Hello and welcome!
My name is Cass and I’m the sole owner and crafter of this one-woman-operation, in-home business that I like to call Detroit Tie Dye Co.
The Detroit Tie Dye Company was founded when I was just 19 years old and ultimately all began due to a few unsuccessful Google searches for the perfect tie dye t-shirt.
I’ve always had a natural liking and lure to all things tie dye, but one day started to take notice that it wasn’t something I could easily find in stores — anywhere.
I had an itch to buy a tie dye shirt, or a few, but couldn’t find just what I was envisioning in my head online or in stores. I didn’t even know what exact pattern or color scheme I was looking for, but I knew I’d just know when I saw it. But I never did.
I was perplexed that all of the tie dye for sale I managed to come across online was either wholesale orders only, mass produced “imposter” tie dye that wasn’t necessarily one of a kind — or both. This was around 2013 and I didn’t know about handmade marketplaces, like Etsy for example, at the time — and for some reason never came across it during my (failed) attempt at an online tie dye shopping spree.
A handful of months passed, I was graduated from high school for about a year and working 5-6 days a week, feeling as though I was living every day of my life on repeat. Then, one day an epiphany hit me out of the blue: I have no hobbies. I don’t even know what I genuinely like to do for fun. I reminisced back to years prior and recalled how much I enjoyed arts and crafts. So I went to the local Michael’s craft store and reveled in my forgotten paradise of leisure, enjoyment and inspiration. I noticed DIY tie dye kits and that was the moment the first light bulb went off: If I can’t find the perfect tie dye t-shirt, I’ll just make it myself!
It took just one YouTube video to give me the dose of ambition I needed to feel confident that I was capable of making a tie dye shirt my damn self. So on one sunny summer afternoon I got down to business in my backyard with my little Tulip tie dye kit and a few blank white tees, all tied up and placed nicely...right in the grass. Yup, that’s where my first ever batch of tie dye shirts was created — in the grass! And they really, really sucked. I was so excited to see the results that I hadn’t let the dye soak for a solid hour even. My first ever t-shirts featured lightest pale wash of color imaginable, barely visible to the human eye. But I thought the patterns were so interesting and, dare I say, impressive, at least considering it was my first ever attempt. And that alone had me excited to the core to create more — just to see if I could make myself an even better, cooler shirt than the first few.
It turns out, I enjoy the making process itself so much that I simply never stopped tie dying. Here I am nearly 5 years later, doing what I love to do most every single day as my full time job.
At this point, you may be wondering...how did it go from a self-taught hobby and leisurely pastime to a paying, self-made career?
One day while visiting with a group of friends, one had excitedly told me about Etsy and insisted that I check it out, solely as a shopping recommendation. I brushed off the suggestion, but my friend was adamant that I download the app right that second so we could browse together. And that’s literally the only reason I ever discovered the existence of the online handmade marketplace (because I surely wouldn’t have remembered to “check it out” later as I promised).
Not long after that, the second light bulb went off: “If I keep making tie dye for fun, what the hell am I going to do with this many t-shirts?” I thought of that app my friend introduced me to that day and for a split second thought to myself “What if I could try to sell them?!” I probably laughed out loud at myself for even daring to think anyone would fork over their real money in exchange for my tie dye tees, but I continued forward with the idea and told myself to just try it for fun, since I figured I had nothing more enjoyable to do during my spare time, anyway.
And so I did.
Coming Soon — Part Two: Intertwining My Hemp Jewelry Hobby