Chris Lalonde and Betz Dauterman are the duo that compose both the graphic design company Abandoned Designs and the clothing company [http://www.unperfectme.com]Unperfect Me. In late 2005, Lalonde and Dauterman discovered each other while freelance graphic designing and decided to work as a team under one name.Thus, Abandoned Designs was born and the idea of starting a clothing line fell in place soon after. We had a chance to ask Betz Dauterman a couple questions about the line.
Independent Clauses: Why did you start the clothing company?
Betz Dauterman: We started the clothing line to create something that would be different. People could wear something that makes them different then the people around them.
IC: How and why did you choose the name Unperfect Me?
BD: The idea of Unperfect Me came from a friend years ago. We liked the name because it reminds us that we’re not perfect, we’re not all the same, and everyone has their own style, their own personality.
IC: What was the thing you least expected that you encountered in starting up the company?
BD: I think the thing we least expected was how long it was going to take to start up. We knew it was going to take awhile to get us on our feet and even right now we’re still in the process.
IC: What’s been the hardest problem to deal with so far?
BD: Printing the shirts. Right now we’re only able to print a small about of shirts, and the end up always being sold out before we can put them up on the web. But the more experienced we get the better. We’ve seemed to overcome a lot of those problems.
IC: How do you guys work with two designers?
BD: Do you work on each other’s stuff, or do you each do separate designs? I admit sometimes it can be tough. We used to both live in Texas but now we live in two different states. We both do separate designs but Chris does most of the designing. I end up doing more of the business stuff. We’re always looking for help so if anyone’s interested, please feel free to contact us.
IC: What types of things influence your design ideas?
BD: Our everyday lives, our beliefs, music, our friends and customers.
IC: Can you explain a little bit of the idea behind the “Define Secular Music” shirt?
BD: It’s one of my favorites. This is one of our first designs. We were both interns at this Christian ministry and during that time we were only allowed to listen to Christian music. It was a rule most interns tried to get around and so they would always ask the director, “define secular music.”
IC: I know you guys have plans to help out independent bands- Are you guys sponsoring anyone? How’s that going?
BD: As you know both of us are into music. It’s part of our lives. We are currently in the process of looking for bands to sponsor. If they want to get in touch with us they can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
IC: What plans do you guys have for the future of Abandoned & Unperfect Me?
BD: For Abandoned we’re still graphic designing, but right now the clothing line is taking up the majority of our time. For the clothing line we plan on getting it up and running later this month. Sponsor more bands. From there the plans and ideas are unlimited.
IC: Do you guys have any predictions for the future (music, fashion, politics, life in general)?
BD: Continue to graphic design. I know both of us are going to college for graphic design. I’m also going for fashion photography. Chris has a solo project on the side.
IC: Who are some of your favorite bands?
BD: Underoath, Copeland, Eisley. Lovedrug, Mae, Anberlin, As Cities Burn
IC: What are you listening to right now?
BD: Taking Back Sunday.
-Interview conducted by Stephen Carradini in June.