North Carolina BBQ Tomato Vinegar Shirt Origin Story

North Carolina BBQ Tomato Vinegar Shirt Origin Story

NC BBQ Shirt

North Carolina BBQ Tomato Vinegar Shirt

I guess I really need to get into this one, as it put us on alot of people's radar over the years. I'd just gotten House of Swank really going around 2012ish, and we were setting up a every event possible, and I do mean EVERY event. Farmers Markets, BBQ festivals, Cooke St Carnival, etc.  We went back and counted around 250 events in 2 years or something crazy like that. That's a young man's game for sure.

Anyway, I was set up a some event (First Friday at Morning Times?) and riffing on some ideas in the booth. I post a ton quick sketches of this kind of stuff on our Instagram account to get people's feedback and frankly just to get stuff out of my head. Some artist types are super twitchy about doing that kind of stuff, but I'm no artist. Whatever.

So here you have the first sketch of what would end up being our best selling shirt by far. August 3, 2013. 17 likes. WTF?

I did end up changing the ketchup to tomato as to not to offend delicate sensibilities.

North Carolina BBQ Shirt - Mens


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Speaking of when we first got started, before there was a House of Swank, I had been doing writing and playing gigs using my nickname "Johnny Swank", which I had picked up just before I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2000. (ed note. That is one long-ass run on sentence) I wrote a column for the Greensboro News and Record and blah blah blah.  Anyway, "Johnny Swank" builds a shitty 3 string guitar out of lunch box and starts playing gigs around town, makes some shirts to sell,... you see where this is going. Here's a pic of the Fritocaster. Without this piece of shit, there wouldn't BE a House of Swank, and I'm not even kidding.


All the best,


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