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Meet Angela De Nuccio of Real Cool Time Apparel in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela De Nuccio.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Angela. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve always been into crafts and creating things. My mother taught me to sew growing up and I often altered my clothes in my teenage years to look cooler (at least in my mind lol). I’ve been making custom shirts by hand embroidering or iron on transfers for a while and was inspired by so many other small shops I saw on social media to finally take the leap and manufacture my own items for sale.

I had already been selling vintage items on Etsy for a number of years and thought I would combine that with my t-shirt and pin designs. Through this new venture, I discovered I really enjoy drawing and designing my own art for my shirts and pins! So you could say I’m new to art haha. My little brand has been existing for about a year now and it’s been slow and steady. The biggest surprise was the camaraderie I’ve experienced on Instagram through my followers and other creators. I’ve had so many new friendships begin and the support has been encouraging to a new artist like myself. I’ve even had a few opportunities to introduce products that allow me to donate to various charities such as the ACLU. Overall, starting a brand was not at all what I expected but has been extremely fulfilling and has encouraged me to grow my skill set and be loud about topics I’m passionate about.

Has it been a smooth road?
I definitely had my challenges along the way. I ordered my first two shirt designs and had the shirts sit and sit on the shelf which was an expense I hadn’t totally anticipated. With pins, I had a bit more luck and was able to turn around and keep creating more designs that way. It’s always a struggle to find time to build my brand while also working a full-time job and being a mom to a toddler.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Real Cool Time Apparel story. Tell us more about the business.
I draw my own designs for shirts, pins, patches and most recently mugs. My designs are inspired by my music interests (my punk rock teenage self approves) as well as social activism that speaks to me. I’m proud that I have been able to keep creating new designs to share because of my customer’s support. I’m always creating – even if it’s in my mind at my day job and doesn’t get executed until late at night when I have time to draw it! I don’t know if there’s something that sets me apart BUT I can honestly say I’m just really honored to have built relationships with other lady owned small businesses who I admire so much. It’s been a really cool experience getting to share my creativity with some truly amazing artists.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I’m really open and flexible to where this journey will take me. I just intend on creating more and more stuff that matters to me and being able to share it. I try and pay attention to what’s hip… but really I’m just a weird cat lady mom that has some oddly specific interests that are sometimes kinda cool.

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