Posts Tagged ‘SpectraFAX’

TBT: Customized T-Shirts in the 70’s

Author: robertinseattle

Digging through some old boxes of photos and memoribilia and came across a few things from back in the 70’s.

Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s, I’d made my first big bucks by building several successful t-shirt businesses. I eventually sold my businesses and properties in Toronto and bought a camper van to travel across North America and down to Mexico and back for over a year, eventually living in Paris where I did a lot of painting and writing before settling back in Toronto in ’75.

I ended up building a new business with t-shirts as customization became even more personal because of technology. My friend, Thach, and I launched FaceLift, to bring personalized t-shirts (and other products) into the mainstream. Xerox had brought out the 6500 color copier a year or two earlier and we had come across a company that developed a plastisol-coated paper that could run through these color copiers and produce full-color iron-on transfers that could then be pressed on to t-shirts, tote bags and all sorts of personal goodies. So we launched a shop inside the Hudson’s Bay Center Mall at Yonge and Bloor to generate retail business. Then we also pursued a wholesale business where we would provide these customized products to all the photo processing shops that were as popular as coffee stands are today. Anyone remember those? PhotoHut, PhotoLab and more. (Of course, those businesses are long gone with the advent of digital photography and photo processing inside of almost every major drug store chain these days.)

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Adventures Along the Way: Christo 1985

Author: robertinseattle

Wow! I still remember a weeks-long trip to Europe in 1985 with my friend and tech industry analyst, Tim Bajarin. My company, SpectraFAX, had just successfully developed the first color digital scanners for PCs (and MACs not long after) and Tim was helping to introduce me to many of his connections in London, Paris and Munich as part of our international rollout plans.

After several days in Paris meeting with potential distributors, we were up early one morning to head for the airport to hit the final leg of our journey in Munich. Everywhere we stayed on this trip, journalists somehow managed to follow Tim and leave messages for him at the front desk of every hotel. We were in the middle of the very publicĀ  Apple/Steve Jobs/John Sculley spat and everyone from the Wall Street Journal to the San Jose Mercury News wanted to hear Tim’s opinions on what was happening at Apple. (Jobs ended up getting canned from Apple at the time and Sculley consolidated his power base with the backing of the Board and that was the start of the Jobs-less era at Apple.)

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