Who would have thought such sweltering heat would have given birth to a fresh new t-shirt company! It's hot here, intolerably so. Worse, much worse, is the humidity. It weighs down upon one to such a degree that all the ceiling and standing fans in the apartment and office have shared sense of inadequacy. Yet this sticky Hades is home to great creativity, particularly in the area of design. Some years ago, when I first started out on my own, similarly unbearable summer conditions gave me the idea for my company name - Swelter. Somewhere along the line, I thought it would be great for a t-shirt brand. Mid last year, that brand saw the light of day and is now being worn by quite a few people (bless them!) from around the world. Today's the day I start to share with you some of the Swelter designs and the stories behind them (hey, and if there aren't any, I'll make them up. You might want to help me along there.) Right now, I have no energy, I'm in the mood for a chat, and I keep filling up my glass with water. Pray for rain!

Thursday, 21 June 2007


I was driving to work the other day, weaving my way between pantechnicons, trucks with trailers, and overloaded African taxis, and Lucinda Williams was wailing and swearing in the car. Well, she wasn't actually in the car but her CD was playing. Loudly. I admit I wasn't in the best of moods and Lucinda was starting to depress me. Nobody was allowed to be more depressed than me at that point, and she was beating me by spades. Then, as I got to the bottom of Field's Hill (named after my great, great grandfather but that's a whole other story), the last track of Lucinda's CD began to play. She kept singing about how "Words fail" and I thought "What a great t-shirt that would make!" Slogan tees usually have something philosophic or provocative or funny on them. They exist to make a stand or get a reaction or both. How ironic, I thought, if there were an anti-slogan t-shirt, one that admitted to the failure, on occasion, of words. I confess to thinking, at the time, that this was positively brilliant! A slogan t-shirt that was subversively against its self. Nihilistic, you could say. Suddenly, I was no longer on the verge of depression, I was inspired! I thanked Lucinda and couldn't wait for the working day to end so that I could get back home and create my Words Fail t-shirt. A few days later, I listened to the song again. I had got it all wrong. Lucinda never said "Words fail", she sang "Words fell". But I reckon I owe her anyway. And should you ever be in the mood for a real bring-me-down song, give "Words fell" by Lucinda Williams a listen.It's one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard.


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- Lucas

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