Case Study: Fan Base

Every apparel designer dreams of a celebrity sporting their work in a high-profile setting. Joe Beausoleil, founder of and graphic designer at Flooded Studios in Midland, ON, is no different. A long-time fan of Dave Matthews Band, Beausoleil decided to design a custom jersey for drummer Carter Beauford, known for wearing the technical tops during concerts, and send it to the percussionist as a gift before a 2013 tour stop in Toronto. “I just wanted to get him to wear it once,” Beausoleil says. He took a chance and sent it. Before long, he noticed Beauford wearing the jersey at subsequent concerts. Then, about a year later, before another show in Toronto, Beausoleil was invited to take a backstage tour with Beauford’s drum tech as his guide and had the opportunity to meet the band. Of course, he remembered to bring several more custom jerseys as gifts. Three days later, the drum tech called with good news: Beauford wanted Beausoleil to continue making jerseys for the group. Since then, dozens of the dye-sublimated pieces from Flooded Studios have made an appearance on stages all over the world, and two designs have been available at the band’s e-commerce store since November 2015. One jersey even made it to primetime TV. When Dave Matthews Band performed on The Late Show during David Letterman’s last week before retirement, Beauford wore a jersey from Flooded Studios with the show’s logo on the front and presented Letterman with a matching one. Now, following the recent announcement of the band’s summer 2016 tour dates, Beausoleil is optimistic that there will soon be a restock order put in for the jerseys at the band’s online store. “Just hoping it’s going to happen won’t work,” he says. “But if you put it out there, if you follow your dreams and just get it out there, you never know what’ll happen.”