Howdy! I'm Dan Lambert from Yorktown VA. I created Tie Dye Dan as a personal brand then the Dye Happy clothing brand.
This is my pursuit of happiness. The short story is I learned tie dye at home and didn't listen when people said I'd never make it selling my tie dye.
Dan • The Early Years
When I was young my Mom, the artist, kept pushing me to do something creative. I made the perfect choice, tie dye. Mom was satisfied and I could make a huge mess without getting in trouble.
I started getting into it and friends offered to pay me to make shirts for them, but I said no. I was young and lazy. Later when I told them I was going to try selling my tie dye they said don't bother, you can't make money selling tie dye. I didn't listen.
Tie Dye Dan • The Idea
Tie Dye Dan came to me in the Summer of 2016, a year before Dye Happy. I heard Bill Murray's voice in my head while working a double split shift at Chipotle.
It was from Ghostbusters "Janine, someone with your qualifications would have no trouble finding a top-flight job in either the food service or housekeeping industries." All I could think was I need to get out of here and figure out how to make money doing something I actually enjoy.
Feeling encouraged I headed to Walmart and bought a 6 pack of t shirts. Tie Dye Dan sounded right so I set up "tiedyeddan" on Instagram and started posting. Boom! I'm making money dyeing shirts in my backyard.
Dye Happy • The Brand
Spring 2017 I created the Dye Happy brand and applied it to my tie dye with a heat press. The response was crazy. Everyone loved the brand and the idea behind it. See What Dye Happy means
Summer 2017 I applied to be a vendor at Harrisonburg Farmer’s Market. It was a long shot, but seemed like a good idea. It felt great when they called and said a local non-farm vendor with some color and enthusiasm seemed like a good idea. We were both right.
I got some free publicity in the JMU Breeze JMU student known as 'Tie-Dye Dan' gains popularity and got some more in The Virginia Journal Tie-Dye Dan” Transformed His Hobby Into An International Business.
Dye Happy and Kendama
Winter 2017 I applied to be a vendor at Battle at the Border 2018 held by Sol Kendamas. I couldn't afford the travel costs and the vendor fee, so my good friend Chad Covington, owner of Sol Kendamas, said he'd waive the fee if I made the event shirts.
This was insane. I've played kendama for years, but never went to a Kendama event. Now I'm making the event shirts and competing. I bombed on stage, but it didn't matter. My new friends, some of the best Kendama players in the world, became my Dye Happy Family
I sold Dye Happy Damas for a while, but decided to focus on tie dye and stay involved in the kendama community.