tee and toast

brews and news

mum's are tea-rrific!

brews and newsclaire mullanComment

We were chuffed to bits that the folks at Notonthehighstreet.com picked out our tea-rrific mother's day card as one of their favourites to use in their mother's day promotion. Our card's can be personalised so perfect for mummies, nans & grannies too! Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 23.18.00

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After a quick whirl through their suggested gifts for mums we picked out 3 of our favourites that we think would work perfectly with our card.

Chocolate Biscuits Set by CHOCOLATE BY CHOCOLATE ON CHOCOLATE

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Mother's Day Mug by KELLY CONNOR DESIGNSoriginal_mother-s-day-mug

 

 

Ceramic Teapot Spout Hookby LOUISE BUCHAN

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Half price owl & koko cat tees this halloween!

our friendly blog, brews and newsclaire mullanComment

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Happy halloween spooks & spookettes!What are you all dressing up as for halloween? I'm deciding between being an owl or witches cat!

Or maybe i'll end up sitting on my broom (sofa!)

with my trusty black cat Koko beside me & a cup of spooky witches brew!While I'm making up my mind, grab one of our HALF PRICE owl or koko cat tees. You'll find them in the super sale section!

ADULT TEES £10 & KIDS TEES £7

Make sure you also pop by St George's Market this weekend as there will be lots of Halloween Tricks & Treats on offer!

Fridays 8.30 - 2pm Saturdays 9 - 3pm Sundays 10 - 4pm

Boo from me! Claire Teeandtoast.com

gone to the beach! no shipping dates!

brews and newsclaire mullanComment

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Most of you will have noticed a big bunch of wedding talk over the last few months.

Claire & Paul tied the knot in early July to become officially Mr & Mrs Tee and Toast.

It was a fabulous fun and colourful day filled with loving family and friends – we had a blast and we were blown away by what was an amazing day.

One of the most random, thoughtful & funny things of the day was my mum getting the kids to do a t-shirt-instead-of-confetti toss! I'm not sure how many weddings have seen that happen?

DIY weddings are not easy though, they are full of things going wrong, lots of asking favours, tears and exhaustion!

So we knew we wouldn’t be wise to jet off on a far away sunny adventure straight after the wedding – for one there was still so much to do. Instead we enjoyed a mini homeymoon - eating & drinking left overs, coasteering on the north coast, bumper cars at barry's and then we went on a road trip along with some good friends.

But hip-hip yippee, we have finally sorted out a super duper sunny honeymoon. We are off on an adventure of island hopping around the Seychelles. Wooooooooohooooooo!

We will be closing the online shop and studio while we are away.

The no shipping dates are from 24th september – 10th october.

Please place your orders online as soon as possible to help us get organised and any orders placed while we are away will be processed and dispatched at super speed when we return.

But you will still find our stall at St George’s Market on Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays being looked after by some wonderful ladies.

Fridays 8.30 - 2pm Saturdays 9 - 3pm Sundays 10 - 4pm

Love Mr & Mrs tee and toast (heehee)

 

(photo by friend & guest jaydohertyphotography.com)

 

happy humpty dumpty hump day!

our friendly blog, brews and newsclaire mullanComment

humpdayTAT It's an extra special hump day this week as even little toasty peeps like us are getting a wee eggy break.

We will be at St George's Market this Friday & Saturday. But on Easter Sunday the market is closed! I'm sure you will all be too busy eating all your choccie eggs to notice!

P.s We think Easter egg's go best with a nice cuppa tea!

Have a fab Easter!

love

Claire & the tee and toast team!

spring showers & flower power! april 2014

our friendly blog, brews and newsclaire mullanComment

spring-newsletter2014-final2Welcome to spring. One day it's super dooper sunny & flower power weather. The next it's a soggy ankles & april showers kinda day. But don't worry folks we have added a few spring goodies to our sale to brighten up your day no matter what the weather! Are you experiencing a big baby boom with all your friends & family? We sure are & our wee sunflower romper in pink or blue is too cute to miss out on! We also have the sunflower tee for kids & grown-ups on sale too!

As usual we will be at St George's Market in Belfast this Saturday 9am - 3pm Sunday 10am - 4pm. But did you hear we are also back to where it all began at the Friday Market? Currently we are only back twice a month as we are stall sharing with the fabulous Flax Fox.

So here is a few dates for you to keep in mind Friday 4th + 18th April + 2nd May. 

We are there tomorrow 9 - 2pm so we hope to see you there! As a bonus we are offering the first 3 Friday customers who spend over £20 & say the secret code "april showers" a super 25% off voucher to use on their next shopping spree!

