Tell me about yourself: My name is Critt and I own and operate the clothing brand known as Thur13en. I’m 34 years old, a proud husband and father. I have been skateboarding since I was 12 years old and to this day, I am still active on my board along with promoting and supporting local skateparks. I have sung in a hardcore band for over 15 years called Ante Up. We have played all over the Midwest, East Coast, Canada, and even Europe. I’m straight edge, which for those who do not know means I live a moralistic drug free sober lifestyle. I am a nonstop type of person who is reaching for something more & more every moment of every day. I am motivated, optimistic, and persistent. Every day is a chance for me to improve from the day before, and that is exactly what I do.
What made you want to start a clothing line: Since I can remember, I have always liked cool and fun t-shirts. I never had a clue on how or what to do to ever make one but always thought it would be fun to do it someday. Growing up in the music scene, one of my favorites was a band called On Broken Wings. A member of the band named John started a brand many years ago called Johnny Cupcakes. He took this brand on tour with him and that’s originally how I found out about them. After I stumbled upon this, I began to follow his brand and watched it grow into what it is today.
At this point, I started a small brand with an old friend and tried out the world of clothing. It began around 2009 and I learned what I thought was a lot, but little did I know just how much more was needed to be known. We made a few designs and did a few pop-up shops where we could. This went on for a couple years, but the brand never really took off. At this point I decided to depart while having future plans to start something of my own. Something where I had full control of creativity and direction, and I did exactly that.
What is the story behind the name and brand Thur13en: Thur13en and the idea for this brand came at the end of the previous project I was working on. Since I was a kid, I had the obsession with the number 13 being that I was born on July 13th. This number followed me through the sports I played, while also seeing it everywhere I went. On clocks, signs, in books, and literally everywhere you can think of, the number 13 was there. In early January of 2015, I was sitting at my computer desk and just started scribbling around on some paper and couldn’t stop drawing the number and word out. I kept doing it and even began spelling it in all types of different ways. Sitting there looking at the word itself, the idea formed that this in fact would be my next move, the brand I was going to create was right in front of my face my entire life.
Knowing that the number has always been popular, I knew that the correct spelling and even the number itself had to already been trademarked or copywritten. Looking at it in this perspective, I decided to try out different ways of spelling the word. It took quite a while, but I thought maybe changing some of the letters that had similar shapes of the numbers would make this work while also making it unique. That is when I drew the name for the very first time, Thur13en. The name was there but the brand needed two more things to truly become what I wanted and needed, a logo and a mission. I decided to reach out to one of my closest friends who has talent like no other, the one and only Troy Mort. He has always had a way of taking ideas and bringing them to life, so this in my opinion was my best option to bring the vision to reality.
The original design created to start the brand was the word itself written out. It came out with a tattoo style look with a nice outline and drips added as well. This design was used for about 1-1.5 years on many different things such as tee shirts and hoodies. As for the logo: I’ve always liked the look of roman numerals, so from this I wanted to begin working on a symbol that was unique and also universal. It was at this time I began to contemplate the mission behind the brand. I thought of different things for countless days, before I had the idea of looking at the alphabet. With that being said, the 13th letter is M. I had to find the word that completely explained what this brand was in one word. It took some time, but there was only one word that stuck out and spoke to me on what my whole reason was for this brand. That word was Motivation. Something that everyone in this world can completely relate to, understand and has inside them. Motivation is what drives everything and everyone to improve and create. This brand wasn’t only going to be something you wear, but a symbol that shows who you are.
Now that the mission was solidified, and the roman numerals would be used for the logo I then knew I had to create something that anyone could wear. Motivation as a demographic holds no boundaries of who has this a part of them, so creating a logo that anyone can wear was the test at hand. I turned to my best friend of almost 18 years, Matt Cain to help bring this logo to life. We took the roman numerals and added some details to it making it different than anything else being used. Cutting edges, adding a paint brush look yet keeping it very bold and in your face. Making it something that could be printed in any color, and onto anything was the goal, and that is exactly what was made. Thur13en was alive, and the goal from making this brand into a movement of motivation and endless possibilities was awoken.
What keeps you driven: The goal of bringing motivation and positivity to the world. These simple words are something that everyone can understand and embrace. Creating a better tomorrow is a goal that will always be my focus, and the way in doing so is staying motivated and positive no matter what is thrown in the way.
Who or what do you look to for inspiration: As I said earlier, Johnny Cupcakes I feel is a perfect example of what being driven and motivated can truly accomplish. Watching his brand become what it is today and seeing how he did it truly paves a way for myself and others like me that are creating their own brand. Constantly adding videos, holding seminars, and teaching people worldwide on how to do exactly what he did. Being humble in such a position as he created is nothing short of honorable. Another big factor for my inspiration is a close friend of mine by the name of Big Meas. He is a tattoo artist and entrepreneur. His story of his adventure in becoming who he is today is very similar to JC, setting goals and just going for it. Every day he is perfecting his craft and constantly working on the next big thing, that type of determination is a page that everyone should add to their own personal book. It will only drive you to never settle and only become better than you were the day before it. Of course, there are multiple brands I also look to for understanding and perfecting what I do. Live Fit, Top Threads, Diamond Supply to list a few. Again, these are brands that started off with ideas similar to mine and since have grown to be worldwide known companies. Though everything listed above is without a doubt a big driving factor in my brand’s endeavors, the biggest inspiration would have to be my family. Everything I do day to day is for the both of them and for that I will never stop pushing the envelope with this brand and with everything I do to become better. Together we are a team like no other and for that I am truly thankful.
What is the future for Thur13en: The future is to continue on the path of bringing this brand to the world. Growing the name Thur13en to the point where the logo is seen as the symbol and meaning of motivation. The products and catalog will continue to grow bringing something for everyone to be able to enjoy.
Where can we find your brand and products: