Artist wears his art on his tees, gains followers-A A +A
Friday, January 25, 2013
IT ALL started as a freelance gig for Nicolo Nimor, 25, owner and designer of Nick Automatic, a homegrown clothing line that stemmed from Nimor’s penchant for art and graphics.
A hobbyist since grade school of all things artistic and rock, Nimor thought of art and apparel as a good mix. But he didn’t really expect his “doodling” would translate to money when he began printing his ideas on T-shirts in 2009.
“It randomly progressed. It must be something new,” quipped Nimor, who currently drums for Cebu metal band Maria Campbell.
Prior to Nick Automatic, Nimor studied advertising at the University of San Carlos in Talamban, paused on year three and decided to illustrate for local and offshore clients he found online, including some from the United States. At one point, bands and actors became drawn to his works.
Nimor found his niche in crafting designer tees and launched Nick Automatic.
According to Nimor, start-up clothing lines in Cebu back then struggled against the bullish presence of imported brands, with local buyers opting for foreign apparel.
Without a specific target upon operation, Nimor recalled that networking through friends and word of mouth helped his tees reach a larger fan base.
When Nick Automatic was launched in Manila in February 2009 as a pop-up shop in band shows, Nimor realized the potential his shirts possessed.
Nimor had P30,000 to start, producing around 20 to 30 pieces, with ready-made T-shirts sourced from Colon and printing jobs done with affiliates.
The quantity grew to 2,000 to 4,000 monthly, distributed to branches and dealers.
With the amplified demand in the market, Nimor said he is pushing for expansion
projects this year.
Getting a balance of regulars from the music and youth scene, Nick Automatic is housed in the pioneer Doodle Store on F. Ramos St. in Cebu City. Its J Center Mall outlet on A.S. Fortuna St. in Mandaue City opened last month.
Nimor remembered having to transfer from one spot to another and was glad to finally settle in the current locations.
The brand is also displayed at Built by Sonic in Quezon City and at 612 Indie Shop in
Cagayan de Oro.
Although having the youth advantage, Nick Automatic, Nimor pointed out, is not limited to teenagers, bands and skaters but is stretched to all segments of all ages.
American rock outfit A Day To Remember, who had a concert in Manila in March last year, is Nick Automatic’s first international band client.
Available for shipment in the country and abroad, Nick Automatic tees, Raglan sleeves and tank tops go for P450 to P550 (standard). Its hoods retail for P1,500 to P2,000, sunglasses for P450 to P750, and caps, made in collaboration with Manila-based manufacturer WIP Cap, for P1,300.
Nimor said Nick Automatic will be extended to babies and children’s wear this summer.
Other clothing line friends accommodated in Doodle Stores are Product of Uranus, Scars, Joints and Cookies, Monster Ink, Atomic and Killa Pinas, each with sales share of about 15 to 25 percent.
Nimor observed that the creativity of young Cebuanos in the business circuit, as shown in the proliferation of clothing lines, is powered by the province’s rich culture and art.
Passion, he said, has become the foundation of most start-ups and collaboration is a tool to sustain the scene, with clothing lines becoming means of advertising for bands.
“Bands are exposed through clothing lines and vice versa. It’s a win-win situation,” Nimor said.
“Be wise and unique. Just do your thing and the rest is history,” the unexpected entrepreneur said with conviction.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 25, 2013.