The Literal Story.
Life. It certainly has a way of lifting you up, and it undoubtedly knows how to knock you back down. In 2007, this perspective resonated with me as I began to intentionally navigate my career path, romantic relationships, family dynamics, and friendships. Along the way, I found that although I'd created a lifetime of heartfelt memories that could forever etch a smile on my face, failure and disappointment just lingered in the worst way. Confident that I wasn’t the only person trying to navigate this convoluted journey called life, the idea to launch an apparel brand came to mind. At the time, I was pumped at the brand name, Theory, which would capture various philosophies of life from ordinary people. I wanted to bring forth something genuine that others could connect with on a deeper level, but my ideas refused to flourish into a concept. A roadblock stood firm, and regrettably, I let it stop me from tapping into all that was possible.
Yet, the thought continued to haunt me. Throughout countless tf and you can’t be serious moments amongst friends, family, and colleagues, I would scream, “That needs to go on a shirt!” After sounding like a broken record for several years, it was time to change the song. While reminiscing and catching up with a group of friends in 2020, we discovered that we had so many shirt-worthy stories. It was then that the concept to integrate the t-shirt with a story card was founded, as cards would truly seize the impact of the text on the shirt. And honestly, the stories behind each line—we just can’t make this shit up.
In 2021, the vision was clear. I wanted to design a brand that was so much more than text on a shirt. I wanted it to capture authentic personal accounts that stretched from moments of curl under a rock embarrassment all the way to ignore the haters empowerment. I wanted a brand that was unapologetic for the lessons learned from failure, unrefined in how stories were shared or received, and literal—no interpretations needed. Finally, I wanted a brand that would connect with all walks of life, everyday people of everyday living. But one thing was missing: the name.
On a Sunday evening, sitting on the bathroom floor with a notepad and pen, brainstorming with my husband while he shaved, we rambled off more potential brand names than one could count, but none of them stuck. Hours later, after epic fails and a nearly endless list of mediocre names, we made traction with lines. Then, after a few moments of staring into space and begging the questions, “What exactly do these lines mean to us? How do they make us feel?” It hit us. The lines from each personal account were authentic and unexaggerated, and bam, literal lines. had emerged.