The word “talented” doesn’t even begin to describe the work of Jon Marro. Not only has he worked closely with artists such as Jason Mraz, The Dave Matthews Band, and Eric Hutchinson through his design firm FireHydrant-Red, he is also the owner of Blend Apparel, an eco-friendly clothing company. It was my absolute pleasure to interview the ever-talented Jon Marro and ask him a little bit about how he got his start and the important purpose of Blend Apparel. If you haven’t heard of Blend Apparel before this interview, you will definitely want to check them out after reading what the company is all about.
First, a little about Blend Apparel’s eco friendly tee shirts:
Blend Apparel exists to help the environment. The unique and trendy shirts are made of organic cotton and bamboo and designed by founder and CEO of Blend Apparel, Jon Marro. The use of bamboo is essential in creating these cool tee shirts because bamboo, while a soft and comfortable fabric, is also a renewable resource, unlike the materials found in many other tee shirts on the market. Not only are Blend Apparel’s shirts eco-friendly, their website is too! Simply visit blendapparel.com to see a little blue box that proudly announces, “This site is hosted on servers powered by the wind.” I was so impressed by the eco-friendliness of Blend Apparel and the unique and conversation-worthy designs of the tee shirts, I couldn’t wait to ask Jon Marro a question or two.
Alright Jon, lets start way back before Blend Apparel and FireHydrant-Red:
LM: What did you want to be when you grew up?
JM: A fireman, and actually (I have proof in an old scrapbook), an artist. I feel like I somehow subconsciously merged the two when creating my design firm FireHydrant-Red. So while I may not be saving people from burning houses, I do like to think I’m putting out the fires in their heads of hate or cynicism.
LM: When did you discover your artistic ability?
JM: I think my first grade teacher had a word with my mom, letting her know my stick figures were way more advanced with forms and details on the fabric of their clothing etc.
LM: What has influenced your drive for all things eco-friendly?
JM: To me, It just makes sense. This is the only planet we have, much like our bodies are the bodies we have. Let’s take care of them. Let’s be proactive as opposed to reactive and only taking notice when “there’s a problem.” A little bit of preparation can go a long way and makes our futures so much easier to live into. It’s really about investing in yourself and your loved ones lives.
Tell me about your work at Blend Apparel:
LM: What design (t-shirt, poster, or otherwise) was the most fun to make?
JM: I really love the Home To Allshirt. That to me just says: “We all love here. We’re all houseguests in each other’s worlds. Sometimes we may lock ourselves in our own rooms, but when we go outside we’re all playing in the great big yard of life.” There’s something so idyllic about that to me.
LM: Do you ever experience “artist’s block” where you just can’t think of what to create or is your brain constantly teeming with ideas?
JM: I’m pretty much in constant creation. But yeah, I don’t get creative block as much as deadline block. As a designer I really dislike having to create something within a super short amount of time. Brilliance and beauty sometimes take time, and I appreciate the craftsmanship that go into them.
LM: Do you have any advice for other artists out there, hoping to be in your shoes one day?
JM: Just keep creating. And don’t get stuck trying to make everything “perfect.” I, for so long, wouldn’t release my work into the world, because it wasn’t up to par in my head. But then, I wasn’t advancing. So create and put it out there and watch yourself grow. My other advice is, and this isn’t just for artists, but anybody creating anything: create the world you want to love in. I think that’s the responsibility we have as creators/artists. That we are all powerful people. That magic exists. And it’s not a time to be shy, but instead to use our powers. Certainly the governments and corporations are using their powers. Let’s spread the love and (re) build the world together.
LM: Very Cool, Jon. I like the way you think.
Now, Blend Apparel and FireHydrant-Red aside, these are just for fun:
LM: Is there anything you’d like the world to know about you?
JM: Yes. That I want everyone to be a part of my big Peace & Love experiment by buying a shirt at blendapparel.com. I’m actually asking for everyone’s help to get these messages out there. To selflessly choose to make someone’s day by wearing one. To spread thought-provoking smiles and to call everyone you meet into love. I invite everyone to watch how wearing a shirt can affect the world and bring people together. I want these to be the uniforms for team Love, and I want YOU on my team. Will you play with me?
LM: I dig your shirts, of course I’ll play! Alright, if you could have one superpower, what would it be?
JM: Flying. Definitely…and I’d design my own capes.
Alright Jon Marro of Blend Apparel, your final thoughts:
LM: What’s next for Blend Apparel?
JM: Some new designs. Getting the word out, becoming a internationally recognized brand that’s making a difference in the world. Spreading the love, of course.
LM: What are your words to live by?
JM: “All that you need is within you right now.”
LM: Thank you Jon, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to interview with me. I wish you the best of success in your endeavors with Blend Apparel and can’t wait to see the designs you come up with next! Oh, and for the record, my favorite Blend Apparel tee is Imperfect because I definitely am!
I hope that after reading this interview, you’ll take a glance at the tees found at Blend Apparel. You’ll be sure to spark some fun conversations when you wear them around town. What other tee shirt can offer that kind of opportunity?