How BUGGIRL200 turned her viral, ironic ‘Twilight’ T-shirt right into a enterprise

“It was simply actually, actually, actually silly… then that one way or the other turned my model,” Madison Sinclair, the 22-year-old proprietor of BUGGIRL200,(Opens in a brand new tab) tells me. The actually, actually, actually silly factor was the ironic Twilight shirt(Opens in a brand new tab) of Robert Pattinson that Sinclair designed for her best good friend’s birthday in 2020. On it, Pattinson’s smolder is framed by the textual content “Chew me massive boy” and “I like my vampire boyfriend” in mismatched bubbly font. The again reads, “Edward Cullen primary fan.”

Sinclair posted the shirt on TikTok, by chance launching her model. Two and a half years later, she’s nonetheless going sturdy — and she or he has a warehouse and three full-time workers. On TikTok, she posts to her 268,000 (and counting) followers; in the meantime, the buggirl200brand Instagram(Opens in a brand new tab) boasts an viewers of over 46,000.


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Sinclair is fluent in a specific model of irreverent web humor that faucets her right into a market of extraordinarily on-line, celebrity-obsessed younger folks. Her tongue-in-cheek designs vary from a necklace studying, “I’m an grownup Directioner and I need to reside freely in society” to a T-shirt with a photograph of heartthrob Logan Lerman that claims, “I used to be raised to prepare dinner and clear for my husband.” All of them proclaim the wearer in on an inside joke and are attribute of a second the place reclaiming your fandom is cool.

Her designs are so of the second that Gen Z pop star Olivia Rodrigo posted a photograph of Iris Apatow sporting a BUGGIRL200 T-shirt that reads in massive daring letters, “I believe the Twilight movies are AWESOME!!!!! For those who don’t suppose that makes me SEXY and COOL, DON’T FREAKING TALK TO ME!!!!! I’m not even kidding” on Instagram(Opens in a brand new tab).

I chatted with Sinclair about how she turned her viral T-shirt right into a viable enterprise, who she thinks her common buyer is…and her timeless love for Taylor Swift.

Mashable: How did this all begin?

I by no means ever, ever got down to begin this. I by no means even fathomed that this might be my profession path. I’m very fortunate that it’s, as a result of I’ve bother imagining myself in every other area. Nevertheless it initially began as a result of my best good friend and I watched Twilight collectively for the primary time in summer time 2020. Since we had simply watched the movies, I made her a shirt for her birthday. I had wished it’s so ugly and horrible you don’t put on it exterior. I simply had wished to make the worst shirt you’ve ever seen. And that changed into the primary design I offered on a fairly large scale.

I [initially] made one for me, one for her. I posted a TikTok sporting mine. Individuals commented, “Please let me purchase this.” I used to be like, “Are you critical? as a result of OK…” I hopped on Depop and I began promoting, made an internet site, received my area, and saved throwing out some designs. At first, each time I offered one thing my jaw dropped. You wish to purchase issues from me that I make? That’s bizarre.

How did you make it?

I straight up received them accomplished on Customized Ink. Then I began getting orders, and Customized Ink wouldn’t give me a bulk low cost for getting the identical design 80 instances. Initially, I used to be not making an attempt to make a buck on these. I used to be giving them to folks for the value Customized Ink would cost me. Then I noticed I can do that extra affordably and truly make cash. I actually went on Amazon, and I received a warmth press, a warmth switch setup with a printer, and all that stuff. I began making T-shirts in my home, and now, a number of processes later, we’ve received a greater deal with on doing it ourselves. The primary run was fairly tough, however I’m grateful I received to do it and begin exploring all of this.


All people asks that. BUGGIRL200 was my TikTok username. I wasn’t considering forward as a result of I by no means, ever thought that this might be a long-term factor, so actually — no significance.

In your TikTok, you’re selling the model, however you’re additionally a character. How do you stability that?

I truthfully don’t stability it in any respect. I really feel like I ought to put up my model extra, however I simply don’t put the hassle in, and I don’t have the time to make the movies. However I additionally really feel fortunate that I’m able to be an actual individual, work together with folks, and have a character that’s not only a model of clothes. I’ve made so many mates from folks maintaining with me and my model, and it’s cool to really sort of know these folks. I maintain my TikTok extra on the enjoyable, foolish aspect of issues; normally I put up regular stuff like me speaking or no matter. If I’m ever doing branded stuff, it’s as a result of I’ve compelled myself to kick into that gear.

While you had been beginning on TikTok, it was an enormous second for ironic T-shirts. Do you suppose it’s ended?

