The Creation of Something Good Merchandise
Something Good Merchandise is a Broadway/musical theatre and pop culture-inspired merchandise brand co-owned and run by a set of identical twin sisters, Ashley and Amanda. We didn't study business in school, and we have never been performers ourselves. Yet, here we are, running an ecommerce company whose products feature designs primarily centered around Broadway and musicals. The idea that this is now something we're doing isn't absurd to us, but it isn't something we had plans of pursuing.
In college, we both studied journalism with the goal of becoming writers, but writing was never our only creative outlet; it was just our primary one. Thanks to joining the yearbook staff in high school, we were also really interested in photography and design. Our interest in design, however, really began in middle school during the peak of Myspace.
On Myspace, we discovered cool graphics and photo edits and developed a desire to create things just like it. We eventually got Photoshop and taught ourselves the program, which came in handy when we started doing yearbook.
We ended our college tenures in 2017 as co-editors-in-chief of our university's yearbook. After graduating, we realized yearbook was the most creatively fulfilling experience we ever had. Going into the real world, we maintained a focus on writing but missed getting to do design work and having other creative outlets. Our lives had become far less creatively fulfilling.
A couple of months after graduation, we started to become legitimately interested in Broadway and musical theatre. Ashley became obsessed with Bandstand and Corey Cott and started venturing into other shows, eventually showing Amanda the pro shot of Newsies. Soon enough, Amanda became a Fansie, too. Our interest in musicals only grew from there and soon developed into a love. We started seeing Broadway national tours and kept tabs on all of our favorite Broadway performers and shows.
Being in the Chicagoland area, we have the fortune of access to a lot of great theatre. But Chicago still isn't New York and Broadway, and it never will be. We'll miss out on shows and special concerts, but that doesn't mean we can't fantasize about them.
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Considering we've seen @naponacott and @mikaelabennett_ perform as Tony and Maria, respectively, four times, it's safe to say we're going to miss them so much now that #LyricWSS has closed! 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 #WestSideStory #MikaelaBennett #CoreyCott #MusicalTheatre #Musical #LyricOpera #LyricOperaOfChicago #Broadway
As introverts, one of the things we often find ourselves doing is thinking of random situations and events that will likely never happen.
Several months ago, we were messaging each other late at night about a dream Broadway concert we'd love to see. We went back and forth about who would be there and what they would sing. In this scenario, we wanted a tenor trio concert of Aaron Tveit, Corey Cott, and Jeremy Jordan, and exclusive merchandise would be a must. We knew for a fact that people would buy merchandise for such an event, because, well, we'd definitely want merchandise to commemorate such an event.
We discussed the idea of a poster, potentially signed, because what Broadway fan wouldn't want a poster with that trio on it? But, more importantly, there needed to be T-shirts, because everyone loves a good T-shirt.
That's when Ashley threw out the idea of starting a Broadway clothing company.
We'd recently seen a tweet about someone who was asked about their interest in starting a Broadway clothing line. That stayed on Ashley's mind, and she figured it was a good time to bring it up. Unbeknownst to Amanda, Ashley already had a Broadway-inspired T-shirt design in the back of her mind for months; she just never did anything about it, but perhaps now was the time to act.
The creation of such a brand would finally give us the design opportunities we have craved and been missing since working on our final yearbook. We also figured it would also provide Broadway fans with some clothing options beyond standard show shirts. So we figured it was at least worth trying, and we started brainstorming designs right away.
It didn't take long for us to amass design ideas. It was fun and very fulfilling to develop them and look for inspiration within our favorite musicals.
Once we felt we had enough designs and collections created, we planned our launch, hoping to go live in time for the 2019 holiday shopping season. And we did, launching mid-November. However, it took some time to settle on a company name. We had dozens of designs created before we even chose a name.
We knew we wanted it to relate to Broadway/musical theatre in some way, but we didn't want it to be that straightforward. Just as we did for design inspiration, we looked to our favorite musicals for naming inspiration. Ashley perused through lyrics from various show tunes in hopes of finding something that would stand out.
When she read through the lyrics for "Something's Coming" from West Side Story, our collective all-time favorite musical, "something good" resonated and gave her the idea to do something good with this brand.
Starting this brand was never about money, though it'd be nice to have some extra income. We started this brand as a creative outlet and a way to express our love for Broadway and musical theatre. But it would be great to make an impact with our work, too.
So we decided on the name Something Good Merchandise, the first and only name we came up with, and the concept that we would do something good every time someone bought Something Good. We like to give and help others when we can, and this brand was a great opportunity to do just that.
Since our mid-November launch, we have released 12 different collections and created over 100 designs—many of which are among the original concepts we developed within the first few weeks of starting the brand.
More importantly, we have done something good by supporting various charities through our products. But our favorite part has been connecting with numerous performers and fellow Broadway fans, bonding over a shared interest in musicals. While creating cool designs is fun, community and knowing you're a part of something is even better.
Thank you to everyone who has supported Something Good Merchandise, and may we continue to do something good.