Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I AM THE TREND Interview - A one on one with Adam Hendle

When I first started to explore online t-shirt sites as part of my work with LadyUmbrella one of the first ones I came across was I AM THE TREND and found it to be a very useful and informative site..I've managed to track down the man behind the site, Mr Adam Hendle, to ask him a few questions..get comfy and enjoy..

Rob - Hi, firstly, Adam, thanks a million for agreeing to be interviewed by me. And secondly, apologies for titling this "I Am The Trend Interview - One on one with Adam Hendle" because clearly that isn't doing you justice..you have your hands in many other pies such as watchteev.com and iatt.tv, like to mention a bit about them and any other sites you're involved with?

Adam - Not a problem! Thanks for asking to interview me, this is the first time that the tables have been turned and someone else is asking the questions! The main site I run is iamthetrend.com but I do spend some time running watchteev.com which I'm basically trying to build into the youtube of t-shirt videos. IATT.TV really ties in pretty close to iamthetrend.com, basically just the domain where we host IAMTHETREND TV our weekly webshow.

Rob - So, I AM THE TREND, you recently updated your website and it does look pretty darn swanky but so did the old version (or I think so anyway). What were the motivations behind the redesign did you get better website hosting? Add any cool new features or functionality to the site? make it super SEO friendly (if so, any top tips)?

Adam - Thanks a ton! The main goal with the new site was keep it simple! This is actually the third version of iamthetrend. [Rob - the 3rd version, my bad] When I started iamthetrend.com the main goal was to create a directory of indie clothing lines, bands, artists and indie products. I thought it would be great to have a place where people could easily go find what was new and cool in those categories. I quickly became pretty bored with that site. It was very stagnant, basically people would submit there company, we would put up a yellow pages type listing and that was that.

So when it came to IATT 2.0, I wanted to become a bit more interactive, thus we started doing weekly interviews and a few articles, which really got us on the path to where we are today. Unfortunately with the 2.0 site the layout was a bit confusing and the more and more I got involved with some of these companies, artists and bands the more I wanted to write daily about them.

Long story short I really wanted the site to be as simple as possible and I really think with the new redesign we accomplished that!

Rob - You're famous man!!...I've seen you on TV before, well, internet TV but in this day and age the lines are blurring...we mentioned it earlier, but IATT.TV, nice little site you have going there. You've had some jam packed shows - which were the most enjoyable for you? were you nervous when you first kicked off the show and sitting in front of the camera? And in general how are the shows going for you, what do you want to achieve with IATT.tv? Any juicy shows in the pipeline?

Adam - Hahaha, maybe one day we will be famous for doing the show, but for now we really do it as a compliment to the website. The push for online video is just growing enormously and constantly, so we figured it would be a fun way to make the site a bit more transparent and basically give a face to the brand. On top of that we really wanted to create a place to show off some amazing tees, bands, artists and products! [Rob - check out the most recent show]

The most enjoyable show was probably our Halloween show. We had ten or so companies send in their Halloween/Horror Inspired t shirts and had a blast reviewing them! We even dressed up as zombies for the show!

I still get a bit nervous doing the show just because there is a ton of pressure getting everything together and ready before we go live and it always seems like we are racing against the clock to get the show up on time! But once the show is live and going its pretty much a breeze from there.

As far as where I see the show going, I really hope that it gets to the level of a Winelibrary TV. Gary Vaynerchuk does an incredible job running his show and is someone I definitely look up to for inspiration. [Rob - another Gary Vee mention, he is 2 for 2 now for mentions in interviews - maybe I should interview him?]

Rob - I know you from "t-shirt circles", that is to say I first came across you on the likes of t-shirtforums.com and emptees.com (I think..pretty sure) but I AM THE TREND is about more than tees, you clearly love music - in a band yourself? what sorta music you have on your i-Pod (or you an anti i-podder?)? and I guess, what gave you the kick to start iamthetrend.com and whats your current role in it - or is every role yours?

