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Monday, December 10, 2007

Oh Snap!

Trendy Tadpole is a children's clothing line known for it's wickedly funny and trendy T-shirts, but what some may not know, is that this company is also grounded in a strong sense of patriotism, Earth consciousness and has a philanthropic heart.

When you enter into the site, you can't help but laugh out loud when you see shirts that say B.Y.O.B, "Bring Your Own Bottle" or AB/CB, "For those about to read we salute you". The $24 shirts come in three styles: Snapsuit, Lap Tee and T-shirt and sizes range from 3 months to 6T. I think you will agree these are some of the cutest little T-shirts on the market and your little one will be in high style in these funny little togs.

I recently had the very good fortune to ask Julie Pruitt, the owner of the Trendy Tadpole, a few questions about her business vie e-mail.

A&P: Tell me how you got your start and why did you choose children's wear for your business?

JP: I started Trendy Tadpole when I was a teacher for San Francisco Unified School District. I was also a part time nanny so I was surrounded by children 24/7 I am sure that had something to do with it! LOL. My boyfriend (now husband) made college humor tee shirts at the time and I kept telling him to make tee shirts for kids. His response was they didn't have time. So, I took on the challenge and learned how to screen print. His partners, who were computer geeks, set up a little website for me (not the one I have now) and I waited, and waited, and finally after 6 months of being live, I got a sale. Whoo hoo. Then Time Out New York e-mailed me and wanted to include one of my shirts in a spread and that was a nice little push. That was 3 years ago. I was really burnt out from teaching and my dream was to work for myself, a well taught lesson from my parents.

A&P: How did you decide on the name for your business and that too cute frog logo?

I probably went through 100 names for my site. I went through a list of synonyms that I thought described my tee shirts and the best one was trendy. Then I thought about what words were associated with being young and tadpole came to mind. There you have it, Trendy Tadpole. The funny part is I have a frog representing it! My awesome web designer Staci from Quirky Bird Designs came up with the fun logo and all I heard working in an urban school was "Oh snap" from all the students so when she said it, I knew this was the logo for me.

A&P: I couldn't agree more with your current Japanese and Meomi interest. What has drawn you to that genre of design?

I love Japanese culture. I have no idea where it comes from. It must be a past life thing. Haha. I have been studying Buddhism off and on for the past 3 years. The love affair started 25 years ago; I still have my Hello kitty pencils and erasers from 1 st grade! I love the designs because they're simple, modern, and clean.

A&P: I see that with some designs like the P.E.T.A. shirt, you donate some of your proceeds. What made you decide to do that?

Growing up my mom was an active supporter of P.E.T.A. and at 13 I was reading their newsletters, wow, very traumatizing for a 13 year old, needless to say I stopped eating meat after those!

About 2 years ago, PETA went undercover and exposed the fur trade in China. There was video footage of the event and let me tell you, I have NEVER seen anything so disturbing. I couldn't even watch the entire video and I was so distraught for days. I had to make some contribution to their efforts and so the PETA shirt was born.

A&P: Finally, what is it that you want people to know about Trendy Tadpole?

Trendy Tadpole is an ever evolving tee shirt line that is always looking for new ideas and ways to support people and animals while being conscious of the environment. I support American made products and have consciously decided not to add in any extra packaging that would end up in a landfill. My goal is to create tee shirts that will inspire, or at the most, just make you smile.

A&P: No doubt about that.

I would once again like to thank Julie for taking the time out of her busy schedule. She admits in jest on her site, "My therapist says I am running a sweatshop but I am the only one in it!" In referring to her business and the effort she puts into it, that her mom and pop shop, "minus the pop" ... "only took wine, lots of sweat, and plenty of tears, but it was all worth it."

Thanks Julie for all the wine, sweat and tears. :)

You can purchase Trendy Tadpole shirts at their website or for a listing of other stores where these designs are available, please click on this link .

All artwork associated with this post was provided with permission by Trendy Tadpole and not to be used with out express permission.


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