5 Characteristics that Successful Business Leaders Share

The success of a business is only as good as the people leading it. Bad leaders produce unproductive work environments and stagnant growth. In contrast, great leaders can develop trust, engage employees and fast-track success.

When it comes to successful business leaders, these are five of the top identifiable characteristics they commonly share:

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Why Funny Tees Work: The Top 3 Comedy Theories Explained

In case you haven’t noticed, funny tees have been extremely popular as of late, with no indication of slowing down. In fact, on Etsy alone, there are over 93,000 results for ‘funny graphic tee’. If you haven’t considered adding the style to your custom apparel offerings, now is definitely the time.

Now, we know what you’re thinkingwhat exactly makes something funny? Is there a formula you can easily recreate for your own tees?

As it turns out, scientists and philosophers have been pondering several theories behind humor for hundreds of years. While it may not be an exact formula, understanding why people think situations are funny can inspire ideas for your creative new apparel.

To help provide some direction, we narrowed it down to the top three comedy theories. Let’s take a look!

The Top Three Comedy Theories Explained

1. Benign Violation Theory

[Image source: BoldGalCo on Etsy]

Linguist Thomas Veatch published the basis of benign violation theory in the late ‘90s, stating that humor happens when something “seems wrong or unsettling but is actually benign [not harmful].” However, Joel Warner and Peter McGraw actually coined the name ‘benign violation theory’ a decade laterbuilding it out a bit further. They proposed that we laugh at violations of social norms (strange behaviors, picking nose), morals (disrespectful behavior, sexist jokes), normal language patterns (puns, using an incorrect word in place of a similar sounding one) and so on, as long as they’re not threatening.

Take a close look at the words featured on the t-shirt above. The phrase “I wet my plants” is a garden pun, and plays off of wetting your pants and watering plants. On the one hand, it seems as though it doesn’t make senseand like a social norm violation, because adults generally don’t wet their pants (or at least talk about it)but, it makes total sense to those with a green thumb. Because of this duality, the pun is a “violation of a normal language pattern” and also “benign,” which fits the theory. Gardeners, plant lovers, and florists alike would definitely wear something like this and find it funny since watering plants is a common task they can relate to.

Pro Tip: Think of a few activities, sports or hobbies and try and come up with some puns or strange behaviors that relate to each, making sure they aren’t threatening (offensive). Then play around with funny sentences or sketch some funny artwork to see what you come up with.

2. Bergson’s Mechanical Theory

[Image source: BossiEverything on Etsy]

Bergson’s mechanical theory is the idea that things are funny because they’re true. In fact, it’s why many comedies rely on predictable patterns of behavior that we see and do in our everyday lives. We often laugh at jokes that remind us of our own quirks, or even the behavior of our friends, families and co-workers.                  

A shirt in line with this theory is the Dwight graphic tee featured above. For example, in The Office, Dwight loves to contradict what people are saying by using irrelevant facts to make himself look smarter. When he does this, he’ll often start by saying, “FALSE.” Someone watching this play out might think, “I know a guy from work who is a total Dwight.” Or, you might watch it and think, “Wow, that’s totally me!”, and because it speaks your personality, it might be funny to you to wear a shirt like the one above.

Pro Tip: Think of some quirky things you, or people you know, do or say and write them down. Throw in some fun personality traits too. Then use this list to outline general ideas for a funny design that anyone could relate to.

3. Release Theory

[Image source: 229DesignShop on Etsy]

The release theory is the idea that laughter happens as a result of tension breaking between people. An example of this theory is when a person breaks the awkward silence after meeting someone they think is cute and uses the pick-up line, “Did it hurt? …When you fell from Heaven?” 

However, psychologist Robert Priest went further, noting that if the tension felt by a group of people was ‘strong’ rather than ‘moderate’, it could invoke frustration instead of humor. An example of this would be trying to break the ice by telling a joke about feminists to a feminist group. It’s probably not going to be received too well. 

With that said, a good example of this theory in practice would be the “dad joke” shirt above. Dads and lame jokes are synonymous, and almost a right of passage. But since they always create that tension in the room, where people may feel pressured to pretend that their jokes are funny, wearing this this shirt is a perfect anecdote for making everyone feel at ease, when they don’t laugh.

Pro Tip: Jot down some funny pick-up lines or think of phrases or situations people use to break tension in the room. Are there any that make sense as a slogan or graphic tee? Show them to your family and friends to get their opinion, then create a few test shirts and see what sells. 

Now that you’re familiar with the top theories behind why things are funny, you can use the philosophies as a guide in developing your own funny tees. Just remember, think about who your niche audience is first, then brainstorm possible situations they could relate to. 

