THE SPACEBOY CLOTHING VOYAGE
Spaceboy Clothing started its 10-year mission on Market in 2009. Now, one of Market’s most recognizable brands is ‘launching’ again, on a voyage across the street, boldly going into uncharted space (actually, the space formerly occupied by Jerry’s Artarama, but go with us here). In their new location, Spaceboy nearly triples in size. We chatted with Spaceboy owner/founder David Sanchez about going higher, further, faster into his second decade on Market, and how much of that success he owes to Amy Schumer…
“We started in February 2009 and we opened this brand-new store in March 2019. So yeah, we're 10 years old and it's crazy. It seems like five. It really doesn't seem that long.”
“In a way, it all happened at the perfect time. We've always wanted space to hold events and [co-owner Noah Merenda] wanted space to display his vintage collection. It just kind of happened right when we were going to turn 10. I guess it was kind of meant to be, you know?”
Did you imagine something like this 10 years ago, when you first opened?
“Well, it was always the hope. I jumped in not knowing what I was doing. All I knew was that I wanted to quit my job and start doing my own thing. Now we just want to curate creative and entertaining things that people will talk about and hopefully they'll trace it back to the store and then it works out full circle. I'm actually just super grateful.”
So what’s driven your business to grow?
“The custom screen printing. I don't think we would have survived without it.
We do shirts for anyone from bands to big corporations like Discover Card. We don't have a certain niche. We've even done shirts for Amy Schumer’s world tour.”
How’d you get that gig?
“Do you remember Squatch? We did some work with them, and one of their team members, Marcus, was working for Amy Schumer and she needed a quick run of shirts for a couple college shows. Then all of a sudden, she’s going on a world tour, and they're like, ‘You guys want to do the shirts?’ and we were, like, ‘Uhh, yeah!’ But at the time, we didn't have an automated machine or any way to knock stuff out really fast at high volume. So we invested the money that we got from Amy Schumer into upgrading our printing equipment. We started that job by hand while finding the equipment and setting it up while she was having us ship shirts to, like, London, and we're dealing with customs and all these people are calling us. It was total insanity.”
“It was just one of those things, a kick in the pants like when Ryan Phillippe wore our shirt on Saturday Night Live. We had just we just opened at that time and people started talking about us. We sold a ton of those things.”
It’s funny, a couple weeks ago, I was watching Brianna Hansen from IN Wilmington on The Wilmington Show and someone said “Looks like she’s wearing a Spaceboy shirt.”
“And it was!”
How does it make you feel to see your shirts on the street and have your style recognized like that?
“Hey, man, I think, after 10 years … we kind of earned it. It takes a lot of time and patience and energy to actually do things and do them right. And I think we're still learning. I'm hoping over the next couple of years, it'll kick up even a little more. We want to keep going.”
“I remember this time when I was in a Wegmans in Pennsylvania and there was this guy wearing a shirt that we stopped printing years ago. I always want to get out my phone and take pictures of these people and post it – T-shirt spotted here! It's just cool to see. And now that we’re shipping stuff out to other parts of the country, I know people are wearing our shirts, whether that’s in Wilmington or not.”