I’ve always been a fan of the idea of being a pirate, ever since I was a kid. I have always loved the ocean – and something about having my own ship, and sailing the seas free to do whatever I wanted – just seemed appealing. (Granted, the raping and pillaging, not really so much…). As I grew up, my mind matured (well, some would probably argue that) – but as it did, so did my sense of humor. It become very twisted (not as in dark, and evil) – but more of a dirty mind. Like a really dirt mind. Like if I hear something that can be taken sexually out of context, my mouth typically fires out the words like a pirate’s cannon, before I realize what’s just happened.
So, there I was – many years ago now, thinking about how a lot of things that pirates say – or phrases that “can be used in context” with pirates, can often be taken … sexually. So I got around to thinking, I need to do something with this… And the first thing that came to my mind was making shirts. But how? Cafepress became the answer, so I asked my rather amazing friend, Lindsay Archer, to draw me a cool skull and crossbones logo based on my own face and she produced exactly what I needed. So then I made some shirts, and back then, made a MySpace account (yeah, who remembers that?) and promoted the shirt through there.
Back then, there wasn’t much in the way of a lot of “pirate merchandise” – so when someone looked up “pirate shirt” or “pirate booty” – the site ranked fairly high. I never made a ton of money, but I was making some shirt sales. (The problem with Cafepress is, in order to make money you need to charge more than the base cost of the shirts from Cafepress, which was already pretty expensive; so most of the shirts, I didn’t even sell for profit – I was looking to sell them “at cost” – to simply get them out there first). I had some very wonderful people, like Monica, who would wear my shirts to various pirate events (seen here with two scurvy pirates!) So that helped!
As time went on, and then Pirates of the Caribbean came out – you’d think that’d be good for business? That it’d generate interest in pirates. Well, what it did is cause an explosion of pirate merchandise to find online; and suddenly my little store was shoved down to page two, then three, then ten, then sixteen on google searches! I’ve shut down the store once before, because it became impossible for me to produce any form of profit (unless someone buys thousands of dollars in PirateBooty – and I am not even kidding!) But I’ve reopened the store since then, and just have it there for whoever might find something fun to wear that I’ve created.
Another dear friend of mine, Colleen, has worn the PirateBooty shirt that she purchased; and each time she has it gets attention from her friends and family who enjoy the quirky, perverted little shirts that I’ve made. So I can’t thank her enough for that. When she wore the shirts once, her own sister loved the shirt so much that she bought herself one as well. Again, I make absolutely no profit from these shirts, but it no longer matters. What matters is, I am finding people who enjoy something I’ve created and that is just as rewarding. (Sure, it doesn’t pay the cable bill, when I try to explain how rewarding it is when I see that someone’s purchased my shirt, but still, I can’t help but appreciate the wonderful people who understand me and my sense of humor).
I keep telling myself that I want to go back and do more with this, but I have so much that I do creatively on my plate; that I never make it back around to adding more shirts, fixing some of the designs from my original ideas (like less of a huge skull on the shirts, for women; as it doesn’t work well – I had made some shirts where the pirate skull logo is a smaller logo).
I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who have helped promote this – or anything I’ve ever done creatively. It means more than I could ever hope to express.
If you ever purchase a shirt; please take a photo and send it to tawmis AT pirateboot.net (I think you can figure out the email address; trying to avoid spam crawlers).
And with that said; the latest two – Colleen & her sister, Rebecka.