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This will be another one of my long rants slash life story type posts, so if you don't already have a coffee, a hot tea or a beer in your hand, take a minute to go grab one so you can kick back and sit through it all. Maybe a quick bathroom break will do you justice as well. If you're still unable to sit still long enough to read all this, maybe you should go read my rant about social media and then come back when you've relearned a little long(er) format reading. Otherwise, enjoy another chapter in my 12oz diary... -------- Figured I had a quick minute to breath and thought it was past due that I hop in and pass along some of what I've been up to and some of what I have planned in 2019. Obviously, I haven't been posting as often as I was a few months back, at least not on the public forum. I tend to cycle through various areas of focus and being as short staffed with all this as I am, get forced into switching between various 12oz related responsibilities on top of the usual commitments to real life responsibilities like home and and family, as well as what I have to do for a living to support all of it. In a nutshell, 2018 was a pretty brutal year for me. Ton of freakin work, a ton of freakin stress and on more than one occasion, wasn't sure I'd be able to hold it all together. Fortunately, it all finally came together at about 12pm EST on December 27th. A huge fuckin power move for 12oz and I'll explain what and why as well as a few photos below... Backstory: A few of you guys can probably piece a lot of this together from various other threads and comments I've posted... I got fed up with the direction my life was going in after running an agency in downtown NYC for a decade and a half. There was a lot of great times and great people, I learned a ton along the way and would like to think I created, or led teams that created, some really great work. There's a few of you that know me in real life, @Mercer @psm026 @TayyuNit @Grassy Knowles to name a few that saw some of the behind the scenes or more likely, were a part of it in different ways. I think we had a pretty good run, but at some point someone had pointed out what I was missing with 12oz and helped plant a seed that eventually made me realize how miserable I was becoming (or perhaps had already become?) with the life I'd built up. So I threw in the towel and walked away from my loft in Soho and my life in downtown NYC all just about everything I had spent the previous 15 years building. Through some other twists and turns, wound up moving to the mountains, a dream I had been trying to ignore for far too long, so I could return my focus to 12ozProphet. Over the course of about a year, I managed to relaunch this forum, put out a couple t-shirts and patches and begin to assemble a bunch of ideas and half assed notes I'd been sitting on into a semi-coherent vision and basic game plan for how I might be able to brush off the cobwebs and tarnish and perhaps make 12oz relevant again. This basically brings me up to maybe a year to a year and a half ago when the reality of it all started to set in. Obviously the world is a different place, in most aspects anyways, than it was 10 or even 5 years ago when 12ozProphet was still among a handful of places people would squander countless hours. I knew this going into it and had countless discussions with a long list of friends and colleagues about it. There's even been plenty of comments here on the forum and more than a fair share of DM's from some of you in this regard. Being honest, and I've mentioned this repeatedly, that as dead things have felt at the worst of times, I'm still blown away by the fact that anyone persisted through what I refer to as the "dark ages of 12ozProphet". Honestly, hats off to each and everyone of you guys that with all that has transpired and all the things competing for attention, that you're on here right now reading this and carrying on what we started over 20 years ago. Anyhow, I'm happy to get a discussion on why I'm not really concerned by it, but put simply... 12ozProphet started as a brand, doing cool stuff for a very select sub group of people. It was an exploration of niche culture, put together, packaged and presented in a way that was compelling to a broader audience with a sincere effort to raise the bar with its execution to the point that perhaps it could help set a standard. The forum and the community it sprouted was a by product of this and I believe the key to reestablish that community rests in the success of bring it back full circle to the creative explorations and executions that made it relevant in the first place. No doubt a lot has changed, but I believe that in the most general of terms, we've all been duped and distracted for long enough that half of us barely remember what we're missing and the other half is too young to have ever experienced it. Fast fashion, easy accessibility and hype that rarely delivers on expectation... Never mind the exorbitant price points in relation to the quality of execution and concept, which mainly serves to throttle sales back for the perception of scarcity. Guess I'm getting off topic... So we'll explore that a bit later in this thread or another. The reaction / response to the few products released the last year and a half has been pretty incredible and I believe more than proves out a lot of my theories about brands in general, the culture and industry servicing it and where 12ozProphet fits into all that. Being honest, there's definitely been some stumbles, if not outright fails along the way as well. I've put a lot of effort into identifying and analyzing, not to mention honesty and reflection, to think about ways I might mitigate some key issues and bottle necks. Now for the crux of this thread... Quality and consistency are what I feel have been the largest issues plaguing what I've been trying to do with 12oz. Quality, probably being more about my OCD in regards to execution and consistency... Well that's been a problem in terms of schedule since the second issue of the zine. If the goal is to see through my vision for 12oz, the challenge is the steady release of compelling new product. Being able to micro manage the supply chain from start to finish would give me the control I need to see the ideas through, not to mention a huge strategic advantage when so much of my ideas and efforts are tied to the execution. So about January of 2018 I started to reach out to colleagues about who they were printing with. I was tired of bad communication, sky high costs, inconsistent quality and often, an incorrect translation of my idea and graphic into a final t-shirt. Most everyone I reached out to said they couldn't stand their printer and griped about most of the same issues I was experiencing. This was particularly disheartening coming from a very good, long time friend that has a brand that was two years past breaking 7 figures. So I started to look past vendors and instead research the equipment needed to execute what these guys were all fumbling with. About 6 months later I had a pretty fair idea of the landscape and though it was a huge undertaking, it wasn't outside the realm of possibility considering the glimpses of potential I witnessed with 12oz, some insights and potential opportunities with friends and prior colleagues and clients from my agency days and some honest projections on where both could go if I had the tools needed to do the job properly. About six months later, at about 12pm EST on December 27th to be precise, we officially came on line. A boutique printing facility focused on exceptional quality, experimental screen printing running state of the art, computer-driven auto-press with literally the tightest tolerances in the industry imported from Europe. I spared no expense with the equipment and materials, but admittedly, I had to cut costs somewhere in order to pull it off... The entire provisioning process from plumbing, to electrical, pneumatics and all else were mostly done with the help of a friend and countless hours of YouTube tutorials, Google and calling a few random people that had some experience. So yeah, pretty much another gratuitous, if not self indulgent post from yours truly, but I wanted to add some context to the announcement and give you guys a little insight about why sometimes I sort of drop off and don't post steadily. Pulling this together really was a massive undertaking and I'm extra proud of the achievement. More than anything else, I'm beyond excited about the potential this represents both to 12ozProphet and me personally. Moving out of NYC was a huge decision and a massive life change. Choosing to go back to focus on 12ozProphet was a hell of a commitment, but as far as bringing things full circle and reconnecting with creative ideas and explorations that helped launch 12ozProphet in the first place, I feel opening this facility is a pretty profound turning point for myself and the brand. Lots of really fuckin cool stuff coming, at long last.