|Hal Brindley, 2001:|
A BRIEF HISTORY.
Play Clothing began as 2B Homecooked Garments back in 1989 by a couple of dumb kids: Steve Buddendeck and myself. (Both our last names begin with B, get it?). We didn't know what we were doing. I printed tee shirts out of my dorm room in college and did custom screenprinting for the frat boys to pay the bills. Steve and I had been BMX buddies for many years and rode on the same trick teams. When we started the business it was really just an excuse to put ourselves in magazines. Somehow 2B worked out and wouldn't you know it, we came out on top. We were voted the favorite brand of BMX clothing for many years. Then other people started to catch on and thought "hey, if those suckers can do it, so can I". Unfortunately, they were right. The BMX clothing industry was born and now tee shirt companies are a dime a dozen. The good news is, there is plenty of good clothing to choose from now without having to wear No Fear, Nike, Gap etc.
Sometime around 1995, Steve decided to move on to pursue marketing at DK bikes and focus more on his magazine editorial and photography duties. To reflect this change of the times, I came up with a new name. Play Clothes. The premise of PLAY was to have fun, not be serious, and not be a real job. Something went wrong and PLAY became a stunning success. Sales doubled every year and I had to hire a bunch of people and work all day every day. Making a real living off of my little bike hobby was a good thing, I admit. But I realized I just wasn't cut out for running a big business. So after ten years of hard work, I decided to relieve my stress by selling it. When my good buddy and ex-employee, Mike Noonan, told me that his friend Rex was interested in buying the business, I knew it was the way to go. Rex was just a regular kid, like me, who never wanted to work for another schmuck again, and had no idea what he was doing. So we made the deal in May of 1999.
Play Clothing packed up and moved to Washington, DC where Rex lives with his girlfriend, Jen. They have 2 cats that run around getting hair on everything and a dog named Link who likes to eat cat poop out of the litter box. Rex is still paying his dues. He works every morning at a crappy landscaping supply business. That's why you won't find him in the office til around 1:30 each day. He hopes one day soon to quit working for the man forever and rely completely on his silly little clothing business. So now Play is an underground company once again (literally, it's in Rex's basement) and is owned by somebody who really gives a damn. Play is run almost entirely by Rex Shupe. I'm currently doing the ad work and website stuff. Mike Noonan and Chris Hargrave are contributing artists.