I first came across Jaleeb’s writing when he sent us his t-shirt story back in September. By far the longest and most hilarious of the story submissions, I decided to take a closer look at his shop lol productions. Jaleeb certainly had more to say to the world, it was just a matter of asking him questions. These are the answers he provided:
What motivated you to open a shop and how long had the shop?
My father is a Tshirt fanatic and has hundreds of T’s rolled up “like little solders.” I too share the bug and purchase T’s as often as possible and I dispose of none much to the delight of my wife who considers my enormous fondness for all things shirt a mental illness. She keeps putting those reality TV shows about Hoarders on in a very passive aggressive manner and then very aggressive aggressively points and says, “that’s you. You’re disgusting. I’m going to throw all of your things on the curb because you disgust me and I can feel the bile rising in my throat.” I’ve had the shop for four years.
What is lol productions exactly and what’s the idea behind it?
LOL Productions 🙂 is a video production company that I began in 2004 after freelancing as an editor for the years since graduating with a BA in Communications with a concentration in Film Production. “LOL” can stand for anything you like. We’re the sort that schedules parties for 4 PM to Question Mark, so we’re all loosy-goosey about it. Some people say Laugh Out Loud, Lots of Love and other sweet stuff but we leave it to the imagination.
When our studio was destroyed because the strip mall suffered a fire our bulk email about the relocation was given the subject “Lots of Losses” because we’re pretty much super-hilarious and forever zany. Just a wacky bunch of folks and by folks, I mean me. I’ve been the employee of the month, every month since the company began. I think I’ve got the next one clinched again on account of all the brown nosing I’ve done this month. Did you know that in Chile they don’t say “brown nose” or “butt kisser” or even a Spanish translation of either. In Chile they say “chupa media” which translates to sock sucker. True story.
Where do you get the ideas for your designs – what’s your creative process?
Basically I just sit back, maybe take a shvitz bod or a drill to my skull or even just go about my daily life when WHAM!!!! Comes on the radio and I start dancing. That’s when the real magic begins. Like sand flowing through a child’s beach toy at the beach on the most glorious of days to be at the beach, the thoughts go flowing through my mind like sand. Then I forget them and force something out that I’d want to wear, because I like shirts and most of the fancy establishments I go to enforce the “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” policy and a classy entrepreneur like me ONLY wears Tshirts, because T-shirts are the greatest shirts of all. Save your button downs for the button pushers, I’m working man but don’t call me Mister cause that’s my father’s name his name is Mr. Mister and he once auditioned for Twisted Sister walked up to the singer and kissed her. He’s not afraid of nobody, no how and neither is his son. Not me, my brother; I’m terrified. One time I thought my laptop computing computer was going to close on my fingers like my grand piano in my mansion did one time, one summer so I bought two Freddie Kruger novelty gloves for typing which worked out well since I was born with two left hands. I originally had three, but one left when I was a baby. I think it’s in clown college since I don’t see it on the Hamburger Helper commercials anymore.
Where and how do you market your shop? Who do you think your customers are?
I don’t market my shirts because…I don’t know. I’m not sure it’s a great business model, but I like the idea that they’re secret and special. I post them on my dumb blog sometimes. I sort of make them and buy them and tell some friends, but the bulk of my sales are from people just searching.
I think I’ll start marketing soon, after all it’s only been four years and I’m getting close to having the confidence in my designs to spread the word. My customers are generally looking for something odd or obscure, just like I do. I’m pretty sure that the guy who wrote Midsummer’s Night Something Thing Book bought a few of my shirts a couple of months ago, so that was pretty cool. I’m no fool though, I know I’m a walking billboard for my Tees so I make sure to go to all the hottest clubs and mix it up with the hippest celebrities, if only they knew how I was using them they’d probably have their bodyguards hit me with their fists. Fact is, every single time I’m on TMZ or in one of the rags I sell hundreds of that shirt the following day. Sorry Leonardo, I got a wife and two daughters to support on my T shirt commission.
What’s your favorite shirt and what’s the story behind it?
I think my favorite shirt is “Heisenberg” which is a parody of the Breaking Bad logo using different periodic table of the elements’s elements to create the main character’s “street name” which is an tribute to Werner Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principal and makes sense if you enjoy the program. I’m proud of this parody of an homage tribute shirt mainly because I’ve seen so many “inspired by TV/Movie” shirts that I didn’t like and it’s a genre of shirt I care deeply about. They say, “parody is the highest form of greatest excellence.” My daughter said, “if [I] love parody shirts so much, why did [I] marry Mama?” And my answer was simple, “I loved her a tiny bit more.” Also, I like that people that get the shirt relate to it and seem to enjoy it. This may be hard to believe but sometimes, some people, it’s like they don’t know what the heck I’m talking about.
What do you like about Spreadshirt and what could we do better?
