Team High Maintenance was born out of a desire to explore the fashion industry as well as a fun side project that could encompass multiple disciplines of graphic design. I had always had the desire to start a clothing line and on this attempt I knew I also wanted to push myself in terms of design as well as other aspects I had not yet worked in such as internet marketing with Instagram. The name was chosen out of a inside joke with my business partner, the joke being that we both drove high maintenance vehicles (Porsche and VW at the start of this project) and they always required some work on our end to keep them on the road. The name stuck and would eventually be shortened to the acronym of THM for the sake of brevity.
The original THM logo was designed using a graffiti brush marker (also called a mop) to achieve some of the rough brush strokes and edges. Ultimately I wanted to reflect in the logo design the roughness of our vehicles. These vehicles are not show cars as they get driven hard and see daily duty. Working on this project over the last year and a half has been an eye opener into another territory. It has pushed me to learn what works, what doesn't, as well as what is popular in this niche market. This is an ongoing project that will hopefully see some large strides in the coming months.
An online presence was always part of the original vision of THM. Since my business partner and I still work full time we knew that we needed a website that we could use to sell outside of our general area as well as to give our brand some credibility. I am a web designer and I know the amount of work that comes with building a eCommerce website so immediately I knew that I would want to use a full featured but easy to use framework. After sorting through frameworks such as Squarespace, Skreened, and others we settled on Big Cartel. The ease of use as well as the built in functionality and low starting point made it ideal to help get THM off the ground as quickly as possible. Design wise I knew that we would want to keep the website looking clean with our products first and foremost. After shooting some photos of our product as well as help from a fan we had our imagery and we where well on our way to having a fleshed out website.
If you enjoy driving vintage machinery then the motto of ALWAYS BROKEN. NEVER BEATEN. is something that you truly understand. We found this motto to resonate with our fan base as we all share a love of cars and we all work hard to keep our favorite cars in good repair as most examples are pushing 30 years old. Another tagline we have used in our clothing is Drive. Break. Repeat. This comes from the somewhat fickle nature of our cars as at this point they almost seem to have taken on personalities of their own. In my own personal experience after a nice long shakedown cruise you will typically find items that need to be repaired or are getting close to being detrimental to your car remaining on the road. Team High Maintenance tries to empathize with the average car enthusiast while staying true to our roots of doing our own work / modifications.
Over the past year and a half we have been busy building THM into the brand of what we always wanted to wear. I have designed clothing and stickers that I would wear or want to see adorn my ride.While building THM I was able to race my car at Z-Max raceway and connect with fans and I have had people come up and ask for shirts or other merchandise. We have had mixed success in the Charlotte area however our highlight was last year as we where invited to attend Battle Royal in Denver Colorado as a vendor. This was made possible through our success in using Instagram to connect with fans all around the globe. Below are some designs as well as stickers and postings from Instagram that I had a hand in creating and curating.