Believe it or not, we didn’t just wake up one day and say, “Hey, let’s start a clay shooting apparel company.”
We actually never planned on doing anything like this. It just kind of happened. A happy accident some might say. Here’s the story…
I have been a graphic designer for over 25 years, and during that time t-shirt graphics has kind of become my specialty (not by choice, that just kind of happened too, LOL). So, when my step son joined the Hunting Hills Hawkeyes shooting team in early 2020, we naturally had to get involved and offered my services to do a t-shirt fundraiser for the team.
My husband, Jim, announced one morning, “I have a great idea for designs for the t-shirt fundraiser!” We didn’t know it then, but in that enlightened moment, the seed of clayshootingapparel.com was planted!
“Okay, what’s your idea?”, I bit. Do a design that says, “I teach my kids to yell & break things.” He was so excited about his idea! And then for the kids it could say, “Yell & break things…my parents approve.”
And with those two ideas…our very first clay shooting apparel t shirt designs were created! The photos below show the designs and our very first clay shooting apparel t shirt ever made, by hand using my Cricut and heat pressed vinyl.
Since many of the parents love to shoot as well, we decided it would be a good idea to also offer a general design for anyone who shoots clays, skeet or trap. So, we offered the general, “I Yell & Break Things!” design too as part of the fundraiser.
Jim posted a picture of the clay shooting shirts on Facebook and also shared it with members in a couple of his clay shooting facebook groups.
That did it! That started everything. The posts blew up with LIKES, shares, and comments from people asking if they could buy the shirts. And not just a couple…a BUNCH! I spent hours answering messages from people asking to purchase the shirts and making individual order arrangements with each of them. I’m sure that many of you reading this were part of those initial transactions!
Each time that I made a clay shooting shirt in a different color combo Jim would post a new picture. And each time he did, more messages and requests for ordering.
This soon became my Quarantine 2020 pass time, which was a good thing since my graphic design business slowed waaaayy down when the pandemic hit. During the next several weeks I produced our first 36 YELL & BREAK THINGS clay shooting shirts by hand using my Cricut and heat pressed vinyl. And we were selling a bunch of the hats too. I’m not sure we even realized what was happening even then!
Before long, I just couldn’t keep up with the demand for the shirts and it was taking up way too much of my time that I needed to be working on other things. So, we decided to have our screen printer make screens and start screen printing some shirts for us.
To cut down on the amount of time spent messaging people back and forth about orders, payments, etc., I decided to throw up a quick website and list the shirts on there to make ordering quick and easy for people (and save me a lot of time).
We wanted to keep it simple. We sell clay shooting shirts, trap shooting t shirts, trap shooting hats…simply put, we sell clay shooting apparel. To our surprise the domain name, clayshootingapparel.com was available!
Once the website was up (July 2020) and ready to start accepting orders, Jim made another post announcing that orders could now be placed via the website.
That’s when reality hit! We sold out of all our stock within the first couple hours! We couldn’t believe it. I wish I could find the photo I had sent to Jim at work, of totes full of packages I was taking to the post office the next day. It was crazy…but crazy good!
And so, to our surprise, Clay Shooting Apparel was born! We also started a Facebook page and had hundreds of people following us within days. I started getting messages from customers saying, “Thank you for doing this…no one does anything nice for our sport! I hope you continue to do more designs in the future.”
It didn’t take long for customers to start requesting different colors and styles of t-shirts and hats, and we soon realized this was turning into a “Brand” not just a few t-shirt sales. In the short two months since launching the website, we had gone from offering one style of clay shooting shirt and trap shooting hat, to an entire line of clay shooting apparel, with plans for more on the way.
We were invited to attend some clay shooting events and enjoyed meeting some of our customers and sharing our clay shooting apparel for sale at these events. We will continue to travel to events as we can…see what’s coming up next on our Facebook Events Page. And don’t forget to LIKE and FOLLOW our page while you’re there!
So, there you have the full story of how Clay Shooting Apparel began. It’s been a short but excited ride so far! And we’re just getting started. We will continue to bring new designs and styles to the sport of clay shooting, trap shooting, and skeet shooting so that you can shoot in style.
Special THANKS to everyone who requested those first orders, giving us the “push” needed to offer the “PULL” and “Yell & Break Things” designs for everyone to enjoy. We literally would not be doing this if it hadn’t been for you!
Here’s to a brand created for Everyone Who Loves To Yell & Break Things! TM