Here at Soundscape Magazine we like to bring you more then just music so let me introduce you to Michael Douglass and Big Deal Clothing, a great music inspired clothing range, selling t-shirts, underwear, bags and jewelry with bright, colourful and cool looking prints on top quality garments. I own a couple of Big Deal Shirts and I always get people commenting on them asking where they can get them from… well, here you go!
Who are you and what do you do?
My name’s Michael Douglass, I run a clothing line called ‘Big Deal Clothing’ based in Stamford (near Peterborough). We are an alternative clothing line that is trying to offer something a bit different to the usual clothing designs around in the alternative music scene. We are trying to create a stylish line that anyone can wear, with big design prints, lots of colour. We believe that everyone is a ‘Big Deal’ no matter what they are into and should be proud to show it off.
We believe that quality of the garments should be one of our major aims so we print on American Apparel Clothing, and packaged in cellophane bags with free stickers, posters, guitar picks and bags. Meaning that we offer that little bit extra than other clothing lines. We work with some well know designers search as Martjins Leaners from Belgium & Jordan from Manchester. We are currently about to release our second range with designs from Louie Nicolo (Philippines), Colin (Spain), Jordan (Manchester).
How did you get started?
Since I was younger I have always been creative and enjoyed making things, I was a keen bmxer and spent all my spare time making bmx videos, this got me into media which ended up with me going to University in Lincoln and getting a degree in Media Production. I always thought about creating my own clothing line so when I graduated I decided to go for it, so I saved up and bought my own screen printing equipment and spent many hours in my garage trying to learn it and creating the first Big Deal tees, then as the designs got more complicated and the quality of the prints needed to be the best I could get I started getting them printed professionally. Once they got to a standard I was happy with I built myself a website and a web store and started to sell online. I also started touring the country and then Europe taking my tees to shows to get the word about. I have to say this was made possible by my very good friends in The Casino Brawl who took me on a lot of their tours in the UK, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Croatia, France, Austria, Italy. We have a massive following in Europe, and can’t wait to go back there and see all the friends we made.
What have you got going on at the moment?
We are about to drop our New Range in the middle of August, with some very exciting new tees along with our first Big Deal Shoes. These new arrivals are some of the best items of clothing we have created to date and can not wait to see the reaction they get with our fans. We are also in talks with some big bands about getting them involved in becoming a Big Deal along with working with rapper Rizlo on some of his music videos. We are also looking at organising some Big Deal tours with some of the Big Deal Artists in Christmas and Summer next year.
Favourite music and why?
We like all sorts of music from heavy metal, hardcore, heavy rock, to hip hop, grime, drum & bass, dub step, it all depends what mood we are in. If we are out partying we like to go to hip hop and drum & bass clubs.
Best experience in the business?
The best experience we have had is definitely the touring with The Casino Brawl, there’s nothing more fun than going to different countries with 5 of your best friends, meeting new people, experiencing different cultures, seeing the landmarks, going to shows and having kids coming to shows and showing a real interest in to what we are doing. Then going back a few months later and seeing each show full of kids wearing Big Deal Clothing.
Why should Soundscape readers care?
Well if they’re looking for designs that stand out from the crowd, are good quality and affordable then they should check us out!
Tell our readers an interesting fact about yourself/company/band?
We invented the skip. Nah, not really, but we do like a good party that’s a fact!
Best thing about coming from/being/playing in Wales?
Everyone we have met in Wales has been really nice and friendly and one of my mates is Welsh so I’ve got to say I love it! But we do feel really welcome when we come to Wales.
Who are your role models/idols?
Our role model has to be Johnny Cupcakes in America, it was reading his story that inspired me to create Big Deal Clothing, seeing how a guy who started off in a printers printing a couple of tees for him and his mates could follow his dream and end up a multimillionaire with one of the most sort after clothing labels in America.
Hardest thing about the current business?
The hardest thing has to be the fact there are so many different clothing lines out there, making yourself stand out above the rest and creating some new. We are hoping our attention to detail and quality of our clothing, making sure we print on the best t-shirts possible, with the biggest prints and the most amount of colours yet keeping the retail cost down so everyone can afford to be a ‘Big Deal’.
Many thanks to Michael for taking the time to do this for us, now head over to www.bigdeal.bigcartel.com and www.myspace.com/bigdealclothinguk and check out what they have for sale, buy some of it (tell ’em Soundscape magazine sent ya) wear it around and be the coolest person you know!
Photos: Elliott Morgan Photography
Words: Paul Esp