Beloved Shirts is a startup that was born in a basement with just a website, Facebook page and an Instagram account. I was employee #3, doing just about anything that involved marketing or advertising, writing all consumer-facing stuff we put out (emails, Instagram posts, product descriptions, sales, promotions and apologies to customers for their orders taking so long because an article on Buzzfeed brought in so many sales that our overseas manufacturer couldn’t keep up). 

One day, Katy Perry saw our stuff on Instagram and had to have it, which led to the photo where she’s wearing a pizza onesie (the branded term is Belovesie) in a mob of people. It earned us a ton of media because nobody had seen anything like that before. We ended up collaborating with Katy on a left shark belovesie and a line of Christmas characters too.

But even before that, we got our big break from Buzzfeed. The break where we had orders coming in every minute, or every other minute, for a week straight. Here’s the article that put Beloved on the map. 

Our holiday campaigns rocked, earning $117,000 in sales our first Black Friday/Cyber Monday (remember, out of the basement with just our social media accounts–no paid media), and $206,000 the next year (this time, we had a warehouse with a halfpipe painted like a watermelon). 

Video: Jamie Robison (he’s so good).

I also tried my hand at designing a few sweatshirts. They sold pretty well, but not as well as our pizza stuff. 

Our Instagram was the place for all things Beloved. It’s where we created the voice for the company. And the name for our loyal customers, #BelovedPeople. We were doing memes before every account on Instagram was. Here’s some of my best work–haha @zerbz85

Here’s an example of how we would interact with our customers: a guy commented on one of our Instagram posts asking us to make a gif of @rpwelch, so we went to his account, followed the link in his profile to his tumblr page, saw he had so many good gifs, but also had beats on there and so I freestyled to one for him. He was pretty pumped up: “holy shit........... you used my beat and ur lurking my blog wow...........i'm guys are the best ;)“

Video: Jamie Robison

We got pretty weird for the holidays.

Video: Jamie Robison

@jerrobison lived the brand so hard that he bought a Bentley and wrapped it in Beloved’s watermelon print. 

It was one of those things where I was at the right place at the right time. I felt really lucky to be a part of something built from nothing, and to see how you can use an Instagram account to build loyal customers who made the brand a part of their identity. I wonder if I peaked there, where I had so much freedom to put any idea into the world and see what would happen. It’s part of what made Beloved so great, and what still makes them so great today.

See my other work

My first TV spot was about preventing underage drinking. Then there’s the story about how I turned my weekly blog posting gig into a copywriter/VP of Marketing gig for a sweatshirt startup. Here are the videos we made to inspire people to quit smoking. Here’s the campaign we ran to shame Big Tobacco for taking 11 years to put out the lowest effort/production admissions of guilt. When Boeing wanted to make a virtual tour for the Renton factory where they do incredible things, I worked on the project and wrote the script. Experience it here. We won some awards for that. I have more TV/video spots, this time for water conservation. Also, a radio spot where a mom tries to trick her son into thinking it’s national walk to the park while eating a donut day so she can talk to him about underage drinking. Some radio spots about how the choice to drive buzzed can be a devestating one for somebody else. And all the songs I wrote and recorded for new business pitches. Thanks for checking it out.