Three Wolf Moon (3WM) … a T-Shirt, featuring three wolves howling at the moon. The shirt is sold on Amazon.com and after numerous satirical reviews, it became an Internet phenomenon (Internet meme). Reviewers claim the shirt gave them magical powers and 3WM quickly became the top selling apparel item on Amazon.com. In an October episode of NBC’s The Office, Dwight wears the shirt to a wedding a successfully picks up a girl.
Apple recently approved the official 3WM app [iTunes] … Three Wolf Moon HowlTone Generator [KRAPPS review] … which generates custom howling ringtones for your iPhone. We spoke with Michael McGloin, Creative Director of The Mountain (the company which produces the 3WM shirt), regarding why on Earth would he get into the competitive iPhone app business.
Below is part 1 of our interview … part 2 publishes tomorrow (hey, we try to limit our posts to 500 words or less – more time for you to do other stuff).
KRAPPS: First off, congrats on the release of the Three Wolf Moon HowlTone Generator app. We’ll get to that in a bit, but we were curious about this Brian Govern character … the dude who posted the very first review of the Three Wolf Moon shirt on Amazon which started the phenomenon … have you ever met him? You should probably buy him a beer.
Michael McGloin: Yep … good old Brian Govern. We haven’t met in person, but we’ve talked on the phone a bunch and I just sent him a box of 3WM for his family for Christmas. ROFLCon contacted me to speak at their conference in April, so I invited Brian, along with the Three Wolf Moon artist, Antonia Neshev, and the guy who did the Three Keyboard Cat Moon t-shirt to join me on the panel. So I look forward to meeting Brian for the first time in person this April. And just a side note, The Mountain will be producing the official ROFLCon T-Shirt.
Cool. Looking at the ROFLCon lineup, it should be a kick ass time … a lot of big time internet meme peeps. Anywho … let’s talk about your new app. You got a good thing going with 3WM … pumping out like 1 billion shirts per hour … why jump into the competitive iPhone app market?
Simple – I’m a MacHEAD. I have and love my iPhone. I stood in a massive line for the first generation iPhone and have been using Apple products for more than 18 years now at The Mountain and in my personal life. To have an iPhone app makes my life complete.
Nice … good to hear your life is now complete … the iPhone is cool like that. So tell us about your business background … how did you get into this whole T-Shirt thing?
I started printing shirts 20 years ago when T-Shirt Art Licensing didn’t really exist yet. I had my own T-Shirt company called Artwear. I sold shirts at Phish and The Grateful Dead shows and in the process, built a great client list. I was then asked by the partners of The Mountain to come aboard and build a print shop so they could sell to their retail stores. I built the company with the help of a team of great artists and great friends. We quickly figured out methods of printing that no one else was using. This led to making shirts for The Dead (while Jerry was still alive), Bob Marley (Family) and Jimi Hendrix (Estate). We later expanded into Native American themes, then Animals and Fantasy. It was always my goal for the original design artist to get paid for every shirt that goes out the door and that stands true to this day at The Mountain.
Right on … classy move having the backs of the artists who actually made the T-Shirt design. Tell us about your deal with Element Skateboards. Seems way different than making unicorn shirts.
The Mountain has been working with some great companies, like Element Skateboards, building our brand and expanding our product line through licensing the core team of artists on our line. We are now on our third skateboard deck series with Element and every year more and more skaters, boarders and skiers send us pictures of themselves in our gear. It’s a great feeling to have the support of that demographic.
[That concludes Part 1 of our interview. Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow, when we’ll discuss details about the Three Wolf Moon iPhone app development and programming process.]