The year was 2000 and I was opening a book and gift store with my partner called Indigo Child. We wanted to add something different, something fun, and of course something hand made. Tie-Dye caught our eye, Karen had done it before, so we bought a small kit and gave it a whirl. I was hooked from the time I rinsed and opened my first dyed tee, later to be known as 'Hippie Christmas'.
The store did well in Pendleton and quickly we moved from our house to a downtown location with a couple partners. Life happened and we moved the store to La Grande where we just did not find fertile ground so we closed the store in 2002. BUT, that was just the beginning of my grand adventure.
Life happened again and I was on my own with no definite plans on what I would do or where I would go. Moving back to Pendleton was first step on this new journey. My brother and his wife graciously let me stay in the spare room and drive the extra car. It was not long before I found my way to the Farmer's Market where I ran into an old friend who encouraged me to set up a booth and sell my tie-dye tees.
As an artist, I wanted to move into being a working artist. I needed a new business name and had been thinking on it for quite some time. I create rainbows on tee shirts and other clothes so I wrote down all sorts of names with ‘rainbow’ in them but nothing felt right.
As I met people on the street they would say “oh, you are the tie-dye guy right?”… that had a nice ring to it, but like any other name that sounded right to me, it was taken.
After I had several orders for socks, I came up with the name 'Walking on Rainbows'. I printed some business cards and was almost ready to commit to the name.Then, one fine day in September, I showed up at Washington Elementary School in Pendleton, OR. They wanted me to help their 1st and 2nd grade students, about 150, create their own tie-dye tee shirts to wear on a field trip to the Pendleton Round-Up.
As an adult at the school, the kids were told to call me Mr. McClellan, but that was quite a mouthful for these young ones… they made a few attempts and gave up.I moved from table to table helping the kids either tie or dye their shirts. I do not remember who said it first, but it spread quickly… “Mr. Tie-Dye can you come help me?” one student asked and then another.
It was not just this class …. Each class on its own asked the same question all day long. By the time I left school that day I knew I had been ‘given’ my name.
I looked it up and no one was using it, so I logged in and claimed my new name, Mr. Tie-Dye and it has served me well all of these years.I want to thank the students of Washington Elementary School in Pendleton, OR in 2004 for giving me my name..... MrTieDye
Story from the East Oregonian
Shortly after this event I received a call from my sister in Salem, OR who said she needed a house sitter. Within a month I packed up my belongings and headed out west. I quickly found some friends in Salem and was pointed towards the Markets they had. For seven years I set up the MrTieDye booth at the Salem Saturday Market. From there my art grew exponentially due to custom orders, I was challenged on a weekly basis to try a new design.
To wrap up this long story with a few more of the things I have done with tie-dye .....
Thank you for reading all the way to the bottom.... now go click on the catalog at the top of the page to see more of my art.
Peace Love Light and Laughter ~ Carl
All Things MrTieDye
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