Did you watch it? Awesome! So that’s basically what we are doing: Connecting people with one another by creating unique apparel & accessories which allow people to more fully express themselves and their interests. Kind of a mouthful, but that’s what we are all about.
Twelve Faces is a lifestyle clothing & accessories brand whose mission is to promote connection and conversation. Our designs provide a new avenue of simple and easily communicated self expression. The unique style of our shirts, posters, and other products form an alternate way to form first impressions; a way to stop applying dead-end labels to others and to start learning about who they really are. It starts with a connection based on shared interests and enthusiasm, and moves to a level of mutual respect. And that’s something our country and the world at large could really use right now.
Now, I'm about to launch into a moderately long winded story about how and why our company was founded, but before I do, let me invite you to enter into our TWELVE FACES LAUNCH GIVEAWAY. Pick your favorite of our featured designs and, if you win you get that design on a Shirt, Mug, Tote Bag, Phone Case, or Poster. Winner's choice! Alright, on to the story.
I started Twelve Faces almost 7 months ago, in mid-January (that’s 2017, for those of you reading this in the future). I had just gotten divorced in December, which kicked off what I’m pretty sure was an early mid-life crisis. I was feeling lost. I thought I knew where my life was going, what I was supposed to be doing, but it all changed. I was confused and depressed. I was hung up on this idea that I would someday die. Add to that the political insanity that was just getting started in the US, and it seemed like everything in my life was unravelling. It was a rough time.
Somewhere toward the end of the month I was spending time with my family for the holidays and looking for new meaning in life. I remember I was at a pizza place in Traverse City, MI (hometown represent!) with my girlfriend, Mom, and Step-Dad when I started to figure it out. Maybe it was being surrounded by people who loved me, who I felt a deep connection with, because I realized that an increasingly large problem in the world is a widespread lack of that sort of connection. A polarization of humanity along ideological and political lines.
Without a shared connection, people can start to dehumanize each other until there is no hope of mutual respect, much less cooperation. I was seeing it very clearly at work in my country with the installation of Trump as president and I felt that the best thing I could do with my life was devote it to helping people connect with one another. To help people see one another as fully Human. I wanted to add my voice to the world and help to make it a better place.
So there it was: Connect people. But how? What could I do specifically? I’ll tell you right now that I did not have even the smallest inkling of an idea that I would be launching a apparel and accessory brand. January started with a two week journey of reading, writing, and thinking. In those first two weeks I think I read three books on connecting with people, one of which was How To Win Friends and Influence People, which is amazing. Go read it. At that point I didn’t have any specific ideas about how I was going to make a difference out there in the wide world, I just wanted to marinate myself in books and ideas and see what came of it.
Before I go on, I should tell you a bit about my background. I grew up in northern Michigan and when I was ~8 I started learning how to make short movies from my dad, an interest which I have been running with ever since. I have been really lucky in that I was able to go to some great schools throughout my life. I went to Interlochen Center for the Arts during high school where I majored in Theatre and later Film. I ended up at New York University where I continued to study film, and I have been working as a video editor since I graduated in 2010. I moved from NYC to New Orleans a couple of years after graduating, and I’ve been living here ever since.
New Orleans is an incredible place. Still working as a video editor, I got a job as a tour guide in the French Quarter to broaden my horizons, and I fell in love with the city. There is a certain sort of unspoken understanding among the people here: it’s okay to stop and have a conversation with a stranger. There is a feeling of connection with your fellow humans here in NOLA, and it’s amazing and comforting. Of course we still have our share of problems, but there is a special sense of community here. As a tour guide I meet and interact with people from all over the world, and I found some of them so interesting that I started a (no longer running) podcast series called Visiting With Visitors where I would sit down with a complete stranger visiting New Orleans and have a deep conversation with them. It was an awesome experience and it reinforced for me the idea that every single person has a lot in common with every other person. A lot more than they might think.
Alright, now that we’re better acquainted, let’s jump back into the meat of the story.
Things started coming together once I starting thinking about New Orleans and what it means to me. The openness and willingness of the people of this city to form connections with strangers was inspiring and I decided I wanted to do what I could to bring that feeling to the rest of the world. Around that time I happened to read a reddit post about the magic of drop-shipping t-shirts. I figured I could probably make a couple of cool t-shirts for some extra cash while I figure things out, so I sat down and made my first design:
Then I made my second design:
And then it hit me: I could make designs about anything. So I made 10 more right then and they were awesome. I was staring at my computer screen realizing that I wanted to buy and wear each one of the designs I had just made, and that’s when I knew I might have a hit on my hands. To be honest, I somehow STILL hadn’t made the connection in my mind between these designs and my ideas about fostering connection between people. It took Alyssa, my amazing girlfriend and co-Founder of Twelve Faces, to point out the perfect connection between the two ideas.
It’s been a crazy ~7 months since then. Here are some stats:
- 310 Designs Completed
- 187 French Quarter Tours Given
- 10 Special Products Available
- 33 Shirts Hanging In Our Closet
- 22 Rejected Shirts Accidentally Ordered
- 37 Pizzas Eaten
- 2 Cats Smothered With Affection
And so we have finally launched and we couldn’t be more excited to share this amazing project with you! Some things to know: We are using two different drop shipping services to fulfil your orders - Teelaunch and Printful. In case you aren’t familiar with the concept, our using drop-shipping means that we don’t keep a stock of our products on hand. Instead, they are printed by a third party fulfillment service after you, our awesome customers, place an order. This means that we never touch or even see your product before it is shipped out, and that it will take a bit longer for you to get your swag. But don’t worry! If there is anything wrong with your order we will take care of you.
I’m gonna lay it on the line here - if it weren’t for drop shipping there would be no Twelve Faces. If we wanted to have just one of each of our designs in every size, color, and product we offer, we would have around 20,000 different products and it would have cost us around $300,000 to have them printed. Again, those numbers represent one of each design. Clearly we would need a lot more than that to start a business, which is why drop-shipping is absolutely incredible. Hooray for the future!
Alright, we are coming to the end of the post, but before I sign off I want to let you know that what you see on our site right now is just the beginning. We will constantly be adding new content and new designs. There will be special events. There will be contests and giveaways. We’ve got big plans! Check back here for weekly posts covering all that plus Customer Highlights, Interest Segments, Artist Collaborations, New Product Lines, and more! We’d love for you to sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss out on any of these exciting updates.
Also, check out Points For Stuff, our customer loyalty program. You can earn points all sorts of ways and turn them in for store credit! To check it out click the little widget at the bottom right hand corer of your screen.
It's very important to us that your Twelve Faces experience is an awesome one, so if you have any feedback, or want to say hi, please send us an email or hit us up on Instagram or Twitter. We would absolutely love to hear from you! Don't see the one you are looking for? Tell us! Requesting a design is a good way to move it up the rotation, so hit us up on Twitter and let us know which design you want to see next! If you want to send us a pic or two showing off your new swag, that would be amazing. We are always looking for happy customers to feature on our social media.
Speaking of social media, if you want to help get the word out why not post one of these gems:
“Twelve Faces is the cat's pajamas!”
“Twelve Faces, now there’s a brand I could see myself and many of my friends and relatives spending hundreds of dollars on!”
“Twelve Faces is the most innovative clothing brand I have seen in years!”
Or grab any of the pics from our Lookbook by following this link: This Link.
We are always looking to partner / collaborate with people, and to cross-promote, so if you want to get involved with our brand we would love to hear from you! Send a message to Alyssa@YourTwelveFaces.com to get started.
Thank you so much for reading,
Founder, Twelve Faces