I believe terrible gadgets of clothes are nonetheless round for certain. However I do suppose the fad has ended, which clearly scared me after I was beginning out. Is that this a sustainable factor? However at this level, I really feel fortunate: I’ve been in a position to construct my abilities into work and designs which can be extra the enjoyable artistic aspect of my mind as a substitute of [just a] actually loopy catchphrase. At first, I positively wasn’t tremendous pleased with the merchandise I used to be making. It was thrilling to have the ability to promote one thing, however it wasn’t something I might wish to placed on a resume. It was simply very unskilled and I wasn’t actually certain what I used to be doing. Now I’m in a position to make no matter I would like. I’ve been in a position to weasel into an avenue the place I don’t must sustain with these foolish, loopy, ironic catchphrases anymore. I can add these if I wish to, however folks have been actually supportive of me doing stuff that’s extra alongside the strains of my artistic model.

Do you suppose there’s a median buyer or sort of one that’s drawn to your designs?

It’s thoughts boggling what number of completely different genres of individuals interact with my stuff. I’ve mothers, actually grandmothers, even 17-year-old guys will touch upon my stuff generally. I’m like, “How are you in my viewers?” I adore it. I’m so blissful.

Largely I see youthful, 16 to 25-year-old Harry Types followers which can be very up on the popular culture, very on-line — not in a foul manner. The best descriptor of my prospects is that they positively know what the within jokes are with celebrities at any second, in all probability much more than me. Typically they’ll remark, “Hey, did you hear about this factor that occurred? Are you gonna make a shirt about it?” And I had no concept that was even a factor within the superstar world, however thanks for telling me. I might say, younger ladies who I might be mates with. That’s my style of individuals.

Your designs usually require on-line data or a humorousness. Have you ever been on-line for a very long time?

I positively grew up within the social media age. I received my first iPhone after I was 14. From that second on, I cherished social media. Though it positively did rot my mind rather a lot, I’m reaping the rewards of realizing what’s happening.

Numerous your designs are Swiftie/Directioner–ahead. Are you a longtime fan of them, or had been these later in life obsessions, like Twilight?

That stuff comes from like core childhood; actually, actually deep roots. For some time, it was enjoyable to take the kind of folks you bought bullied for liking in highschool, like One Course, and go in the wrong way and be like, “Fuck you, I like One Course.” I’m a grown lady, and I’m going to put on the shirt proudly.

While you began in 2020, there was an explosion in fandom and reclaiming what was uncool as cool. Why do you suppose that occurred?

Perhaps sufficient folks received to the purpose the place they realized, “Wait, we’re lacking out on numerous enjoyable as a result of we’re so busy with the concept of being cool.” Coolness might be actually limiting, truthfully, in your self-growth, your creativity, every thing. For those who set out every single day to be the good individual within the room, you’re going to be A: essentially the most boring individual and in addition a really stagnant individual. You actually must embrace the cringe with a purpose to develop. You must let your self be embarrassing and expertise life.

Are all of the celebrities featured in your designs folks that you simply journey for?

Most of them are people who I journey for. The one individual I’m gonna get in a Thanksgiving dinner argument over is Taylor Swift. Me and all my mates talk about how when you don’t like Taylor Swift, we don’t care. That’s nice. That’s legitimate. However when you hop on the Taylor Swift hate prepare somewhat too loudly, you’re in all probability simply misogynistic. That’s just like the one the place I’ll be like, “Oh, you don’t like Taylor Swift? Why? Inform me why proper now.” I’ll get into that one.

However aside from that, celebrities are actually not actual. Every part we see about any of those folks is PR and advertising and marketing. I journey for the power of liking these folks, having the neighborhood of the shared curiosity or music or movie. However in actual life I wouldn’t stake something on any of those folks. I’m certain numerous them are actually, actually nice, however we actually don’t know them. They’re actually characters to us.

What’s been your most requested design topic?

Just lately, it was Pedro Pascal. I get numerous requests primarily based on who’s sizzling for the time being. Nathan Fielder is one other one which to at the present time, each single day, I get feedback saying, “please launch extra Nathans.”

Are all of your designs rooted in a dedication to the bit?

Trustworthy to God, sure. That is the longest doable bit I’ve ever dedicated to. Each day, I get up, and I’m similar to, “I can’t imagine that that is my life.” And I’m very pleased with it! I adore it! Nevertheless it’s actually attention-grabbing and never one thing I may have ever actually got down to do.

Every part I do with my model is genuine — however in a manner the place I’m gonna do numerous bits inside my model, as a result of that’s the model. It’s foolish. It’s enjoyable. I actually love to do actually silly, bizarre advertising and marketing — having the ability to take a number of the onerous, bizarre enterprise stuff like advertising and marketing and simply turning it into stuff that’s not even a convincing advert, however is simply so foolish and silly that it really works.

Do you’ve got a favourite design of all time?

I actually, actually love my one-of-a-kind items. These are my favorites, as a result of I take numerous time to make them, and so they’re all distinctive. They’re all printed throughout. I not too long ago did some Harry Types one among a varieties for his birthday on Feb. 1. I had numerous enjoyable doing these. That’s my favourite in all probability.

This interview has been edited for size and readability.