Last year at Lollapalooza, a fledgling South Loop tattoo shop stole the show.
Code of Conduct, whose brick and mortar location sits on 11th street, set up a space at the music festival, and celebrities started taking notice of their cool designs. Among others, David Arquette and Hayden Panettiere stopped by for some body art, and both actually turned the tattoo gun on the Code tattoo artist Jason Hoodrich.
"They shut it down and tried to take it over," said Ryan Lange co-founder of Code . Lange is banking on a repeat performance this year to help launch a new T-shirt line. "I'm not a name dropper, but we expect to have a good turnout again this year."
Sure they're not name droppers, but they seem to expect some big names.
Lange and co-founder Floyd Davis both have backgrounds in art and music and aren't afraid to leverage their contacts for a passion project like the custom t-shirts business, which launches this weekend.
"Since day one, we've been kinda like really not shy to network with other people." said Lange, who worked at Q101 Radio for seven years and now works full-time as the director of digital at MS Broadcasting. "We've got a lot of friends because we all either work in the music industry or dabble in the music industry and we all kind of play in that world. And as far as creative in the city, we know a lot of people and we're not afraid to use that to our advantage."
It's not a one way street with these two. They also give back to their network. The Code of Conduct store is filled with the wares of local Chicago artists -- from jewelry to photo prints. They stay in touch with the community through Twitter and codeofconduct.tv and their waiting room plays host to a artist's gallery that rotates on a regular basis. They even invite college students from nearby Columbia College to pitch in on tattoo designs and, now, on t-shirt designs.
They're hoping the t-shirts take off, not only to promote their business, but because they make a statement.
"We wanted this to be like the voice of our shop," Lange said. "So whatever's going on at the time; if we're into something that happens in politics maybe we have a shirt that comes out the next day because we have a voice and say something about it."
They shouldn't have trouble coming up with content, says Davis.
"All the guys here are amazing artists. And everybody has completely different styles," he said.
Stop by their space at the Hard Rock/Lolla Artists lounge at Lollapalooza this weekend and check out their unique brand of cool.
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