Make sure you stay up to date with our brews & news by signing up to our newsletter - do it here! Please keep an eye on your inbox as we will be sending some exciting news about our upcoming birthday bash... {we are nearly 9, can you believe it?}

We also have a few new designs & products coming soon, plus we need a real big spring clean so we will be having a super sale & more rumble jumble sales like we did in december.

Big hugs & stay Tee and Toasty!

Eat your sprouts & wear a cracker hat! Chrimbo 2013

our friendly blog, brews and newsclaire mullanComment

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A Tee-rrific Christmas.

We have more designs than ever this year! You should find something to pop in everyones stockings!

Tees & things for sprout loving babies to the grumpy grandpa who won't wear his christmas cracker hat!

Please take note of our last shipping dates! (Orders before noon please) UK: Thurs 19th Dec EUROPE: Mon 18th Dec USA: Thurs 12th Dec ROW: Thurs 5th Dec

As usual we will be at St George's Market in Belfast every Saturday 9am - 3pm & Sunday 10am - 4pm. We will also be there for some extra evenings so pop down for the festive fun: Mon, Tues, Wednesday 9 - 11th Dec Mon, Tues, Wednesday 16 - 18th Dec 4pm to 9pm.

Stay Tee and Toasty!

Primark leave our tees alone!

brews and newsclaire mullan7 Comments

Tee and Toast is a friendly and independent t-shirt company with a quirky sense of humour based in sunny Belfast. With the help of many a cup of tea little wee me - Claire Mullan illustrates and designs unique tees and things that will make you smile.

We make funky t-shirts for grown ups, happy t-shirts for kids and super silly things for the home and they all started off as a wee doodle.

In the last 18 months we feel that Primark has been too closely inspired by our designs. Nothing as blatantly obvious as tracing and reproducing our artwork. But they have replicated 3 very Tee and Toasty designs that just look like rehashed versions of ours. Primark have long been criticised for their ethics but we now question their creative and moral ethics too!
 
primark copy cat 
 
So you can imagine our surprise when 18 months ago a customer walked up to our stall at St George's market in Belfast wearing, from what I thought at first glance was, our tee and toast t-shirt McMullet. Nope, it wasn't! It was something very similar looking that he'd bought recently in Primark. I was annoyed but I shrugged it off even though it was one of our 1st ever designs circa 2004. People can have the same ideas, great brains think alike and all that, right?... And since then hair styles on t-shirts had become a big trend, maybe we were inspired by the same idea, maybe like me they were thinking of the ozzie mullet Shane from neighbours?... maybe.. right? But internally my instincts kept twitching... why did it have a chin? The retro colour combination was striking too - our brown designs work best on yellow tees!
 
So despite the emails from lovely loyal fans spotting them in Primark around the country and despite getting my hump up on holiday in Turkey when seeing one walking up the beach, I was naive and shrugged it off. It's going to be a one off and what can I do anyway? 
 
A year later in July 2013 another message on Facebook pops up... "have you seen this?" & "does this look familiar?" This time at first glance my reaction is.. "No, what is that monster? Is that a unicorn??"
Yes, it was a very evil looking one and with it a speech bubble (just like ours) in the shape of a cloud. And in that cloud in a font that's close to my doodled hand writing the fab words "I'm Magic!" - plus a sprinkling of stars for good measure too! I was flabbergasted!! I was fuming! More so because I LOVE this design. It's cute, it's original, it was designed for my unicorn obsessed nieces who picked this design over a wonky looking mermaid. Why did they have to copy our I'm Magic Unicorn and even more why did they do it so badly!!! 
I know the illustration of the unicorn is completely different but the main features of this design have been reproduced i.e..:- (i) (ii) (iii) the unicorn; the cloud and phrase; the stars; and it is these in combination that make up my design. So it is irrelevant that the specific appearance of the unicorn is different.  What did I do? I read articles and blogs and huffed and puffed. I tried to find a contact at Primark, searched on Linked In, phoned Invest NI, tried to find help but I was all a bit clueless. I drafted an email and it sat in my inbox. It was summer, it was the best weather we had EVER had in Belfast - so for my own sanity I decided to let it go - not to let it hold me back. Otherwise it becomes too ALL CONSUMING and at the end of the day it's me v's big old legally smeggley Primark. My time I decided is more precious than that! A month later (OK - so realistically I hadn't let it go!) I found an article about a law firm that was dealing with lots of infringement cases with Primark. I sent them an email and I got an amazing reply. Did I want to spend a tonne of dosh and get the ball rolling, I decided on this occasion I did not but swore if it ever happened again I would and I'd be strong! (I broke my promise).  Then a few weeks ago November 2013 another email pop's into my mail box. A picture of Primark's moosetache t-shirt found in Scotland. Again it isn't a case of tracing every line of our Moosetache but I feel I have every right to be alarmed and again there is something uncanny about it. 
But realistically and seriously how can 3 times be a coincidence? And seriously 3 times is not a charm!!!
 
