Tomopop Interview: Crywolf
6:00 PM on 06.01.2011
I recently brought you news of Crywolf's What is Bü? event in Toronto on June 11th, but this time we've got a little more of an insight into the company that's bringing you this interesting new platform! I absolutely fell in love with this company, especially after reading what Stephanie and Rose had to say in their answers to my questions. Owning a small business myself, it really makes me giddy to see someone else doing so well! Crywolf creates amazing clothing, accessories and is now on the verge of releasing Bü, their very first DIY toy.
You'll learn how their business came to be, how they went about creating their first DIY toy, and some things they hope for in the future! Hit the jump to check out the interview.
Tomopop: How did your company, Crywolf, come together?
Crywolf: We always laugh at how simple the story is, but we both sat down one day in late 2005 and said "let's design and print t-shirts and start an online store" and later that day we were registering our business online. Rose had freshly graduated with her art degree, and I was in the middle of getting mine, but we knew that with our skill sets combined (printmaking, drawing, self-learned web design, etc) that the idea seemed really viable and so we just did it. By January 2006 our first online store, p0isson, was up and running. P0isson began as a hobby since we were both still in school and working part-time jobs, but by September 2008, we were ready to make what we were doing a full-time endeavor and we re-branded ourselves as Crywolf and have been working hard ever since.
Tomopop: I love that you are very DIY orientated. What inspired you to go that direction?
Crywolf: We both always had a DIY mindset as far back as we can remember. I think most artistic types are just intuitively resourceful with a knack to create and always thinking, "Oh! Hey! I can just make/do this myself!" We met in high school and bonded over our interest in art/music/fashion. That was really the beginning of teaching ourselves how to sew, make websites, etc. DIY is an obvious rebellion against consumer culture and appealed to us then (as angsty teenagers) as it does to us now. So naturally, after University we both were much more excited about the thought of creating a company and working for ourselves really appealed to the both of us. Whether you have a DIY mindset or not, starting your own business kind of forces you to have one because you really have to become resourceful in order to keep your head above the water a lot of the time. That said, we intentionally want to have being DIY oriented as something we promote about Crywolf, because for the most part people can find merit and appreciation in that. The more you can do yourself, the harder it is but in the end it's way more rewarding (and generally saves you a bunch of money).
Tomopop: How did you go about creating your very first DIY toy, Bü?
Crywolf: The initial idea came when we had a brainstorm session that resulted with an epiphany. The epiphany was that we would abandon our prospect of opening a brick and mortar store (which we had wanted to do at the time) and focus more on developing the Crywolf brand. Part of that was planning on expanding our product line and one of the products we really wanted to make and felt really good about was coming out with our own vinyl toy. As soon as we had the time to focus on it, we went about it in the way that we do with most of our creative processes. We collaborated on drawings and had many brainstorm sessions about what eventually would become Bü. We had sculpted and had samples made of a few completely different shapes before we got it right.
Tomopop: Was it difficult for a small company to create a toy of their own?
Crywolf: It was actually not as difficult as anticipated, although we both had no idea where to even start. There is very little information out there and as far as we know, local manufacturers for this type of production don't exist or aren't easily accessible for a small company such as ourselves. We had to be really resourceful, roll with the punches and figure out how to deal with everything as it came up. In retrospect, a lot could have gone wrong, but that's a risk you accept when a small company takes on a big venture.
Tomopop: What are you hoping to see come from of your toy?
Crywolf: Having an artist series of mini Bü's manufactured would be a complete dream.
Tomopop: Any there any designer vinyl artists you would like to see customize the Bu platform?
Crywolf: We would be over the moon, through the roof, head exploding happy if any of these artists customized a Bu: Jeff Soto, Tara McPherson, TokiDoki, FriendsWithYou, Dalek, Joe Ledbetter, Jeremy Fish, Mike Giant, Michelle Romo.
Tomopop: Is there a specific custom of Bü you'd love to see made more than anything?
Crywolf: In all honesty, every single Bü custom that we have gotten back from our artists (dubbed our "Bü Crü) for our "What is Bü?" launch party/art showcase have blown our minds. I wish we could have them all made. Unfortunately we can't say much about them yet but once the photos are up, you will understand!
Tomopop: What are your future plans for Bü once it is released?
Crywolf: The vinyl toy scene in Toronto is relatively small, so we would love to get Bü out to places where the scene is strong. We hope to get Bü on the shelves of stores in Toronto and after that expand to the USA and internationally. We would love to visit San Fransisco and LA with Bü in tow and just check out the scene down there because we hear that's the place to be. We hope to get other artists to do customs and maybe do another art showcase. If all goes well you may even be introducted to a new friend of Bü!
Tomopop: What is the one thing you'd like our readers to know about Bü?
Crywolf: Bü is the thoughts in your mind when you can't sleep, the secret pet you've always wanted to keep.
Bü is a thing that goes BUMP in the night, the 20/20 vision in hindsight.
Bü is the creature underneath your bed, the voice of reason in your head.
Bü will be hitting the shelves of our online store in June, and soon the shelves of cool stores across the map. So what's your Bü?
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