It started in a dusty garage in Brighton, UK in 2006...
Over 15 years of working various roles in the music industry I'd accumulated an absolutely staggering amount of shit. An entire garage full in fact, of promo vinyl, cd's, promotional items, t-shirts and so on.
One day in 2006 I decided to clear out the garage in my home town of Brighton and sell the lot on eBay. I'd so much stuff I could hardly close the door. It would take months, if not years to get through it all.
I decided to start with a couple of boxes of t-shirts. For no other reason than they happened to be blocking the door from closing. It took a full week to upload the 200 or so t-shirts onto eBay.
After a few days a guy from Japan contacted me about the t-shirts. He had a record store there and wanted to take the lot. He made an offer, I accepted and off they all went to Japan.
A few weeks later he contacted me, he was very happy with what he received and asked if I had anything else like that. He attached a list of about 20 really obscure, defunct Northern Soul and Reggae labels he was looking for. I didn't have any of them nor could I find them when I searched online.
I had an idea. At university I worked one summer at a screen printing studio and I'd been trained in the noble art of serigraphy. Whilst I didn't have the equipment to make the silk screens to print the t-shirts, I knew what to do. I could probably get a basic set up that was just enough to do the job. I put my idea to the contact, he agreed.
Every couple of weeks I'd print a few of the designs from the list he wanted and send them off to Japan. I quickly realised though that with screen printing the set up process for new designs is really expensive and time consuming to get going. The costs were nowhere close to being covered, almost immediately the arrangement ground to a halt.
My contact made a suggestion, why don't you print a few extra to cover the costs, sell them on eBay UK and then send him the rest to sell in Japan?
So with that Soul Tees was born - in 2007, with a small store selling a tiny range of obscure and defunct Northern Soul and Reggae t-shirts on eBay.
In 2013 I relocated to Valencia, Spain and have been running Soul Tees from here ever since. We stopped selling on eBay long ago, but in June 2022 celebrated 15 years in business regardless.
From a dusty garage in Brighton to having regular customers from Reykjavik to Cape Town, Vancouver to Auckland, Tokyo to Sao Paulo!