Matt Taylor's Toxic Ink Clothing on the Rise - page 3

By Jeff Ferrantino on February 28, 2006

Toxic Ink ClothingWhile he enjoyed these orders that kept him in business in the beginning, Taylor knew that he still needed to fully define his target market. A motorcycle rider himself, Taylor started to explore the possibility of targeting the people around him.

"I was starting to get a lot of my friend's interests, and most of them were core bikers who were saying, 'Hey, I like your stuff,'" Taylor recalls. "I was thinking that these guys are probably the pickiest of them all, so I'm going to continue down this road. It really took me about six years to define my target market, and that was probably the best decision that I ever made. We really needed to define our market and channel our energy towards it."

The move has been a good one. Today, Toxic Ink Clothing can be found in 32 locations, and now, people are actively seeking the brand out. Some of the exposure has been due to Taylor's decision to take his business to as many shows as possible.

"Last year was the first year that we really hit the road," he says. "When we go to the shows, we get exposure and that exposure has been aiding our growth."

To this day, Taylor continues to push the envelope with his designs.

"Most people really like the art because the designs are clean and crisp," Taylor says. "The main things have been our print quality and the quality of the art. You may still see a girl and a cross, but you aren't going to see the type of intricate art that we've had done — we'll use real live subjects and then have them brushed over so we're getting top quality art."

Taylor gives credit to the artists who have helped him along the way, such as Pres, and Brizzo, to name just a few.

"I was originally doing all of the art, and I realized there are people who can do it better," Taylor says. "I've always been in tune with the starving artist and their needs. I'm happy to write checks to them because they're helping me."

Today, Toxic Ink finds itself in a hot market that has generated much buzz in recent years through such brands as Orange County Toxic Ink ClothingChoppers.

"When OCC first started getting big, and we were calling around, companies were going, 'Your stuff's not like OCC, is it?'" says Toxic Ink General Manager Jason Thrasher. "Even just this past summer, we were going to the rallies and talking to people [who] are getting over Harley Davidson, because [they're] almost becoming too mainstream."

Along with the success, comes the brand recognition that hasn't always been there for Toxic Ink.

"People used to buy our products because they liked the art, not because it was Toxic," says Taylor. "Now we're starting to get the flip of that, as people say, 'Hey what do you guys have that says Toxic Ink on there?'"

"I'd say the coolest thing right now about the market that we're in is [that] this is not a passing fad," Taylor says. "More and more people are seeing our designs for the first time, and they want them. And the guys that have them already are calling back, and they want more of the same stuff. That's probably been the most exciting thing for us."

Be sure to check out Toxic Ink's clothing on their official Web site — ToxicInkClothing.com