Hey everyone! I'm Grant, an LA based writer/artist and long time friend of GSS. Welcome to the start of a new blog series for the website that will be published in addition to the Love Letter every week. Get Some Sleep is so important to me, and I'm excited to share the brand's past, present, and future evolution with all of you here. We'll be going through the daily minutia and interesting projects that happen every day in the operation of the brand.
A Get Some Sleep popup is a really special experience. I hope that doesn’t sound too plain or lazy, but really it is. This is now the third GSS popup I’ve help run, and in that time I’ve watched the brand grow a lot. Somehow, the popups bring a special sort of magic that inspires congregation of this community from around the country.
A few years ago I flew to New York on a shoe string budget and around 8 of us slummed it in a double bed hotel room. Back then, we came from all over to be there. Denver, Pittsburgh, LA, North Carolina, Calgary, etc the list goes on.
These popups are far more than a shop or a venue to get a new shirt- they’re a chance to spend time with friends and connect with new faces. When you’re a part of an internet community like this, connecting events are rare, and GSS popups have always been a sort of touchpoint for everyone to come together. This past weekend was no different.
Though the faces do change, that sort of glue that holds us together never seems to go away. I’m going to walk you through the whole experience of prepping the event, setting up and more to give you a better idea of what the behind the scenes looked like for October’s Melrose popup with Young Chicken Pox.
Thursday before the show, a few of us hunkered down the GSS warehouse to finish last minute prep for the event. I’m not around every day or every moment to get into every tiny planning step that goes into something like this, but I’m going to walk you through my perspective and the things I did to help prepare.
Nic and Daniel were busy sewing and prepping some 1/1 pieces when I arrived, and we chopped it up for a while as they finished cutting fabric (pictured below.)
A big intention with this blog, as I’ve mentioned before, is introducing you to some critical people to the GSS story. Marlon is an essential part of that family. He’s a good friend of ours and regularly helps with photography work for the brand. I’ll be writing a blog post, likely next week- about a recent shoot that we did with Marlon. Marlon and I also put together a video diary about the popup which you can find here. Here he is kicking it with Nic at the shop.
I spent a good portion of the night working on some 1/1 prints for the event which I’ll show some process of below:
These prints were for sale at the event and each painstakingly printed by me while Dylan ran them back and forth to the drier. Dylan is also a very important member of the Sleep team who runs a ton of behind the scenes logistical work for the brand. I won’t even attempt to describe every aspect of his job because he does so much more than I know on a daily basis, but he’s like the oil that keeps the brand running smoothly.
The next day we arrived early in the morning to start loading cars and driving to the event. A few other friends of the brand came from out of town including Zachk (who runs Vautour) and Slade (who runs 2144 museum). Both of them traveled a long way to be here, and their presence speaks to exactly that mythos of connection I described earlier. GSS popups are a congregation of peers from all across the country, and its fantastic to bear witness and participate in such an occasion.
This popup was unique in that we had a whole day to setup before the event. Usually we’re up early in the space unloading and then start the event a few hours after the first box touches down at the venue. This time however, we had far more time to plan and organize the show. This means that we had more than enough time to set up an incredible wall display of hoodies, which I meticulously spaced out with masking tape and a ladder.
The actual setup process was a two pronged beast which involved categorizing inventory in the back, then setting up the visual displays up front. Its truly a team process to get things running smoothly, as so much has to be thought out beforehand and also improvised on the fly. Dylan and Daniel both do an amazing job of planning and knowing exactly what to bring, yet on the day there’s still a ton of minute decisions to be made about placement and getting things perfect before the first person walks in the door.
The venue on melrose was a beautiful space while empty, and transformed into a truly special entity once it was filled with GSS, YCP, and Vautour pieces. Each vinyl sticker added to the wall, garment laid out, sign taped up- they all animate the blank space into something loving and familiar.
On Saturday we drove back to LA early in the morning to finalize everything and make sure the space was planned out perfectly. It was a surprisingly chill day, as every popup I’ve ever helped with before has been a same day turnaround. This time we set up the event the day before and took it down the day after, so I felt that we all had more energy.
Meeting everyone who came was and is always amazing. It’s beautiful to watch people congregate based on shared love of clothes and this small brand community we’ve all contributed to for years. Everyone is always so kind and excited to tell us where they came from and how much they care about each brand.
It shocks me every time an event like this happens how many new people I become friends with. It feels like after 5 or so years I should have met every member of this community by now, but the list keeps growing larger each time. I feel like the gold standard of any creative project is a strong community to go with it, and GSS has that in droves.
Regarding the actual event, something new we tried was a silent auction for some fantastic 1/1 pieces by Young Chicken Pox. It was fun to watch people sit and deliberate on their decision. Many people asked me what they should bid to win, and really I had no idea, but I loved to see how much people adore these things. As someone who makes art, its beautiful to witness the dedication and love put into these garments- from both the creators and the people who ultimately wear them.
Marlon and I did some interviews with people waiting in line which we planned to use for the video. I wanted to share a quote from Plenk, one of our top supporters of all time. He drove hours to be there- we asked him what Get Some Sleep means to him. Here’s what he shared with us:
“It kind of means a lot- it’s a bunch of different motifs and they kind of just speak to you differently… to me it speaks on an emotional level, it brings back memories when I read these phrases. It’s more like art.”
When I reflect on what’s so important about not just GSS but art or design in general, I think Plenk put things perfectly. The most powerful pieces are ones which resonate with people for all kinds of different reasons. If you can encompass a whole range of emotions with art, that’s a feat. This popup holds the same nature- it means a lot of different things to different people. For me it means connection; for others, its a chance to get a sick hoodie.
The next day’s teardown was quick- another team member of ours, Jossue, put in some major work in the early morning before we got there. As I’ve already stressed many times, the best part of events like these is watching this community blossom. People fly in from everywhere to contribute their hearts and souls to a fantastic testament to the power of art and creativity. And they can buy a cool tee shirt. Its the best sort of combination.
I‘ll be sending out a GSS gift card to one or two people who comment on this post with an original poem that they’ve written. To enter, just write your instagram @ with the poem in the comments (or include your email in the email box if you wish to be anonymous.). The winner(s) will also be featured on next week’s newsletter!
Thanks so much for reading :)