Are you charming, sassy and stylish but never over the top?
Do you like chic Tees, hand-painted accessories and cute, clear purses?
You should join the #BatPack.
I got a chance to sit down with the founder, Tiffany Napper, and her right hand gal, Amanda Clark to talk about the brand and how they got started.
They were dressed to the nines, obviously — perfectly clad in sequins from Amanda DeLeon; ringed up by Jess Leigh (Jewels); lips stained and puckered with the help of LipScape; all complete with voluminous curls blown straight from Dry Bar Bleu.
When did Bats on Tees begin?
TN: It officially started in January and the clear purses started in August. Very new!
What inspired you to start Bats on Tees?
TN: It started as an idea that would bring all of my creative friends together. I’ve always loved fashion and I’ve been doing PR for the music industry for a long time, and I wanted to start a product that I could collaborate with them on. I wanted to work with some friends, create some cute shirts, and the clear purse thing came shortly after.
Did you start with only Tees?
TN: I started off with just some T-Shirt ideas! Like nothing really done. And one tote bag. The clear purse announcement came from the NFL and I saw the opportunity to make a cute, clear purse because when I started looking for one I couldn’t find anything I liked. I let it guide me and I’m now in a place where I really love making purses.
Do you have a manufacturer?
TN: It’s kind of this team that I’ve created. I have one girl in California who helps make the clear purses. I have two ladies here in New Orleans that help with the sewing and help with the leather goods that we’re about to debut. All the T-Shirts and things are made in New Orleans. I hand-paint the letters or work with an artist, like the one who painted the alligator that’s on this shirt. I use Purple Monkey for the screen printing and Orleans Embroidery for my embroidery work and I have two seamstresses that both work in the film industry and work with me because they like it!
What do you hope for the future of Bats on Tees?
TN: I see Bats on Tees becoming a brand that’s more than just a couple of Tees or purses. I really want it to become this lifestyle and embody the girl. We call our “clique” the Bat Pack. We use the #BatPack a lot because I think of this as trying to create a family of women who like to be fashionable but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on pieces. They like to mix high and low, like to have fun and be quirky, still be a bit sexy and sassy. We have a lot of collaborations on the table; ideas that could get us into other markets, other than just apparel and purses.
AC: It’s important to keep our clothes quirky and transitional. Our product can go from casual-to-dressy; from day-to-night. That’s the big thing for me, I like very transitional pieces and I think we try and show that in our photos and stuff. Yeah, you see a blogger wear something but we like to show, in our posts, that it can be affordable and cute either way.
You don’t have a physical store. Where are your products sold?
TN: Right now Bats on Tees is sold in about 20 boutiques across the south. We also have an online store. We’re continuing to try to grow and expand that. I’m going to try to go to the Northeast and the West coast, obviously, and show that it’s not just a Southern thing. Some of our shirts are Southern because I’m a Southern girl, but I’m trying to create a mixture of things that anyone could wear. I want people to know that I live in New Orleans and that we make this in New Orleans. This is another way to put New Orleans on the map and draw attention to the creatives and amazing things that we have going on here.
AC: And we do pop-ups every week!
That’s great! I think that really fits your brand. Do you want to stay in consignment or open your own place one day?
TN: I definitely have dreams of opening my own store one day — something very unique, not your typical store front. Something that really merges all my passions: music, fashion, film — kind of an interactive experience. But in the mean time, I love the pop-up shop! It gives me the opportunity for every event to be a bit different and we can have live music or beer!
AC: We’re reaching different markets, whether it’s the beer drinker or the stiletto wearer.
TN: We can cater to all the different people that we think our brand represents.