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.
Today I have an interview for you with one of our team members, Dylan. He’s the longest term member of the team besides Daniel and runs a lot of the brand logistically. I wanted to introduce you to him properly, especially for the uninitiated or those who may never have interacted with him before. He's essential to the operation of GSS and has a lot of cool insight into the history and operations of the brand. We discuss Daniel, the founder of the GSS, quite a bit just for reference of the names used. The interview I conducted with Dylan is as follows:
Introduce yourself, where you’re from, and what you do at Get Some Sleep.
“I’m Dylan from Stamford Connecticut. I like taking film pictures, traveling, watching movies, and thrifting. I hit the cross-country drive to OC with Yams in August of 2022 and have been here since! Mainly for Sleep- I was doing GSS remotely for two and half years prior, mainly doing customer support during the pandemic. I moved down here to make sure everything was more streamlined or efficient as it could be. Both with the warehouse and operations and all that. I dabble in customer support here and there. Now I’m doing customer experience whether it's handling DMs, running the popups, making sure the warehouse is run efficiently, making sure everything gets done/ is in production and all that. I pretty much do anything that needs to be done aside from designing. I leave that to Daniel.”
How did you first get involved with the Get Some Sleep, and what attracted you to the company in its early days?
“So, in 2017, February. I was just chilling in college. I was like damn I’ve always wanted to make clothes my whole life so I wanted to find a community or something based around that. I found myself on reddit (r/streetwearstartup). I asked my first question and there was like 12-20 people in the discord. Daniel was one of them, also Wesley from Steady Hands, Zaq from Vautour, Slade from 2144 Museum, JJ from Resurgence/Carbon Copy and Tyson from POLY5000. Everyone had just been starting their brands, and it was a really nice, niche community seeing everyone work and grow together.
I wasn’t involved in GSS at the beginning I was trying to do my own stuff. It took me like a year to get my own thing started, D.Cynical. I stopped running it though because I didn’t really enjoy it or wasn’t as motivated or dedicated. It just didn’t really fulfill me like I expected, and I figured a position that was more business-oriented was better for me. I stopped doing that, finished college, and didn’t do much for a year.
I had always liked to talk to Daniel. We were always friends. I met up with Daniel on a limb on my first trip to CA. He hadn't really ever met someone from the internet and has always talked about how odd it was that I would just chill and be comfortable with a random person from the internet. We kept in touch over the months/years meeting up again Terminal 1 etc. There was a post on Reddit about the brand, and I was just kind of like “I can help and do this for you.” I had always been offering help regardless, but this was more of a formal, concrete thing that aligned much more with what I wanted to do. I started off just doing emails and stuff maybe a month before the pandemic. Been here since.
What attracted me most was that Daniel was doing and making whatever he wanted no matter what. There was no conforming to what other brands were doing; it was and is genuinely him. Obviously the whole cliche of ‘wear your heart on your sleeve’ is overused/overdone but realistically that’s what this is. But it's also not just for that- its for people to realize that they’re not the only ones that feel a certain way. It's not that it's easy to pinpoint or talk about things that anyone's’ feeling, but it just makes you realize that you’re not alone in how you’re feeling and gives people a lot of comfort socially or independently.”
As someone who's been with the brand since its infancy, what are some memorable moments or challenges you've encountered along the way?
“Memorable moments… first was the Terminal 1 popup. I didn’t go there as a worker but that was like the first clothing event that I knew people vending. I think we had like 15 people in the airbnb. I don’t know how we did it. There was like 4 people on the air mattress, three on the floor, 2 on another bed, me on the air mattress, someone under a giant football helmet- shoutout Will and Alex Stupid Shirts.
Another memorable moment was the first NYC pop-up in 2021. Being from Connecticut, it was always cool to go to the city on a weekend and visit the storefronts. I used to go often 2011-2015 and would visit OnlyNY, The Hundreds, Blvck Scvle, SSUR, Atrium, Supreme and always wanted to do things they were doing since then. The NYC pop-up was definitely a slight glimpse at that on top of having hometown friends visit and even having my girlfriend, Christina, work the event.
I also worked with the cafe I worked at during the pandemic on a custom GSS Coffee Blend (iykyk) for this pop-up. I tested a few different blends and came to one that was just too good. I designed a whole coffee bag sticker and everything and really liked how it all came together. s/o tyler for the roasting!