I love Spreadshirt’s upload process, the quality of the shirts, the quality of the customer service, the interface and the ability to easily customize and control the shop. Before I tried Spreadshirt.com’s shop, I’d never seen an actual computer before and initially tried to eat the internet. Within an hour, I had a fully functional shop with two products in it and a broken tooth from a power supply. It was the most delicious experience I’ve ever had setting up an e-store (or E-lectronic Store).
For improvement, I’d love to see the prices go down. I don’t add much commission so I’d love to be able to sell the products for a bit less. HOWEVER, my momma don’t raise no dummy and I fully understand the costs of the product production (I invented a very similar site on Prodigy in 1987, but I gave up on it because I didn’t know what to do with all my loot). Also, I did a great deal of research utilizing Encyclopedias, Thesauruses, Magic, Word of Moth, Batman, a World Wide Website and Encyclopedia Brown and found that for the incredible quality of Spreadshirt’s products the prices were highly competitive if not lower than the competition and four years later that remains the case. It’s “The Case of the Properly Priced Worldwide Creative Platform For Personalized Apparel” and we all win. And THAT hearing is adjourned!
What was your biggest achievement up to now (with or without Spreadshirt)?
I made a 16mm film that did a few festivals and pretty much everyone hated it, but it was my opus. It played in Krakow, so yeah…I suppose I peaked about 15 years ago. Once I ate an entire New York Cheesecake IN New York while whistling and I can prove it if you don’t believe me. Speaking of cake, one time I got to throw pies at a clown for food, shelter and medical care. That was pretty swell too. Oh, there was this time I drove a truck (we call them rigs) across the country and competed in arm wrestling tournaments and won a really big one as well as the love of my son. The trick was, I turned my Spreadshirt brand Spreadshirt hat around backwards. It was pretty awesome, but also it was pretty much a typical day for me. Another time I played drums with the Beach Boys and I was going to tour with them but they wanted to do a new song and I wasn’t able to read sheet music so they hired somebody else and I had to go back to living with my brother, the comedian and my brother in law and his three adorable and witty children. Also, I came this close to being the new Mayor of America but I ended up missing out because I was getting an Orange Julius when they announced the winner.
Have you ever seen someone you don’t know walking around with your t-shirt on?
No, but that would be fantastic. However, it would likely involve me leaving the house and that would be unacceptable. One time I went outside and there were people out there and they knew I was outside. Fool me once, am I right?
What do you do for a living, or better said: what do you do when you are not fiddling around with your shop?
I make videos for people to be happy from. I make industrial videos for companies to teach their employees on. I make corporate videos for people to watch on. I make event videos like weddings, mitzvahs (bar, bat and b’nai; aka the trifecta) for people to remember on. I make graphics for people to look on. I do some web designing for people to get their internet on. Recreationally I play video games, I watch movies and my tv stories, I play with my daughters and try to squeeze in as many passion projects as possible using the skillset I use for work. Just last week, I built a 1:1 scale replica of the Challenger Space Shuttle that was identical in every way only with many mega high tech improvements (mine was made of low cost paper, PVC piping and IMAGINATION, take that NASA!).
If you were a t-shirt, what would you look like?
Distressed, poorly fitting and very obnoxious. They would likely carry me in Old Navy’s on the East Coast and college kid’s parents would buy me for their children at college and the college kid would wear me next to a Bob Marley brand Legend poster whilst misbehaving and rule breaking.
Which question have you always wanted to be asked and what is the answer?
I think the question I’d most like to be asked is, “Dear Jaleeb Caru, Which question have you always wanted to be asked and what is the answer?” and I would say, “I think the question I’d most like to be asked is, “Dear Jaleeb Caru, Which question have you always wanted to be asked and what is the answer?” and I would say, “I think the question I’d most like to be asked is, “Dear Jaleeb Caru, Which question have you always wanted to be asked and what is the answer?” and I would say, “I think the question I’d most like to be asked is, “Dear Jaleeb Caru, Which question have you always wanted to be asked and what is the answer?” and I would say, “I think the question I’d most like to be asked is, “Dear Jaleeb Caru, Which question have you always wanted to be asked and what is the answer?” and I would say, “I think the question I’d most like to be asked is, “Dear Jaleeb Caru, Which question have you always wanted to be asked and what is the answer?” For serious.
If there is anything else you would like to tell the world?
Well, I don’t have anything to say, you’ve done the best you could. You really have, the best you could. You can’t expect to win em all. But, I want to tell you something I’ve kept to myself through these years. I was in the war myself, medical corps. I was on late duty one night when they brought in a badly wounded pilot from one of the raids. He could barely talk. He looked at me and said, “The odds were against us up there, but we went in anyway, I’m glad the Captain made the right decision.” The pilot’s name was George Zip. The last thing he said to me, “Doc,” he said, “some time when the crew is up against it, and the breaks are beating the boys, tell them to get out there and give it all they got and win just one for the Zipper. I don’t know where I’ll be then, Doc,” he said, “but I won’t smell too good, that’s for sure.”