Interview with The7LineMay 6, 2010
In the interview below I chat with Darren Meena of The7Line. Darren is a big time Mets fan and creates Mets t-shirts. Read below as we discuss his inspiration for creating t-shirts, the Mets and much more.
Q. Tell the readers a bit about yourself and The7Line (the blog and the store)?
A. I’ve been a screenprinter for about 12 years and a die hard Mets fan since birth. I learned the basics of printing in my senior year of high school. I took an art class with the option to learn how to print tshirts. At the time I was very competitive in bmx bike racing and was traveling to different states all around the country every weekend. I would print tshirts and sell them at the tracks in between my races. This turned into a successful bmx clothing brand (MANMADE) that had vendors all over the USA and distributors in other countries. I sponsored a team of riders, produced dvd’s, sponsored contests, ran ad’s in a few major publications.. the whole 9. As I got older and started riding less demand for the Manmade brand fizzled. Since I had years of experience in printing I started a screenprinting business under the same name. I now print for local businesses, bands, schools, teams, bars, fdny, nypd, papd ect. …. Manmade as a clothing brand is still around but most of my time is now occupied by The7Line. To check that out his up http://www.manmadeclothing.com
At the very end of last season I came up with the idea for my “I Survived” tshirt. Since I wanted to sell them I decided to come up with a brand name (which took forever) and started The7Line. Most of the names I thought of ended up being taken but The7Line was available so I bought it and that was that. It seems fitting that the 7 train runs through Queens and is the closest train that gets you to the games.
The blog is an area where I can write about things that happen when I am at the games with my friends or just to throw my two cents in when I have something on my chest. I don’t think I am a very good writer but I enjoy posting everyday. A couple of my friends post on occasion so that helps too. Every shirt is printed by hand just a few miles from Citi Field with close attention to detail and only using the best inks and fabrics.
Q. Where do you get your in inspiration/ideas for the t-shirts?
A. The idea behind The7Line is that I come up with shirts that aren’t like anything you would find in Modells or through an MLB website. The Mets are probably not keen on the idea of glorifying Darryl Strawberry’s coke problem or the 1986 team doing drugs, drinking and hooking up with women… they wouldn’t print shirts like that… I will. I like the idea that anything I come up with I can pretty much design and print in the same day. Since I do everything myself nothing is out of the question. I want The 7 Line to be known by all fans but mainly the ones who share the same passion and love for the team as our crew. We go to 95% of the home games, get involved in chants, drink some beers, talk to cute girls in the stands, heckle opposing fans, heckle/cheer the right field ball boy CHAD, go on roadtrips when the team is playing close enough to home… we really just enjoy having a good time and the Mets give us something to be excited about win or lose. Win or Lose we still booze. Watch this video… it will give you an idea of what I am talking about…
Q. What’s the most popular item in the store?
A. The top two sellers on the website are the “I Survived” and the “Shea_Catcher” tshirts. I have more from the neon series of Shea figures coming soon. Since I go to every game I have been promoting like crazy. Whatever shirt from the line that I wear that day I bring a few extra in a backpack for all those people that stop me to ask “Where did you get that shirt?!?”. A few lucky people per game get to buy shirts on the spot and save on shipping. I also bring stacks of stickers with my website address on them to hand out to other fans who are into what I am doing.
Q. Do you have plans to expand into producing other items along with the t-shirts?
A. I have been getting lots of requests for girls specific clothing. I have “I ONLY SLEEP WITH METS FANS” booty shorts and matching shirts coming out within the next week. You are going to be able to buy them individually or as a set. Hats and hooded sweatshirts are also in the works. I also want to come up with some more designs that represent Queens outside of ballpark. The 7 Line has room to expand for people who like the name and would like to wear clothes that dont necessarily have to do with the Mets.
Q. What’s you thoughts so far, early on in the season with how the Mets are playing?
A. Growing up as a Mets fan you are brought up being used to the rollercoaster of emotions that go along with following this team. We presently have a winning record thanks to that awesome home stand, but after losing two miserable games in Philly and losing tonight (5/3) to Cinncy in extra innings it looks like things are back to normal. I’d love to see consistent pitching, D.Wright needs to cut the strikeouts in half, Bays gotta heat up, Reyes needs to stop popping out with that uppercut swing…. They really just need to keep the confidence up and momentum going. I am happy with how the kid Ike has been playing both offensively and defensively. He is showing good range playing first and that’s a welcomed change of pace. I think we have a good team filled with potential all stars, they just have to heat up all at the same time and keep it going. Either way… I am a fan and I’ll be one till death. Look for the dude rocking a backpack with a Mets full sleeve tattoo. See you at Citi! LGM!