Ready to stock up on basics and start screen printing your own funny tees? Check out our extensive selection of quality brands on the S&S Activewear website

7 Major Graphic Design Trends to Keep an Eye On for 2019

Whether you design your own graphics for your apparel business or work with a graphic designer, it’s important to stay on top of the trends to make sure your garments remain relevant and are meeting a market need.

Here’s a closer look at seven major graphic design trends for 2019 to help your ideation process:

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The Top 4 Fashion Trends for Summer 2019 You Need to Know

Fashion is like a boomerang: trends and styles always come back around. This is undoubtedly the case for the summer 2019 lookbook, from old-time grungy favorites to sporty-turned-chic statement pieces. Regardless of your opinion of high-fashion, what goes on the runway always trickles down to the mainstream.

We’ve sorted through the popular SS19 runway apparel and assembled the top four fashion trends for summer 2019 that your business should keep in mind:

1. Tie-Dye

Tie-dye made a comeback as a fashion favorite last year, and the psychedelic style is at the forefront of this summer’s trends—from blazers to maxi dresses to tees. Though now the resurgence of this hippie wardrobe staple displays a modern update. Luxury labels were seen mixing tie-dye and floral, experimenting with kaleidoscope patterns and trying more subtle design approaches across the runway. Everyone from your old art teacher to Insta-famous celebs will be rockin’ it soon.

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cotton

ComfortWash: Supporting the U.S. Economy and the Environment

Have you ever considered how agriculture and fashion are so intrinsically connected? Farmers grow the materials that go into the textiles, and thus they’re the foundation of every fashionable piece you see online or in a store.

Take cotton, for example. Textile manufacturers in the U.S. use an average of 7.6 million bales of cotton each year. As a leading cash crop, it aids in stimulating the American economy and provides significant environmental benefits.

Are you ready to start supporting the local economy and environment? Here’s why you should consider working more with brands who choose material grown in the U.S.

The Impact of U.S. Cotton

Growing the Economy

Of the thousands of cotton growers in America, many are family-owned farms whose rural communities depend on stable farm income. In fact, the crop is responsible for employing over 126,000 people and bringing in more than $120 billion in business revenue for the U.S. annually. Of the total annual yield, more than half is used for apparel!

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The Power of Networking for Small Business Growth

A common misconception is that you only need to network when in search of a new job. However, the reality is that networking and face-to-face interactions are crucial for any small business’ continued success. As an entrepreneur, connecting with new people is a necessary skill for growth.

We’ve listed out why networking is important and some best practices to help you get the most out of the experience.

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Cherry LA: A Lesson in Creativity for Any Small Business

When it comes to 2019 fashion, streetwear is still king. Brands like Supreme, Stüssy, and even Louis Vuitton, continue to buzz in circles of hype beasts and fashionistas alike. The rise and reign of streetwear is intrinsically tied to social media, with brands like I.AM.GIA proving that overnight success is just one Hadid or Jenner Instagram tag away from blowing up in popularity.

Though breaking into the landscape may seem impossible as a small business, Cherry Los Angeles has shown there’s plenty of room for the small guy to shine in the streetwear scene. While Cherry LA’s re-worked Dickies and bold graphic tees are worthy of praise, their ever-growing success can really be attributed to their bold and brilliant branding. If you’re looking to carve your own path in the streetwear sector, be sure to add Cherry LA to your inspiration board for ideas in creativity.

New to the brand? Don’t worry, we’ll get you up to speed!

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Has Next Level Created the Perfect Fashion Tee for Women?

A t-shirt is the most basic and powerful clothing item women can own. There’s something intrinsically satisfying about a blank canvas that pulls together an outfit with such simplicity. A good tee, when you find it, is the epitome of the “no-makeup” makeup look.

For decades, women have had to scour men’s closets to find a quality tee thanks to the “shrink it and pink it” marketing era. So, when it comes to t-shirts what exactly are women looking for?… 

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Goodbye Casual, Hello Fashion: Athleisure is Here to Stay

The days of the “Mad Men” era, with separate attire for work, dinner, and a night out, are long gone. We’re living in modern times where “casual Fridays” are becoming a daily occurrence. Close to 40 percent of the U.S. workforce is freelancing and style has officially been paired with comfort.

As the workforce continues to change and high-fashion consistently transforms activewear into fashionable, yet functional pieces—the need for the suit-and-tie is decreasing. Instead, people are opting for Continue reading “Goodbye Casual, Hello Fashion: Athleisure is Here to Stay”

Everything You Need to Know to​ Launch Your E-Commerce Site

As the digital age continues to transform the way consumers interact with brands, more brick-and-mortar print shops are adapting to include an online retail presence. It’s a smart play considering the apparel and accessories e-commerce sector is expected to generate over $138.7 billion in revenue by 2022. 

The time to take your business online was yesterday. Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to launch your e-commerce site. Continue reading “Everything You Need to Know to​ Launch Your E-Commerce Site”