If you enjoy being outdoors you might run into Andrew Moore and Laura Anderson sharing the bike or hiking path, stream, lake or campground with you. Clad in vibrant tie dye colors, they are kind of hard to miss.
The fun of making three tie dyed tee shirts in the basement of Anderson’s parents’ home back in March, 2018 has grown into a business they named King Tie Dye. Together they keep creating and changing their product to suit the needs of their clients.
Wearing their shirts, they were walking advertisements from the beginning. “People asked if we could make one for them or one like it in a different color. They wanted custom orders,” said Anderson.
“We started with shirts. Shirts were the gateway to tie dye. Then we started getting into bigger things like tapestries and onesies,” said Moore. “After a few months, I wanted to decorate every wall in my apartment with my art.”
They’ve always ordered dyes from Dharma Trading Company, but they find themselves using local sources for tee shirts, other garments, sheets and bandanas.
You can purchase King Tie Dye items locally at Hem-pies. The business relationship with Hempies came about by happenstance.
“I was playing music on the corner of Main Street and Themis. We had tie dye displayed. Hempies employees told me to bring them in and they would sell them for us,” said Moore.
King Tie Dye items are also sold at Deuce and Heeters musical events, a Grateful Dead cover band that performs locally. At the encouragement of the band, Anderson and Moore display their tie dye.
Inventory ranges from bandanas to tapestries measuring 85 by 100 inches, to small bags, pillow cases, onesies, socks, yoga pants and leggings.
Orders can be placed on their Facebook page under King Tie Dye.
Moore earns a living as a guitarist and by operating a few businesses: King’s Tie Dye, Andy’s Dog Waste Removal Service of the Heartland and Andy and Laura’s Pet Sitting.
Anderson is a partner in the tie dye and pet sitting businesses and is employed as a veterinarian technician at Deer Ridge Animal Hospital in Jackson. They live in Cape Girardeau.
Moore said, “We compete with each other in that we split the cost of the dye and buy our own fabric items. Whoever makes the item keeps the money from that sale,” said Moore.
Tie dye, characterized by multiple bright colors and bold patterns have been part of our culture since the mid-60’s. Although King Tie Dye sells typical spiral and mandala designs they are motivated to pass through hoops of learning new techniques, experimenting and inventing designs out of the ordinary. They also learned a lot by watching YouTube tutorials. “After I mastered the spirals I selected a spider design and it inspired me,” said Moore.
Anderson used a variety of different techniques in her tie dye skater V dress. “I started with the dress folded in half so that it was identical on both sides. Then I fan folded a slanted line to form the “v” shape. The rest of the dress I did in a scrunch fold to create the random patterns on the skirt part of it.
Moore’s designs sometimes come about by happy accidents. The neutral color tee shirt started with reverse dye technique, using a black shirt. Instead of dyeing it, Moore applied bleach after twisting and rubber banding it. When unfolded it seemed as if it needed more bleach so he added more and twisted it up in the opposite direction. The result, a neutral colored tie dye, opens up a new market.
The couple runs King Tie Dye as a labor of love, not making a profit just yet. Anderson said, “In five years I would like our name to be well known and have a well established online business. I also imagine us vending at our favorite music festivals. Maybe even opening up a shop here in Cape. I would like to teach classes as well and show people what we know. That’s the fun part. Learning new techniques from other people and sharing your own. Andrew and I are always showing each other new things that we have learned.”
Moore’s five year forecast is along the same lines. Their next milestone is to develop a website.