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Meet Ryan: The Ultimate T-Shirt Fan

Meet Ryan: The Ultimate T-Shirt Fan

TJ Mapes |

It's no secret that the graphic tee business has substantially grown in the past few years. With the success of comic book movies along with geek culture becoming mainstream, graphic tees can now be found in every clothing store and worn by fans of all ages and backgrounds.

Beginning in 2009, RIPT has sold 3 brand new tees daily to fans across the globe. While some fans may have 1,2, or even 10 shirts, we think that we may have found the ultimate RIPTster.


Stack of Shirts Ryan

Meet Ryan: Possibly the biggest RIPTster and t-shirt fan we have had the pleasure of meeting. So without much further ado, let's get to the interview!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? What is your occupation?

My name is Ryan and I’m from New Jersey. I’m originally from South Jersey but now live in North Jersey (not far from the Big Apple), with my loving wife, Tina, and 5 yr old daughter, Anza. I’m an entrepreneur by heart, having started my first company, an automotive trade show business, prior to my graduation from Rutgers University. After a few years of running that business, I wanted to change tracks so I got my MBA in Finance from American University in Washington, DC and then did the corporate grind for many years.  Right now, besides being a full-time Dad, I’m a landlord and RIPT rep!  For the latest awesome pop culture tees, check out RIPTapparel.com and use code ‘RIPTRYAN’ at checkout for 10% off of your order! Sorry, I’ve been pitching RIPT to almost everyone I run into, including the tree guy that came to my house this morning and asked about the RIPT gear I was wearing, so it just kinda comes out LOL. Our family also has an art gallery and music studio in Linwood, NJ, Nashville North Studios (Home of NNS Records) which you can check out at NashvilleNorthStudios.com.

2. When did you first hear about RIPT? What was your very first t-shirt?

I first heard about RIPT when I saw a Facebook ad in October of 2015. The ad featured a design mash-up of two of my favorite things, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Pumpkin Spice beer! This was my first time ever seeing a daily shirt site and with some trepidation watching the clock tick down, I placed the order! The shirt is King Jack’s Pumpkin Spice Burton Ale by Zac Atkinson, which I still have and is still one of my favorites!

3. When did you decide that you wanted to collect t-shirts, and why?

Hat and Shirt Ryan

It’s kind of funny, but before I got into graphic tees I was not a fan at all! I can remember saying to more than 1 person over the years, I don’t understand why someone would want to wear a design on their shirt that is going to cause people to stop and stare at them. Now I can think of nothing better than displaying and sharing creative art that you love right on the front of a shirt. I’m not sure exactly why my feelings changed on this, but I think it had something to do with having a kid and rediscovering the joy of all of the books, toys, cartoons, and movies that I grew up with.  Now, when I see an adult with a boring plain shirt, or even an uninspired or unimaginative graphic tee, I feel a little sad for them and have the urge to tell them about RIPT Apparel!

4. Do you have a favorite shirt?

To say I have 1 favorite shirt would be a lie.  I love every one of my RIPT tees and bring 5 or 6 of them for a weekend getaway, simply because I can’t decide which one I want to wear! I do have favorite designers, who mostly know me from Instagram @amansnameisryan, where I post shirts that I like and annoy artists with questions about their designs (and ask them where and when they are printing and if they’ve submitted to RIPT yet!).  I would give a shoutout to my favorite designers, but the list would be way too long and I’m afraid I would leave someone off and feel really bad about it.  Let me just say this, it’s a given that 2 of my favorite designers are in-house at RIPT Apparel, and most of my other favorites are ones that have been printed by RIPT at least once in the past couple of years.  If you check out my Instagram page you’ll see some, but definitely not all, of my shirt collection, which is constantly growing LOL.

5. Be honest, do you buy from other companies?

Yes, although not as often as RIPT.  Let’s be honest, RIPT releases 3 new designs per day, but there are way more designs being created by a world of very talented artists on a daily basis.  RIPT can only cover so much ground. Now, I almost always ask the artist before I buy from another site if they have submitted and are going to print their design at RIPT.  If the answer is yes, I wait for RIPT to print it.  If the answer is no, I may purchase it from another site.  But, I think that my experience of purchasing from many of RIPT's competitors has helped me appreciate (even more) RIPT's print quality, attention to detail, turnaround time and customer service, which is the best in the business.

6. How rare is it that you don’t wear a graphic tee?

It is extremely rare that I don’t wear a graphic tee. The only time might be when I have to put on a suit and tie or go golfing, both very rare occasions LOL.

Dead Polo Ryan

This was not a question, but Ryan just wanted to add:

The best thing about wearing graphic tees that you love is running into a friend or random stranger that loves your shirt too and having that spark up a conversation. I recently wore my Scar/Puma mashup by one of my favorite artists Raffiti (@raffitidesign on Instagram) to The Lion King on Broadway. After the show, I had the opportunity to go backstage and bumped into the actor, Stephen Carlile, who played Scar in the show! He said he really liked my shirt, and I got a picture with him!  To me, that kind of encounter is the best thing that can happen when you pick out what tee you are going to wear for the day.

At the end of the day, it's not about how many shirts are in your collection, but about how much you enjoy the shirts you have. When you buy from RIPT, you don't just help us out. You help the artists that made these designs. You help them eat and pay their bills. Although it may not be outright, ONE shirt helps out tremendously.

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