Photography of myself with photographer Richard Perez
Why do people love Wisconsin Skinny?
I get asked probably 5 times a day what "Wisconsin Skinny" means. Many times I wish it was just a name brand that meant nothing so I could just not tell the story over and over, but instead I give the 1 minute story.....I came up with the name,Wisconsin Skinny, in a bar describing Midwest women.I thought it was cool and here we are,but in reality it's many years of a twisting turning life to get where we are today. So here it is!
2004 - Being a little odd in my own way I constantly felt I was ahead of the game,but having crazy ADD I guess I never did anything about it. I was always thinking of cool ideas for businesses but never following through and then just to see someone "invent" this idea years later was frustrating. Well one day I came up with the word "Wisconsin Skinny". It was a term I used for Midwest women that had what Maria de Medeiros character in "Pulp Fiction" called a bit of a tummy, like Madonna did in "Lucky Star" It's the look of a woman with real curves, nothing fake about it. It's a gorgeous look. So after that I just continued to use this term.
Then one day I was out with my friend Mason Williams ,who is an incredible tattoo artist in his own right. having a couple beers. We started talking about women and what we considered attractive. That's when I dropped the "Wisconsin Skinny" bomb. He loved it! When he went back to Cincinnati he told his friend Kore Flatmo who next thing I knew started telling people on the west coast. Long paragraph short, after doing a guest spot in Seattle. One of the artist told me she was "Wisconsin Skinny" She heard it through Kore.. Oh shit I better do something otherwise someone is going steal this idea!
Kyleigh Jane, photography Shandra Kerr
2006-2007 Around this time I opened my own tattoo shop and started printing neck line "Wisconsin Skinny" shirts for my friends. They went pretty fast and I thought maybe I'm on to something. Ricks International Tattoo convention was in 2007 and I figured that would be my feeler out show. Busting out some artwork ,I did a last minute run of hoodies and shirts. My problem was once I printed the shirts, people bought them up so I didn't have anything for the show. So I actually printed the shirts that morning of the show. The show was a huge success!
2008 - Now I needed to get my act together, I had a product people loved just needed to get a great product out there! I met a wonderful women named Julia Fiske who owns Save the TaTas clothing whom I designed temporary tattoos for. I'm a huge fan of Johnny Earle / Johnny Cupcakes and he was nice enough to give me a couple good tips, but Julia was the first person to open up to me and shed some light on this business. Guiding me in the right direction.
Bernie Dexter/photo by Levi Dexter
So with a Myspace account, yes Myspace! This was before Facebook was even a thing. I put up a couple photos of the lovely Bernie Dexter wearing my clothing and everything just took off from there.
About this time I closed the doors to my tattoo shop, moving back to Madison,WI focusing more on Wisconsin Skinny. With people constantly asking me where they can buy, I finally found someone to make my website. Early 2008 Wisconsin Skinny Clothing was online! With a couple different designs, this was my start.
Around 2012 I decided to take a break from Wisconsin Skinny and put it on hold, but with the encouragement from loyal customers and a couple clothing companies I have decided to bring it back!
2016 will be a fresh start!
As I always say... "Wisconsin Skinny is about good ole fashion pride, believing in yourself and what you stand for. When did being different become a bad thing?"