When Amy Tyndall and Brittany Darrington met as sales associates at Tootsies, they dreamed of some day launching their own fashion line. After all, owner Mickey Rosmarin got started in the 1970s by selling cool silk-screened T-shirts, so why couldn't they?
"Everyone thinks I'm a girly girl, but I love being casual," says Darrington. "So we thought, 'What is something everyone can wear?' "
The design duo decided to take the plunge and recently debuted their own line of tongue-in-cheek, vintage-looking T-shirts called Oil Digger Tees, at a launch party at Ruggles Green in the Heights. They admit the name is a takeoff on the gold diggers infamously memorialized in the Kanye Fox/Jamie Foxx song, but more importantly, it's aimed at anyone who doesn't want to conform to societal norms.
"Our tees have a little humor to them," Tyndall says.
The T-shirts, which retail for under $40 and are available online, have a rocker vibe, with phrases such as "Corporate Misfit," "I Ain't Saying She's An Oil Digger," Haggard Swagger" and "Willie State of Mind," referring respectively to Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, and Lone Star State references like "Texas Made" and "Texas Ex."
"It's very Texas — that's what we're going for," Tyndall says.
The duo also has a "Recycle the Love" promotion where they donate a portion of proceeds of each sale to the buyer's favorite charity, says Barrington, who is active in the Houston Area Women's Center Young Leaders.