I was fuming and then even more fuming after googling I noticed there are quite a few other Moosetache t-shirts about now. But with most of those examples it looks like we all just had the same independently thought up idea and did it in our own way and our own style. (OK there are a few others out there that I am sceptical about - but like Primark I'll give them their first strike for free) but Primark don't get any more chances. Primark don't get to say that 3 times they coincidentally had the same idea as a small but successful t-shirt company with quirky ideas.
 
Anyway we think ours is the best and cutest and the most awesome Moosetache in the world and we have no doubts that it was doodled out of our head on a cold day at St George's Market 4 or 5 years ago. Along with other doodles of mouse-tache & moo-tache but I'm not a fan of cows or mice (well maybe Mickey & the ones by Beatrix Potter) so they didn't make it onto a t-shirt.
 
So this time what did I do? I asked you all to facebook and tweet out that Primark should get their own original ideas and to stop copying young designers and independent illustrators, to leave awesome businesses that you might find on Etsy & Folksy alone. (Our Moosetache & I'm Magic designs are both on our Etsy shop - so I wonder if that could be another source for sniping!) Other high street stores should take heed too. There is quite a few out there known for their copy cat-ness: Urban Outfitters, Claire's Accessories and David & Goliath are a few that I read about.
 
The tweets fell on deaf ears as I only noticed after that Primark haven't used their twitter account since April 2013, but at the same time it was great to have the backing & support of so many loyal fans! {hugs to you all}.
 
This time I phoned Primark's head office and tried to get a name of the best person to talk to. No luck - they have a no name policy and like to keep their identities secret. Not very transparent hay? So I was allowed to leave a voicemail. It was polite and to the point but...  it was never responded to!  So then I got out that drafted email and added some extra information and decided to take it to the top. I emailed the CEO and the HR executive for buying and merchandising of Primark. It comes up in conversation every time that maybe the heads of Primark don't now what the minions are up to and if they knew maybe they wouldn't be happy either.
 
But I didn't hear back from Paul Marchant the CEO - instead I got an email from the legal services manager who said:
 
"I confirm that I have examined documentation in relation to the origins of each of the Primark designs and am satisfied that each of these designs were independently developed and purchased directly from either a professional design studio or from a freelance designer.
 
During the course of the year Primark purchase a large number of independent designs and also work with a number of design studios to develop on trend products,  a great deal of research is done both by the Primark teams and the design studios to identify these trends.  In the course of my investigations to date I have not come across any reference to your company or any design associated with your company.
 
Under these circumstances I am sure that you will understand that I will not be in a position to take any further action."
 
Pah!!!!! Googled more like
So this got me thinking about the Infringement lawyers again. But it's all talk about damages and claiming undertakings which isn't something I'm that interested in. I just want people to do good. To make amends - simply to be sorry. That must be the hippy in me! In this case I just wanted Primark to remove from their stores what I don't think they have proper rights to sell. I asked them and they said no. Now even if I went through the courts it's already too late - Primark is fast throw away fashion - you are lucky if something is there few weeks or maybe a month!
 
So instead I am simply naming and shaming by sharing my little but big story. Maybe someone, somewhere in Primark will get a slap across their knuckles and that will stop any more "coincidences" happening! We just hope that our Radio 4 interview on You and Yours will get the message across to Primark and other high street monsters that it's not OK to pinch someone else's ideas. It's insulting to the designers hard work, costly to small businesses, it's potentially damaging to credibility; especially when it's cheaply mass produced at a poor quality, it's creative exploitation, it's lazy, it's drone-like and it's just flipping dipping wrong.
 
For those of you that have and continue to support Tee and Toast and love our tees, we thank you. We want to sell t-shirts to people who love our designs because they make you happy. They make you smile. They start conversations. They aren't designed for the high street and we don't want them on the high street. We want you to own a few and wear them forever. We want our t-shirts to be your favourite t-shirts not just a fad or passing trend.
 
Please remember it's important to support independent shops, artists and designers - we and they need you. Yes, most of the time they cost more but it costs a lot to run a business no matter what size and there is endless added value. So maybe then make more considered purchases from those who thrive to give you the best quality and the real deal.
 
Now I need to find somewhere new to buy my undies from!
 

Skipping Girl t-shirt is back!!!

brews and newsclaire mullanComment

yesterday i saw a happy little girl & her skipping rope speeding merrily down a hill. it looked like sheer bliss. do you remember that feeling?? I was inspired & it reminded me that we had temporarily put away our skipping girl design... but now she is back! Ladies does she make you smile & remember the good times? When we were young & summers were.. long & sunny? skipping girl t-shirt