Adam - When I started iamthetrend.com I really thought to myself how well clothing, music and art tie into each other and I really felt that there weren’t many sites that tried to take on the task of discovering and talking about the emerging players in those fields. So that’s when I decided to take on the task of starting a website that would tackle all of those categories. My first true passion was always music. I have actually been playing guitar in and out of bands for over ten years, which is actually how I met Beau (iatt.tv cohost and iatt contributor). Shameless plug you can check out my current project A Hero Named Hope at www.aheronamedhope.com [Rob - check it out everyone, videos, music, off the good good]. As far as my ipodding goes, I use my iphone for everything! I have currently been jamming on the new Everytime I Die, The Almost, and Dance Gavin Dance.

Rob - You've checked out and reviewed many tees in your time, do you design tees yourself? Any cool t-shirts spotted recently to report? and do you have like a favorite tee?

Adam - I have definitely seen a lot of tees, but as far as designing tees go my skills are pretty limited. Over the years I have designed a few of my bands t shirts, but at this point there are just so many talented artists that are readily available there I found no reason to design my own. As far as cool tees go I try and put my latest findings daily on iamthetrend.com so your going to have to check there for that info ; ) I really don’t have a “favorite tee” there are just way to many amazing designs on there, but I do have a favorite color tee, which would be American Apparel Heather Grey. I love that color and usually love any design printed on it!

Rob - When you relaunched the site after the redesign did you do any hardcore marketing or promo to mark the event? if so, any things that worked well for you guys? And is i am the trend your full time job now or have you cloned yourself successfully so that you can work and maintain cool sites?

Adam - As far as marketing the site goes, we really just tried to hammer hard the social sites such as twitter and Facebook. I also made it a point to try and get some interviews with some bigger names, such as Aaron from Underoath whom also runs Pig Cloth Clothing, and Jordan from Everytime I Die whom is an incredible illustrator.

Unfortunately IAMTHETREND is not my full time job, but I am striving and working hard for it to one day become my full-time job. My long term goal would be to open up a IAMTHETREND store, in which I could sell all the amazing upcoming lines I come across daily. [Rob - sounds like a cool idea to try get a store going]

Rob - Ok so, I think I've delved deep enough...but any random personal fact you'd like to throw out or any anything you want to get off your chest or mention...the mic is yours now and you're the MC...

Adam - Here might be a few interesting bulletins:
-My original idea for the site came while reading Alternative Press.
-The original website was going to be called trendspend.com, which looking back now is just a terrible name! [Rob - I concur]
-The name IAMTHETREND came to me while mowing the grass [Rob - man, I used to hate having to cut the grass, used to take 6 hours]

We are always looking for guest authors to write for IAMTHETREND so if anyone is interested please email us at info@iamthetrend.com Also if you would like to see yourself, your company, band, etc on IAMTHETREND also email us at info@iamthetrend.com Lastly tune in every Monday night at 8PM Central to www.iatt.tv to watch IAMTHETREND TV! Just wanted to say thanks for the interview! It was interesting being on the other side of the questions! Good luck with LadyUmbrella! [Rob - hehe, cheers]

And so thats that...interview two in the can and thanks once more to Adam for taking the time to get back to me...So, who likes I am the trend? Any regular iatt.tv viewers? And if you have some t-shirts to submit or want to get the word out about your band you now know the place to go...also, if you'd like me to interview you just get in touch...

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  1. Great interview guys. I am glad to see that the video you posted is the one with OMUNKY in it! Haha

    Keep it real!

  2. Hey Rick, glad you liked it...hehe, of course the clip was selected for the omunky piece...

  3. If you havent' had time to read Gary's new book Crush It, you can get the cliff notes here http://cliffnotebooks.com/crush-gary-vaynerchuk-cliff-notes/

  4. Thanks again for the interview! it was fun being asked the questions for once!