I recently came across Brothers Galleon – a t-shirt outfit out of Charlotte, NC. While t-shirts aren’t a huge part of my rotation, they do have a place – and I’m selective. After trying a couple of their shirts, I can attest to their quality and comfort; important for anyone’s t-shirt investment. They are Kleenex-soft, and have great graphics. Graham and I started talking about his company, which is a great story:
What is Brothers Galleon?
My brother Jason and I started Brothers Galleon in 2009. The idea was born out of a combination of our love for old stories, history, old things, our parents, and how we were raised. Emigrating from Ireland as kids with our parents and sister, life in America was initially difficult. My father, a mason by trade, and my mother, a fisherman’s daughter, came to the States like all other immigrants, for opportunity and a better life. My parents did this by hard work and saving every penny. Some of our earliest memories are of going to flea markets and tag sales on the weekends. This was out of necessity rather than being trendy like it seems now a days. Money was tight growing up. Our father was magnificent at restoring old furniture or building new pieces from reclaimed lumber and still does today. He really is a true craftsmen. It is those early years that a natural appreciation was formed to value and cherish old pieces and goods made by hand. Whether it was a old trunk or table my Dad restored or an old picture or story our mother shared with us at bedtime. These were the things that surrounded us a kids. Brothers Galleon has become our to way express and share these experiences.
Why reclaimed tees?
We consider ourselves tee shirts smiths. Dedicated craftsmen working to reclaim and recycle beautifully broken in tees. When we started screening, we tested our graphics and colors on our Dads old v-necks. We knew right away that we were only going to use reclaimed tees. The character of the tee, the softness, the romance of each piece, and the individuality can not be reproduced in a new garment. The tees are so much a part of the story of Brothers Galleon as the graphics we print on them. All our perfectly soft salvaged tees are hand screened, with nautical imagery, obscure icons, and themes from maritime history, custom dyed, and finished in our Charlotte workshop. Each tee is uniquely irregular and has the comfort and familiarity of a well worn garment.
If you think of your own closet, there are probably three or four tees that you cherish and wear regularly. I guarantee it has to do with the years of love put into them. They feel and look amazing. This is what you get with a Brothers Galleon salvaged tee.
When we initially started out we were just making tees for ourselves in colors we loved, screened with graphics we wanted to wear. It was my brother Jason that came across our early screen printing equipment. We set it up in my house, with my four year old son and two year old daughter at the time, running around among the ink, screens, and presses. It was chaotic fun.
All of our ideas come from a broad range of interests with history as our inspiration. Whether it is our own experiences, books we read, stories we heard, or places we have been. We love learning and are fascinated with what happened. We channel these historical themes into our tees.
I remember one of the first images we made was of a giant squid and a whaling ship, which was very representative of growing up in Massachusetts and vacationing on Cape Cod. Not long after our first prints, friends began asking about our tees, where did we get them, and after making and giving enough of them away, we decided to put a name on it. Our first order was for a small boutique on the Outer Banks and we have been hustling even since.
Our workshop is located in Charlotte, NC, not your typical fashion capital, which is what we like. There is something special about living and working in the south. There is such a desire by customers wanting to purchase goods made in America, but more so by Southerns looking for Southern brands. You can see, read, and touch it everywhere. From carefully curated stores stocked with new brands offering something different, to blogs celebrating everything southern. We are just happy to be a part of the story.
Look out for these guys – they are starting to get noticed.