A business inspired by the Toon and ran by 21 year old creative Hannah Young, HanTshirts sells quirky eco-friendly t-shirts. With classic Geordie phrases, slang and hilarious illustrations, you’ll definitely want to order one of these 100% cotton products ASAP. Han also sells postcards, sweatshirts, notebooks, tote bags, prints and stickers.
We had the pleasure of speaking to Han here at Listed, about her business and the inspiration behind her brand.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Han – “I’m Han, I’m 21 and I’m from Gosforth. I work as a gardener full time and run HanTshirts in my free time. I love meme culture, daft sayings, toon and gritty pubs with sticky tables; which you could probably guess looking at my tee designs.”
When did you start your business and what inspired you to start?
Han – “I opened my Etsy shop in 2017 not knowing what on Earth I was doing. I had been doodling all my life, I spent more time scribbling drawings over my school work than ever listening to the teachers. I had originally opened the Etsy shop to sell paintings under the name of WatercoloursbyHan. They were mostly landscape pieces with the majority being realism however they weren’t selling. I began to delve more and more into abstract and surrealist art. After doodling an abstract image of myself one night, I thought it would be best suited as a t-shirt design and set my sights on creating a brand.
I actually made zero sales in my first two years of the shop. I had bought all this stock of t-shirts, plastered with my early designs and just had no idea how to market it. I made a few sales in 2019 but progress was slow until I met my boyfriend Cal and his bandmates, who said I could design and sell their merch. From there, the business just grew and grew, with my newfound friends inspiring new Toon-based designs and allowing me to delve into the Newcastle creative scene.”
Since starting your venture, how has it changed your daily life?
Han – “Every day is just so much more exciting now! It’s difficult running a business of course, but seeing others wear my designs and enjoy my art is so fulfilling and still crazy to me! Every day I’m seeing inspiration for designs in normal life, like walking down the street and hearing an unbelievably Geordie saying or chatting to strangers on a drunk night out.”
HanTshirts has also been featured in the local press, such as Darling Zine and Spilt Milk Zine.
“100% cotton, 100% eco-friendly, 100% daft.”– HanTshirts
What are your hopes for the future of your business?
Han – “I would love to be able to run HanTshirts full time, what a dream job that would be!
Having a shop in central Newcastle would be amazing too, I would love to combine its use as not only a shop but also as an art gallery showcasing up and coming NE artists. A bit of a crazy dream would be to combine it with a vegan cafe, housing rescue ex-racer greyhounds up for adoption, then all my passions would be mushed up into one place!
A big dream with the business is to have enough money (and knowledge!) to be able to actually print some of my own merchandise, not just design it. This way I could make prototypes and experiment with new products much more easily. I definitely want to expand my merchandise range into things like mugs, skateboards, and tracksuits.”
Photo Credits: Oxley Media