Bright Light Artist: Pearface Co

PEARFACE CO is an independent clothing brand specializing in small batch, oversized tees drawn and screen printed by hand in Wilmington, NC. The brand, marked by energetic lines and evocative imagery, is about boldness: the power to assert yourself, and using that power to unite people and enact positive change.

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Small but fast-growing, the company has become synonymous with creative, caring local talent that gives back, in an audacious style that refuses to compromise.

Dallas and Alisha Thomas and their dog Wat are some of our oldest and most favorite friends so we were thrilled to have a reason to interview them. They have a long and storied background in art, and daylight at Freaker USA as design manager and general manager, respectively. They’re exciting, enterprising, have perfect manners and great taste in everything. Their t-shirt game is revolutionary, and we’re all paying rapt attention!!

EOU: Why tees? How did PC start?

Pearface is a pet name for me. I texted Dallas a picture of me eating a pear and he started calling me pearface.

We all love a good t-shirt. Dallas had an art show last summer and we made t-shirts of his drawings to sell as merch. We sold all of them and thought we should just keep making shirts. Dallas always draws silly things for me and we thought it would be fun to put them on t-shirts. The poodle and nothing are both from drawings he did years ago for me. 

EOU: What’s a typical day in the studio look like? What are you listening to? Are there snacks?

We do PC after work or on the weekends. It usually smells of Palo Santo and we listing to Goldyard, Kendrick, The Throne, etc. If we’re not listing to music we put on a old Criterion movie for good ambiance. Honestly, there aren’t a lot of snacks. (Maybe that’s something we should work on) Usually just beers and red wine. 

EOU: What’s your favorite part of the process?

Obviously, it’s super cool to see someone wearing a Pearface shirt. And it’s just cool that we get to make things together. 

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EOU: What’s it like being wife-husband team? How’s this collab different from (or maybe it’s similar to!) working together at Freaker?

It’s kinda like everything we do, just another thing we do together. Dallas and I spend 98% of our time together. (same day jobs, same friends, one car) We both come up with ideas, Dallas draws, we both edit and critique until we have something we like. 

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EOU: How does Wilmington or NC affect your product or aesthetic, if at all?

I don’t know that it does aesthetically, but we do love NC and enjoy promoting its cities. 

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EOU: What’s your biggest challenge today? Designing, branding, marketing…?

Time. Freaker takes up a lot of our lives, and I also try to design bags and Dallas paints. You also have to eat and do laundry.  

EOU: What inspires you? What or who do you find endlessly interesting?Poodles. (our friend Courtney keeps sending me pictures of them on the street in NYC!!) The video “Peso” by Asap Rocky. 

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EOU: How would you define PC’s style? What celebrity icon would you most like to see wearing a Poodle Doodle shirt?!

PC: Clean but not scrutinized, bold, street. Kanye.

EOU: Do you think you can judge someone based on what they like, or what they ARE like?

PC: Dallas is really working on not being judgey. I mean, I guess the right answer is - judging people on what they are really like deep down. But we all know if someone is acting like an asshole, they are probably an asshole. The moral here is if you don’t want people to think you are an asshole, then don’t act like one.

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