Monday, June 18, 2012


In June of 2012, I may or may not have had the BEST WEEK EVER. I know, it's tough to argue that but I legitimately think it just happened! There are a few things in my life that mean more to me than anything else and during one fateful week, all of those things came together consecutively to provide me with one of the most memorable, endorphin-inducing, and exhausting weeks I've ever had. So here's how it went down:


As a reward for their hard work, we decided to take the Glad Rags Ink staff to Disneyland as a company treat. Most people would tell you to stray away from hiring your own friends to work for your company. Fortunately our guys understand what is at stake here. They know that the harder we all work, the more our company will grow and ultimately the more we will all benefit. It's great having your staff on the same page as the owners so we take it upon ourselves to keep the morale up and let them know they are doing a great job for us. It was an awesome day at the happiest place on Earth and even better because we also spent it with all of our friends including friends of L&O.


Two years ago, my good friend Cindia moved to Chicago to pursue a career in teaching and at the same time the Chicago Blackhawks were bringing a Stanley Cup home to the city. I remember how envious I was of her that she was there to experience that and see a city put their hearts into their hockey team. I remember texting her about it and letting her know how fortunate she was and how I could not wait until I was able to do the same thing here in Los Angeles. Well, fortunately for me I didn't have to wait too long after that summer two years ago.

As I'm sure you already know, I am a very big Los Angeles Kings fan. To be able to witness my team go from being the underdog to being the top dog is something I will never forget for the rest of my life. When a couple of my friends and I signed up for season tickets last summer, we knew we had a team that could do some damage in the playoffs and we were hopeful that they could at least make it to the 2nd round this time. NEVER would I have imagined that in our first year as season ticket holders that something so magical could happen this soon, but it did.

I became a fan of the LA Kings in 1993 when Gretzky led them to the Cup Finals but could not seal the deal. Since then I've always hoped they would make their way back but for 19 years, it just never happened. As a diehard Kings fan, it's a very different kind of love for your team. We never had any taste of victory in 45 years as a franchise. There were moments, but not the one that everyone dreams to see. Many, many years of "rebuilding" and disappointment.

The Kings were the reason I fell in love with ice hockey when I was 6 years old and I've been playing ever since. There are few things in my life that will bring me to tears of joy the way ice hockey does. To be able to be in the building and watch my LA Kings hoist that Stanley Cup for the first time is definitely one of the greatest experiences in my life so far and it will certainly be a while until another experience rivals that. Yup, I cried like a damn baby when they won. Here's proof:



Less than 24 hours later, I had another rare opportunity to do something that I also love. In February 2010, our band Dear Life played our last show in our former warehouse but ever since then there had always been an urge to complete some unfinished business we had. Before the band ended, we had a handful of new songs that never were completed and still have yet to be recorded for anyone to hear. By some chance of fate, the stars aligned and somehow gave us an opportunity to play a local show to finally showcase these songs. Our guitarist Daniel currently now works on the east coast but by chance he happened to be coming home and in town for this show date. With only a week to prepare and only a couple days to practice, we confirmed the show and went for it. CARPE DIEM, right? We played the show under the new moniker WIDOWMAKER since most of the music is all new and sounds different from Dear Life. Our good friends The Ghost Inside headlined the night and absolutely killed it. For our group of friends, music is a HUGE part of our lives and it really meant a lot to all of us in the band to see all the familiar faces there from back when we took it more seriously. Without music and the DIY punk hardcore community, my life would not be nearly as fulfilling as it is today and it was truly amazing to be on stage again and have everyone there to share it with us. Thank you!


For the previous 5 nights, we had been only getting a few hours of sleep per night because most of the late nights were spent practicing for the above mentioned show. We practiced late Saturday night. We practiced late Sunday night AFTER an entire day at Disneyland. And we practiced late Monday night AFTER I watched the Kings win the Stanley Cup. It was nice to get a quick break, watch LOST on Netflix, and catch up on sleep. I love being busy but I also cherish the times I get to rest. There must be a balance!


Continuing on the music topic, my friends and I got the chance to watch THRICE perform live one last time at the House of Blues in Anaheim. Interesting fact about this is that this was actually my first time ever seeing THRICE live and now it's also my last. I am glad I did get to see them at this point though because it has been incredible listening to them grow and mature musically over the years. I'm not as diehard as some of my friends are but I know that some of them have been there ever since the demo days and I know how much this means to all of them. I have friends who now live on the east coast and even flew out to be here in Southern California for these final shows. That's how much this band and their music meant to them. Their music is like a time machine and brings us all back to simpler times when our most difficult decision in life was which band t-shirt you wanted to wear to the show that night. I've met almost all of my friends through music and THRICE was definitely one of those bands that helped those initial conversations along. Thanks, THRICE!

As for the rest of the week, it was actually rather tame but I was still able to spend most of it either with friends eating awesome food, drinking good beer, and sharing the best times. Or catching up on more sleep and watching more LOST. How addicting is that show?!

I know you're thinking that all of these things have NOTHING to do with our companies, Glad Rags Ink and Loud& Obnoxious. Amidst all this chaos, we were still working full-time days at the office Monday to Friday 9AM to 5PM. It's the busiest time of the year for our screen printing shop with all of the big summer tours and everyone wanting merchandise all at the same time. We were still hustling do our best to get orders completed by their deadlines and still trying to find time to get numerous L&O projects back on track as well. But what does that have to do with my BEST WEEK EVER? I mean, how could Disneyland, the LA Kings, Dear Life/Widowmaker, and hanging out with your friends possibly relate to what we do at work? It's irrelevant, right?


All of these things have shaped the person that I am today in one way or another. If our band Dear Life never existed, I would have never become friends with Brian and L&O would have never become a reality. If Dear Life never existed, we would have never needed to print merchandise and my brother would have never started printing in our garage and eventually create Glad Rags Ink. Without my love for hockey and specifically the LA Kings, I may have never understood what it means to be a part of something bigger than yourself and wanting something so bad and finally getting it. Devoting yourself to something you have absolutely no control over and just having faith that someday it will all pay off. Hockey taught me that hard work pays off and that if you want to win, you must have the will to win and that applies to anything in life.

And last but certainly not least, my friends. I have been blessed to be able to surround myself with the most amazing people and I am forever thankful for that. The one consistent thing between all of these events in the past week is that I was able to share it with the people that mean most to me in this life and that makes it all worth it. All the long and stressful hours at the office and lack of sleep don't phase me as long as I have this incredible support system with me. Whether you support L&O, or placed an order with Glad Rags Ink, or came to see Dear Life/Widowmaker perform, or hung out with us at Disneyland, or watched the Kings during this Stanley Cup playoff run with us, or saw Thrice with us, or simply shared a drink or meal with us, I consider you all to be a very significant part of my life. In this life, take nothing for granted and live with no regrets.

Everything matters.

- Vince

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

S/S 12 Delivery 1 Lookbook

Need something new to wear at beach while the weather finally starts to warm up? Well we definitely designed this particular collection for that reason. Most of the designs in this collection are remixes on existing logos but with our own "animal" style patterns and color combinations. Make sure to check out the LOOKBOOK to give you a closer look at the products and various colorways available. Huge thanks to our friend Alex Aimaq for shooting this lookbook for us. The shoot took place in Venice Beach, CA and was actually shot all in film. Make sure to stop by at his Tumblr and scope out all of his past work and recent whereabouts. Here's a few slides.. you can view the lookbook in its entirety HERE.

- Vince