The European Championships is just around the corner, and anyone who made the trip to Poland in 2012 will tell you that, as a fan travelling over, you cannot have enough Ireland gear. Whether you’re doing a day trip for one game or you plan to follow the Boys in Green until the end, you’re going to need plenty of green yourself.
I caught up with two fans who are making it a whole lot easier for the rest of us to stay kitted out this summer, and a whole lot cheaper. Senan Coughlan and Hugh Gallagher from Glasnevin, Dublin spoke to me about the launch of their very own ‘Regista t-shirts’ which are on sale now ahead of Euro 2016 in France.
- Tell us a little bit about Regista t-shirts.
(Senan): Basically we’re two guys from Dublin making Euro 2016 inspired t-shirts ahead of the Championships this summer. We’ve launched our first two designs, and are hoping to add one or two more before the tournament kicks off in June.
- What made you decide to create Regista t-shirts? Where did the name come from?
(Hugh): Myself and Senan would spend a good bit of time together at weekends, and often would discuss the possibilities of doing some extra-curricular stuff outside of sitting on the couch or eating pancakes which we could focus our out of hours energy on. As big Irish soccer fans, regular match attenders and two lads heading to France for the summer, we decided that this may be a good focal point for a project.
We had made some t-shirts for Euro 2012, just 5 for ourselves and found every third person stopping us in Poznan asking where we had gotten them, so thought maybe there could be an opportunity there.
(Senan): The name? Apparently being a football hipster is an in-thing so we checked the football hipster terms and narrowed it down until we eventually decided on Regista. What is it? A deep-lying midfielder – a person of swagger, skill and confidence – an Andrea Pirlo, or Glenn Whelan, if you like.
- Is this the first time either of you have done something like this?
(Hugh): Yes, Senan has a background in design and wanted to start working on projects and we both love Jonny Walters so this seemed like a good fit.
- What separates your t-shirts from the rest? Is there much competition or do you see yourselves as a unique brand?
(Senan): With the Euros being such a big competition and market this summer, there’s bound to be competition, and there are some really cool ones out there. What separates us? T-shirt quality is high, fit is great, and the experience of the t-shirt – delivery, packaging and messaging has been made with love so adds an extra element.
- How much time goes in to setting up a company like this? Could you do it while balancing everything else in your life or does a project like this require all your focus?
(Hugh): This is a passion project so all the work would be out of hours and at weekend. We decided on it a few months back just as a bit of fun, and that’s still what it is. It gives us a good topic to work and focus on when we’re just sitting around chatting. Work does go into it – websites, content, design, t-shirt orders, suppliers, packaging and delivery is all done by just the two of us so it takes time, but it’s a great learning curve.
- You launched the site last week, how has the initial response to the t-shirts been? Do you get many people making a request for a particular design or offering suggestions for further designs?
(Senan): It was great! We had lots of inbounds of people interested and wanting more info. We ordered an initial batch and they are all but gone. We’ll decide now whether to make some of other designs, or what the plan is going forward.
- Has social media made it a lot easier to get the word out for people starting up a business in this day and age?
(Hugh): It’s a great tool, but I think your network, and then other networks are the best way of getting the word out about something. We’ve found friends of friends have been very interested in the t-shirts and that’s been great to hear. Once the first batch is out and about and being worn on the streets and at games we will see more people enquiring about them.
- What are your hopes and dreams for Regista t-shirts? Is it something you can see carrying on and developing after the Euros?
(Senan): As Hugh mentioned it’s a passion project and we are very relaxed about where its headed. As a lover of all sports I’d love to experiment with some new designs and creations for other sports, but we’ll get the Euros out of the way and see where we are then. There is definitely a market for it in the Hurling & GAA summer schedule anyway.
- How much are t-shirts and how can people get their hands on one?
(Hugh): The t-shirts are €15 – which includes home delivery, packaging and a little bit of wisdom in there too. Group orders are €12 per t-shirt. If you are interested, you can check out our site or else contact us directly at [email protected] and we’ll help you out.
To have a look at the great designs Hugh and Senan have put together ahead of the European Championships this summer, or to get your hands on your very own Regista t-shirt, check out http://www.regista-tshirts.com/ or find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RegistaTees/info/?tab=page_info. If you’re on Instagram, you can find them at https://www.instagram.com/regista_tees/.