Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer
Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer
Cliff Grassmick / Daily Camera
Move over, Teen Moms.
A new crew is coming to MTV, and they are ready to bring a radical change to the lineup of the one-time music-focused network.
Boulder clothing company Shinesty has been pegged for a reality docuseries to premiere “in the not-so-distant future,” according to a post on MTV’s news site.
“Shinesty is a comedic doc series about the young entrepreneurs behind Shinesty, a Boulder-based apparel company that made $5 million in sales last year. The Shinesty team lives a wild, zero-fucks-given lifestyle that is every bit as over-the-top as the apparel they create, and this show will take us inside the world of a millennial business doing things 100 percent their own way.”
We sat down with the dudes behind the duds to talk Al Roker, speedos and jaguar suits:
What’s the story of how Shinesty came to be?
Chris White, co-founder: The company started from an idea that came about in college. I went to DePauw University in Indiana; there’s not a lot to do, but somehow it always ends up being in the top 10 party schools.
By the time I graduated, I had so many weird costumes from hundreds of hours of shopping on eBay, at thrift stores — not just for Christmas but for Saturday night.
When I graduated, I gave it all away. I was going to grad school in Colorado and I was going to come a professional. Once I got there, I realized I had made a huge mistake.
This was the time in our lives we actually could afford to buy that shit but we didn’t have the time to hunt for it like we used to. It was a constant thorn in my side.
In college, for work I designed T-shirts for fraternities and sororities. And I noticed if I just put the logo on it I’d sell 50 but if I put something weird or snarky on it I’d sell 300.
And that’s where Shinesty came from.
What’s an example of a snarky or weird frat shirt you did?
White: They’re kind of inappropriate …
So am I. Go for it.
White: So for this Army-themed party this frat had, we made a shirt that said “Army Party: Getting our privates in and out of tight situations.” Or it would be something like, “Not cocky, just better.”
That should be Boulder’s official motto.
White: Boulder gets a bad rap from people outside, that people are stuck up.
Drew Wyman, business development: There’s a lot of fun people here.
How did you get hooked up with MTV?
Wyman: A guy ordered our jaguar-print suit.
Like actual animal jaguars or the cars?
Wyman: The animal.
White: I think it’s a leopard, actually.
Wyman: But it’s called The Jag.
White: Yeah because that sounds cooler.
Wyman: Anyway, the guy who ordered the suit works for a scouting agency in L.A. He got our emails and thought we were hilarious. So they came out for a sizzle in February
We had an awkward few days of them shooting us where we weren’t sure if we were acting or not, and we had pretty much written it off.
White: We thought it went horribly. Then we got a call that they were picking it up. We just signed a contract.
What do you think they liked about you?
Wyman: It’s this aspirational tale of success that people buy into these days. It’s just a bunch of kids, but we figured out how to have fun and be successful.
White: The people make the brand. We spend a lot of time together out of work. We’re a company of young people, and there’s no real like difference between work and play.
How old is your oldest employee?
White: Maybe 33?
Do you call him old balls?
Wyman: No. Should we?
White: I don’t know that his balls are old, so …
I’m pretty sure every company has to have an old balls. But let’s move on. Are you worried MTV is going to make you look like assholes?
Wyman: A little bit, but I’m proud of who we are and I don’t think they could make us look like assholes.
Have you already decided among yourselves who is going to be the asshole, the nice guy and who’s in the love triangle?
White: No. Drama is overdone. How about getting something that’s authentic? It’s not always perfect, but it’s real.
In 2014, Al Roker showed your website on the Today Show. How did he find out about you? Did he buy one of your speedos?
White: We still don’t know. I think someone blogged about us and then someone at the show read it and it went from there.
Wyman: We do really good Facebook ads that were funny and weird, so they might have found us that way.
Let’s keep talking about speedos: Who are your models and do they stuff?
Wyman: All of our models are employees or friends, ourselves.
White: And no, they do not stuff. We’re all real.
Thinking of other MTV reality stars, I have to ask: Can we expect a sex tape sometime in the future?
White: We don’t have anything planned but you never know.
Shay Castle: twitter.com/shayshinecastle