The most challenging thing was early in the pandemic everything was going missing from USPS. There was like 100 things missing. I remember the mohair cardigan with the hearts- we had 100 and maybe 30 people got them. We still have zero idea where the the other 70 went. Went through USPS and filed a claim, got nothing. We had issues with USPS for a while but we honed in and haven’t been having many recently. Finally fixed that.”
Can you share a funny or unexpected story from your time working with the brand that stands out to you?
“It’s always funny to walk around Santa Ana or the Los Feliz flea and still see Sleep in the wild. It's been around obviously for a while but its always crazy to come across it in person and crazier that it has still only happened a handful of times outside of the pop-ups.” More recently, I was at 2nd Street and saw a GSS item which they were TAXING on which was funny to see.
I think the most unexpected story, though, would be when a customer from the cafe I worked at came in talking about clothing. We got to the topic of Reddit and r/streetwearstartup, and he said he used to be active on there. I told him I worked with a brand from there, and he had known about it and had seen the posts before, We had even had some interaction on Reddit years in the past. He is now one of my good friends! s/o Jason!"
In the world of logistics and customer support, what's the most unique or bizarre request you've ever received from a customer?
“One of the positive ones that stands out: one of the customers reached out from a children's hospital and said, “One of our patients loves your stuff and I think they’d really like a care package.” So I got that situated and sent one of our Everyone I Love is Here mauve pullovers. They reached out a couple months later saying how much the kid loved it. That’s what we’re here for.”
It's clear that the brand has come a long way. What would you say is the most significant change you've observed in the brand's evolution over the years?
“The website is ithinkihatemyself.com. Towards the infancy of the brand a lot of the motifs were all more negative. I think I hate myself. It won’t be like this forever. I hope I don't feel like this forever.
There’s been a gradual change in thematics and has gotten a lot more positive over the years. I think it shows Daniel’s growth as a person, and also the brands growth. A lot of people followed the brand in their teenage years when we started. In those years nobody is happy- they’re trying to figure themselves out. We’ve gotten to grow up with people and be here as they find themselves. It's like we provide motifs that maybe help them get back in touch with themselves and show their growth tracked in their closet.”
How do you think your long-term friendship with Daniel has influenced your role within the brand? Are there any advantages or challenges to working with friends in a creative space?
“We started off as friends obviously. It’s easy and hard to work with friends. I know what he needs and what he doesn't like to do, so I'm able to step up to the plate and make sure those things get done. On the other hand, I know I never shut off and I always can talk about work. Especially living together, it's like ‘oh we can just figure this out right now,’ but it's important to establish that work life balance. If there’s things to do I’ll be thinking about work. So when we’re together and there’s brand stuff to talk about I have to try to turn that off sometimes.”
What's a valuable lesson or piece of advice you've picked up during your journey with the brand that you'd like to share with others in a similar field?
“GSS is a passion project and was never started with some end goal of having money. For anyone trying to start a brand: if money is your main motivation and only thing you want out of a brand, you will not find success. If you somehow do, it will not be as prolonged or fulfilling as you think it will be.”
Can you describe a moment when you felt particularly proud of the team's efforts, and what made it special?
“I think pretty much every popup. There’s a lot of prep that goes into it, whether folding, designing, having people drive U Hauls, getting flowers and things to the place on time- there’s a lot of little things to do. One of the popups we look back on as a milestone is the one at the The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana. I know Daniel has different reasons for that being a milestone, just because he went there as a kid and its in his home city. For me it was cool to be able to branch out to a small non-profit, arthouse theatre and give them more exposure to the community. Plus we got to sell GSS there, so it was a cool experience!"
What's your vision for the future of the clothing brand? How do you see your role evolving as the company continues to grow?
“Just keep doing what we’re doing really. We're mainly trying to make our products readily available to as many people as possible. We've tried the exclusivity model in the past but have seen much more growth and success just by letting people who want to buy having the ability to."
Favorite Get Some Sleep drop?
“The initial ‘I miss the days’ drop. We had a whole custom box I designed. I couldn’t 3d design it myself so I sent it to our friend SibunA. It was cool to have everything customized down to a T. I know Daniel was in the warehouse constructing the boxes, and I wish I could've been there for that. The videos we had of customers opening the boxes and their reactions were awesome so it was just one of my favorite memories from Get Some Sleep.”