It can pay to send out a holiday card, even if you’re pretty late.
Wellesley animator/designer Chris Georgenes sent out his annual animated holiday greeting to friends and family a couple of weeks after Christmas, and perhaps because it wasn’t lost amidst the deluge of other season’s greetings, it really caught the eye of a friend who just happened to be in the market for a designer to help bring her longtime dream of launching a t-shirt company to life.
Big Bad Boston was born, and now Georgenes’ depictions of a couple of Boston Terriers named Rocco and Trixie adorn a collection of shirts and hoodies that he and his friend Tracey Noonan are selling online (another partner, Melissa Hamlet, is a retailing whiz).
Noonan’s business background includes joining forces with her daughter to launch Wicked Good Cupcakes, a multimillion dollar business known for treats that come in shippable jars and that gained fame via ABC’s Shark Tank show. Georgenes met Noonan through their shared love for drumming, and the two are also fellow rescue dog owners.
Georgenes figures the market for Big Bad Boston wear includes Bostonians as well as visitors.
“We know that the love for Boston reaches far beyond this state and in many cases outside the country,” he says. “Our shipping and fulfillment company advised us to ship internationally because many people love Boston from afar. This was proven when we launched our website and our very first order was from a women in Switzerland!”
Recently, a Boston Terrier owner from New York spotted a Big Bad Boston logo on the Georgenes’ car outside of Fells Market and quizzed the designer’s son on what it was all about. “She couldn’t wait to buy our apparel,” Georgenes says.
While I would think locals (like me) are sick of phrases like “pahk the cah,” which appears on some of Big Bad Boston’s items, Georgenes believes such curmudgeons are in the minority, and points to ubiquitous designs like Black Dog and Life is Good as evidence that Boston-area people love to display local brands.
“Tracey received a ton of emails from fans after her appearance [on Shark Tank] because they liked her cupcake idea BUT moreso for her Boston accent,” Georgenes says. “She was amazed at how many people from far away places had ties to Boston and/or a love for the city and its accent. This is what sparked Big Bad Boston.”
Georgenes and Noonan have about 100 design ideas, so he doesn’t expect they’ll run out of material anytime soon. What’s more, Georgenes has designs on bringing Rocco and Trixie to animated life, in short promotional videos that might appear on YouTube and Instagram.
Hats, scarves, jackets and athletic wear are also in the works. A pop-up shop that will share space with Wicked Good Cupcakes is planned at the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham for October. And word is that at least one Wellesley shop is sniffing around these doggie-themed fashion items.