Today we have a new insights article for you! For those of you who are not familiar with our 'Insights' series: We LOVE comic cons and we want to share our love for conventions with you. We get that the world of comic cons can be overwhelming. What to do, say, eat or buy? We're here to help and explain! On our insights page, you'll find everything you need to know: From tips & tricks about meeting actor to cosplay tips and insight in merchandise. And since we're talking about merchandise... Let me introduce you to Dirtees! Dirtees sells awesome movie and TV series shirts and more! We asked Dirtees for an interview because we see them on a lot of the conventions we attend. We buy a Dirtees t-shirt regularly. And because we really like them, we wanted to share this with you! We love buying t-shirts, but also wonder: How does it work? How do they decide which shirts to bring? What is it like to have a merch stand at a comic con? You'll find out all the answers in this article!
The people from Dirtees started 7,5 years ago with selling shirts at conventions, the Verzamelaarsjaarbeurs in Utrecht was their first.
After 2,5 years they created Dirtees and started selling T-shirts on- and offline under that name.90% of their collection consists of licensed T-shirts. There's some traditional gift merchandise as well (mugs, coasters etc). They also have items they sell exclusively at conventions like vintage action figures and old Club Nintendo magazines. And great news for all of our readers: They ship worldwide!!
We asked them how they decide which kind of t-shirts to buy. their answer was: "We sell what we know and like. So if we see something we like........". That sounds like a good strategy! We love the idea. But is also made us wonder, can people send in requests? "Yes, we've been doing that ever since we started. We have so many suppliers, and their range is so big, that we can almost get everything. But since we only sell licensed items, some items are hard to come by if licenses aren't available in Europe."
We definitely want to talk about comic cons! And since we've seen Dirtees at several conventions we had to ask how they decide which comic cons to attend: "We try to do them all. They're a lot of fun and the coolest part of our job. Since the expansion of employees 2 years ago we even attend conventions or movie theaters at the same time."
So, you decide to attend a comic con. Then there's the question 'What to bring'. How do you decide which merchandise you're bringing with you to a convention? "Most of the times we bring everything that we have, but leave it under the stand if there isn't enough space. We decide what we put out depending on the convention/event: We sell only Marvel when we're at a Marvel movie premiere in a theater, and we lay out more anime when we're at an Anime convention." This is good to know! So if can't find something on the table, we'll make sure to ask next time if they're some more under the stand ;). Do you also take into consideration which actors/actresses will be a guest on a convention in picking the merchandise to bring? "Yes and no. We might stock up on our existing collection, or expend this with new prints. We wouldn't buy items of actors/actresses we don't care about (read: that don't fit the Dirtees profile), but their attendance could spark new ideas for items we want to buy."
Now we know more about how Dirtees decides what to sell at a convention. It also makes us wonder. What does a 'regular' convention day look like for you guys? "Depends on where it is. Building up the stand is something we prefer to do the day before the convention. As soon as the convention starts we talk a lot and joke around, keeping things fun. It's always nice to see and meet fellow exhibitors, customers, friends, and cosplayers, bot old and new." This sounds great! It's exactly how we feel at a comic con as well! Everyone is talking, joking and being kind. There's always such a good atmosphere at comic cons. We regularly write about our most memorable comic con moments. Of course, we would like to know Dirtees' best moment at comic con as well! They told us: "We've met so many people in all those years with whom we built really cool relationships, business and personal. Some of them we even consider being close friends." Again we feel the same! We've had a lot of great, funny, embarrassing and surprising comic con moments. But making friends is a big part of the comic con experience. At our first convention, we were just walking around ourselves. And now we're getting to know more and more people at cons. It's so much fun and makes us look forward to all the comic cons even more!
Let's talk a bit more about Dirtees!
We're big fans of movies and TV series. And looking at the inventory of Dirtees, we did a wild guess and assumed they love it too ;)! We asked them about their favorites (we know that's a very tough question! But hey, life ain't easy ;) ): "That's a tough one. We like big blockbusters, but also smaller and independent movies. The go-to genre would be Fantasy, but more for Horror and Science Fiction than for Medieval-like movies.Favorite movies from the top of my head: Aliens, Starship Troopers, The Thing, Akira, Forrest Gump. Tv series: The Shield, Sopranos, Scrubs, Flight of the Conchords. Both lists are very long. ;). "
We can imagine it's great to see your collection grow. And it must be exciting to add some particular items to your collection. So we're very curious if Dirtees has anything in their inventory they're particularly proud of: "We want to offer items that aren't widely spread, things that aren't easy to come by. Therefore we really like our US imported shirts.Also, since we came across Deadpool several years ago, far before the movie came out, we immediately bought it. Same goes for the, at that moment, unknown Black Panther, Luke Cage, Doctor Strange and Nova." That's really the best answer, right? We love buying items that aren't easy to come by! But there's always something to dream about right? Let's hear what Dirtees dreams about: "We want to expand even more and eventually have our own brick and mortar store." Great plans for the future!
We're very happy that Dirtees was willing to answer our questions for this article, thanks a lot! We hope it gives some insight for you in the world of comic cons and merchandise. It's great to know more about the whole process and the people behind a store. We always enjoy seeing Dirtees' stand at conventions. They have a great collection of t-shirts and there's just always something we like. Want to see Dirtees too? Keep a close look on their Social Media accounts on Facebook and Instagram and check out the agenda on their website. They will be at conventions, fan meetings, festivals and movie premieres.