Dabbo is Still Fabbo: Fulfilling My Lifelong Dream of Owning a Vinyl Cutter
It finally happened. The decade-long dream of having my own in-house tee shirt shop finally came true. For the last 10 years, I've been wanting to set up a print shop for the sole purpose of making funny tee shirts and stickers for my friends. And a few weeks ago, it happened.
I was sweating when I placed the order. And then few thousand dollars and a few dozen cardboard boxes later, my garage transformed into a print shop.
It's everything it's cracked up to be. And after planning for a decade, I had a pretty big backlog of pieces to make. I want to share with you what I made. But first, a story.
When I was in 10th grade, I was the new kid in school. I had lived in my "new town" before, but I had been gone just long enough to be forgotten. My sister was a highschooler the last time I was in town, and I remembered something cool she used to do — go to the local mom and pop trophy shop and get funny shirts made with the jersey letters. I had a few and would wear them from time to time, and one day, the coolest of cool kids came up to me and said, "Hey, can you make me a shirt?"
His name was Devin, and he was in a band. He was cool, funny, and suddenly wanted my help making a shirt. His request was simple — a medium sized royal blue tee shirt that read in white block letters, "Dabbo is Fabbo." In regular fashion, I went down to The Trophy Shop and put in my order. One week later, I was held as a hero and would, from then on, be known as "the tee shirt girl." I went on to work in an actual tee shirt shop after that, so the name became more and more fitting as my high school career progressed. There, I learned how to draw in vector and create far more expressive designs than my original "Dabbo is Fabbo" shirt, but it'll always be remembered as "the first shirt I ever made."
A few years ago, Devin died by suicide. It was incredibly difficult for me and my group of friends, and his absence is something we always feel around the start of the new year. And when my machines came in, I knew that the first thing I needed to do — create a Dabbo is Fabbo shirt. But nobody could wear the classic like he did. So I made a little something else in his honor.
After this inaugural design took form, it was onto other designs for other folks. Here's a few shirts I've made since opening up my own little print shop.
From Left to Right: "Yall." (Inspired by me and my favorite phrase of distaste.); "Devo the Dog" (Inspired by my friend Amanda's dog, Devo.); "I Do Dis" (Inspired by my favorite phrase of encouragement.); "Cauliflower" (Inspired by the enigmatic catchphrase of the Logan family in the film Logan Lucky.); "Steve French's" (A gift for my brother in law brad, showing his affection for his catson and my cat nephew, Steve French.).
Stay tuned! I'll probably be posting more tees and stickers as they are created.