Clacks 'n' Clams is a fictional strip club that specializes in clam chowder. What began as a small joke amongst close friends quickly blossomed into a small phenomenon that involved strangers contacting me looking to invest in the business.
It all started on the three hour train ride back to Seattle from Portland. A friend of mine that had earlier told us that Ivar's clam chowder is dairy-free (it isn't) posed the question: if you opened a strip club in Portland, what would the best gimmick be? Portland is home to a variety of strip clubs that range in themes. To truly stand out, the gimmick would need to go above and beyond. With that in mind, we decided that were we to open a strip club, it would sell clam chowder. And we already had the perfect name for it: Clacks 'n' Clams.
Shortly after the trip, I shared a simple illustration with the group's text thread that I'd done for the business. We had a good laugh, and that was it. By this point, we'd told a few other friends about our joke business venture, and they were in on the concept. When I shared the drawing with the original group, I was approached to print the drawing onto a shirt for a friend's birthday gift.
I printed some posters and the original sweatshirt, and figured that was it. From the first time that first sweatshirt was worn, I started getting requests to make more. As more orders started piling in, I transitioned from verbal orders to creating an Etsy shop to streamline the process.
As more complete strangers expressed interest in Clacks 'n' Clams, I thought it would be fun to create a simple one-page website for the "business". The site was inspired by the Geocities pages I grew up loving, and utilizes simple code and over-the-top gifs.
Unlike most of my projects, the success of Clacks 'n' Clams was unplanned for and unexpected. A funny concept and a simple illustration done first thing on a Saturday morning became something that others found humorous, memorable, and worth spending money on. Clacks 'n' Clams appeals to others because it's absurd in a welcoming way. Walking around the neighborhood and running into someone wearing their sweatshirt never gets old. Who knows? Maybe one day we'll actually open the business...
website, webstore, apparel design