Whilst Tee Hunter has covered this brand before, I would love to formally introduce Dead Bury Dead (DBD), an awesome state-side clothing brand with fresh, clean designs that are bold yet never over the top. These awesome designs can be attributed to Brandon Grbach, the DBD creative director! His company has a wonderful staffing set up that consists of either close friends or family where everyone brings an awesome talent to the table. I predict really big things for this brand in the next year or so and after reading this interview I conducted with Brandon recently – so will you!
Tee Hunter: Brandon, please explain your background and how it lead you to Dead Bury Dead?
Brandon: Well, I never imagined I’d be the creative director for Dead Bury Dead. I was finishing up my senior year of college and I realized that my entire life after I graduate would be pretty predictable. So I dropped out one class shy of my Bachelors degree and decided to start my own business and live my life. So here I am almost five years later and I’m having the time of my life.
Tee Hunter: How many people are behind the brand and what are your roles?
Brandon: As of right now there are five main people behind Dead Bury Dead (pictured below). I am the Creative Director its my job to oversee everything that we produce. I personally create and design everything. My wife, Carolyn is our finance manager. My brother, Austin handles direct sales and all of our wholesale accounts. Daniel is our production manager and screenprinter. His brother, Joseph heads up our interactive department which takes care of our website and internet presence.
Tee Hunter: What inspired you to start a clothing brand?
Brandon: I was working at a skate shop and we sold a lot of the big name brands in skate and streetwear. The more I sold their merchandise the more I felt it didn’t have any heart. It seemed like they put very little consideration into the art and the garment itself. I thought we could do better.
Tee Hunter: What do you think you DBD brings to the table that isn’t already available?
Brandon: I think Dead Bury Dead brings back the old school business model that a family runs a business together and produces a unique good. We don’t hire out anyone to design our products; we don’t hire anyone to print them, therefore you’re getting our product that we made personally. I think it’s something that has been lost and been overlooked in this industry.
Tee Hunter: How do you get inspired to design your clothing?
Brandon: I really just pull from what’s going on in my life and what I want to say at that moment. Music, skateboarding, film, and my family all play a huge role in how I process things and in turn it’s evident in our designs.
Tee Hunter: What are your designer’s tools of the trade?
Brandon: I pretty much use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for 99% of everything we do.
Tee Hunter: What have your found to be the best way of reaching and interacting with your customers?
Brandon: I love going to shows and meeting people at our merch table. It’s nice to meet our customers face to face and have them see our products and feel the fabric and ask questions on what the ideas are behind the designs.
Tee Hunter: Please tell me your coolest moment with DBD and also your lowest and bleakest moment – and what you learned from them?
Brandon: My coolest moment with Dead Bury Dead is when we had our first big release party. I was so nervous because we had it during Halloween weekend and it was so cold. We had a great venue, a DJ and tons of food and drinks and two bands performing that night. So needless to say there had been tons of time and money spent on this release. But, it turned out to be one of the coldest nights and I started to fear that no one would come because of the terrible weather. It was about 20 minutes until we opened and there were only a handful of people in line. But when the time came to open the doors, the line was long and the place was packed out and we sold almost every tee for the release. It was so gratifying to know that kids were willing to come out and stand in the cold and support my brand. It was amazing.
Tee Hunter: Can you tell me your favorite DBD t-shirt and why?
Brandon: I really love our 87 t-shirt (pictured above). It was our first big hit and has become somewhat of an iconic design. It seems that the 87 is what everyone associates us with, because its certainty our best selling tee still.
Tee Hunter: What are your plans for the future of the brand?
Brandon: In March, we are launching our new “Never Die Easy” campaign. It will feature four new tees and a film to coincide with the launch. There is already a ton of buzz around the launch, so I can promise that 2010 will be epic.