Cherry Sauce and Storenvy go WAY back… to March 2009, eight months before the Storenvy marketplace even launched. We’ve had the pleasure of watching founders Jason Soprovich (R) and Mike Gaboury (L) build their brand from the ground up, to the point of almost selling out their inventory this summer with sales boosts from a post on Kutaku and selling at Warped Tour. Now they’re re-stocked and just launched their new “Courage” tee, from which $5 per sale benefits the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Feel-good Christmas gifts, anyone? Get to know our good friends at Cherry Sauce, the brand self-described as “the Saturday morning cartoons of apparel.”
What is Cherry Sauce all about?
Jason: Cherry Sauce is a means to remind of ourselves what it was like to just be a kid with no limitations and no responsibilities. I feel that our designs reflect that mentality, and in some of our designs you can see what influenced us when we were kids. Mike: ”In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.” — Friedrich Nietzsche I always feel like people take themselves too seriously. Personally, I think that everyone was at their very best when they were kids. We had the most vivid imagination, we were the most creative, we weren’t afraid of much, stress and anxiety didn’t exist, and everything was new and exciting. Certain things — like Saturday morning cartoons, video games, candy, super-soakers, yak-baks, silly putty, etc. — help me remember how it felt to be a kid, and I want to portray these thoughts, memories and feelings through Cherry Sauce.
What’s your background? How did it guide you into running an indie apparel company?
Jason: I’ve always been a creative person and thought owning a clothing company would be amazing, but I never really took it seriously until Mike and I met. After I finished high school I switched into money-making mode, got a degree in business and never really enjoyed any of my jobs. Once I met Mike and started talking about doing something creative again, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get back on track with what I love doing: creating things.
Mike: I used to make awful shirt designs in high-school and pitch them to local bands, but I didn’t really know what I what I was doing. I went to college for digital media communication, and then I got a job at a local print shop where I learned the print process. After months of talking about doing something more than just the “daily grind,” Jason and I thought of starting a clothing line. We started off with a small little three-shirt line, which we sold to friends mostly… then finally decided we wanted to go bigger. We spent months scouring the internet, learning what to do and what not to do from an amazing little community called Emptees. We contacted a few artists whose styles we felt matched what we were aiming for, and the rest is history.
In working with multiple artists on your shirt designs, how would you describe what sets the Cherry Sauce “look” apart from other brands?
Mike: I’d say heart. From the many people we’ve talked to, it seems like many brands will just contact an artist and say, “design us a shirt please, here’s our money.” We don’t want that; Jason and I put a disgusting amount of time into just talking about ideas and planning our lines, rather than just banging out uninspired shirt after shirt. The way I feel we set ourselves apart (visually) from other brands is that we don’t try to. Our fans see and recognize our shirts, love them, wear them, and understand what we’re about. People who have no interest in Cherry Sauce will see us as just another cartoony brand and will ignore us, which is fine. We learned very quickly that you can’t please everyone, so instead, we do what we love, listen to our fans, learn and evolve as we go on.
Jason and Mike, what makes the two of you good business partners?
Both: Tackling a large task alone is sometimes very daunting and stressful; having a good friend who is awesome and wants to succeed as much as you do makes things so much easier. We’ve learned more about running a clothing company just by doing it than we ever could have by reading up on it. We are good business partners because we are good friends and both share the same vision, plus we have an amazing group of friends that are always willing to help us out with Cherry Sauce and we couldn’t be more grateful. Friends are one of the greatest assets to our business, they are the reason we made it past the initial three shirts we created, and they still wear our products and tell people about it. We love ‘em for everything they’ve done.
What makes Storenvy right for the official Cherry Sauce store?
Mike: Storenvy was suggested to us by a friend who happened to stumble upon it. Right from the get-go it seemed too good to be true. Storenvy had all the features we needed and more. Using Storenvy has made running Cherry Sauce much easier and smoother than it would have been otherwise. If you are even remotely considering starting up an online store, I HIGHLY suggest choosing Storenvy. Thanks for taking the time to learn a little bit about Cherry Sauce! Stay awesome and never stop imagining. Jason and Mike, Cherry Sauce Clothing
***Coming soon: If you’re thinking about starting a clothing line of your own, keep your eye on the blog for Jason and Mike’s Top 10 tips on how to get your line off the ground!