit it. Lauren has been SCUBA diving for 17 years and Ryan has been body boarding & surfing for as long as he can remember.
How important is social media to your business?
Social media has become one of the best ways to expose ourselves and introduce new products. Just by posting pictures on sites like Facebook helps new people find our brand.
What’s the weirdest picture of someone wearing one of your tees that you have seen? And/or have you run into a stranger out in the wild wearing one of your products? And/or celebrity sightings?
We’ve run into people out at the bars wearing our shirts, but the most famous people wearing RadCakes that we know of are lead singer Chad Urmston from Dispatch & State Radio and recording artist Lancifer. We’ve also printed custom shirts for Metronomy, War on Drugs, Stephie Coplan, and Purling Hiss. We truly felt that we had come full circle when one of our shirts popped up at a thrift store. While some wouldn’t see this as a positive, we always appreciate a good thrift store find!
We offer a full spectrum of options, but people who tend to gravitate towards RadCakes usually have an appreciation for art and nature. Or they just like weird designs.
Where do you get your designs?
Our heads & sketchbooks.
What kind of shirt stock do you use? Why?
We tend to use a lot of American Apparel due to their color selection and various fashionable styles. We’ve also started to incorporate some other ringspun cotton brands that offer different color choices. We don’t limit ourselves to one single option.
Where do you see your business in a year?
In a year, we hope to have an army of robot interns.
What’s your favorite design currently?
What sells more men or women’s shirts?
Mens shirts sell more, but women’s specialty items go very fast (deep Vnecks, hoodie dresses, racerback tank tops, etc).
Is there a specific subject matter that you sell most of?
It varies across the board, so we can’t pin point it to one specific subject. There’s something for everyone.
What are the top three selling designs at your store?
Is the world going to end this year?
Yes it will, so you better be wearing a sweet Tshirt when it all goes down!
Anything else you want to add?
Thanks for giving us this opportunity, we really appreciate your passion for Vampire Squid & Tshirts! We’d also like to offer a special discount code for all of your followers. Promo code TSHIRTGROOVE (all caps) will give 15% OFF any purchase made in October.