On moving on from college, TikTok fame, and more.
Searching for the ideal music festival outfit or simply wanting to invest in eco-conscious statement pieces? Brothers Stephen and Peter Barrett are the creators of Creamy Studios, an upcycled fashion brand making clothes for just that. Stephen said Creamy’s mission is to “repurpose clothes, get creative with what people have, [and] be conscious about the environment.” He also said the brand wants to “build a platform for other creatives, whether [Creamy is] doing collaborations or they are helping us out with collections — just to bring creatives together.” Overall, Stephen’s thoughts on repurposing clothes are, “There are tons of clothes, and people keep making new ones, so we might as well use pre-existing clothes.”
Back in 2018, the Barrett brothers used their love for thrifting and fashion to start painting on a few T-shirts. They had their friends take pictures of the shirts, which all soon sold to people. The rapid selling of those T-shirts gave the boys the confidence to start Creamy Studios. Stephen originally went to school for education, but changed majors toward the end of his college career to become a retail merchandising and fashion product development major. That was when he officially started Creamy. Peter began his retail and fashion journey in high school while selling sports jerseys.
The brothers focus their brand on thrifted T-shirts and sweatshirts, with the occasional shorts. The items are all heavy-weight, cotton, in good condition, and high-quality to ensure they last a long time. Stephen described their items as “statement pieces and [artisanal] wear, because everything is one-of-one and the point is to wear them to a music festival or [as] everyday wear.”
“The clothes are an art piece rather than a piece of clothing,” Peter said. The brand’s most well-known item is its Graffiti Hoodie, which is an all-over airbrushed sweatshirt. The Graffiti Hoodie is a specialty piece that makes the brand stand out from the rest.
“Creamy Studios stands out because of [its] illustrations and artwork that drives a lot of the brand and makes it unique,” Stephen said.
The name Creamy Studios came about because the boys liked the word “creamy” in college when it was popular and funny — Stephen also said the name stems from his love of peanut butter. “The reaction you get from other people is interesting too. Some people really like it, some don’t, and that’s funny. It also means the name is sticking in their head,” Stephen said.
All in all, the brand is certainly a group effort. “Stephen does a lot of the physical work such as designs and stuff. Then there are the occasional friends who will shoot the collections and do video work and develop pictures. It’s a team effort, but the everyday business, advertising, and website stuff is just the two of us,” Peter said.
Stephen said he and his brother have similar styles, but how they dress day-to-day differs from their brand. Creamy describes itself as a mix of artisanal workwear, outdoor wear, and streetwear. The Barrett brothers get their design inspiration mainly from music. And, their inspiration is not because of specific music artists, but because they like to turn music on while working to spark ideas and creativity. A clothing brand named Brain Dead inspires them as well. Both Creamy and Brain Dead have a similar style of graphics, such as their psychedelic themes.
The brothers recently relocated to Columbus, where they put on house shows and bring people together to listen to music. Regarding future plans, they would like to try to put on art expositions to give other creatives a platform to showcase their work. Stephen said they also “hope to start a membership club subscription service next year, so [customers] can sign up and get a different box every month with a different print” along with other items such as artwork. The boys plan on taking part in lots of collaborations this winter and said this year they perfected the method of how they want to go about doing their collection drops. They think 2022 will be a really great year for them.
Every business faces ups and downs, but it can be difficult starting a business at such a young age with little knowledge of what to expect. That is why Stephen said it is lucky they “have a lot of support and have friends to help advise [them] just because they want to be supportive.” It is a “learn as you go business.” Check out Thread’s article about Creamy Studios in our October 2018 issue, back when the business first started, to see the brand’s incredible growth. In the wise words of Creamy Studios: “Slow down, get creative, and stay Creamy.”