Hogan Made: A Family Affair
It’s been said that a family that creates together stays together and this is certainly true for the Hogans. I had an opportunity to sit down with this family of artists recently and, well, I laughed. I went to learn about their art and Hogan Made venture and discovered a really fun family. Here is their story.
Meghan (daughter): Trained in Fine Arts at USF. She paints, draws, and designs and hand makes t-shirts. She’s also recently launched Hogan Made, a company that not only features each family member’s art, but has also set out to capture Tampa neighborhoods’ unique identities.
Red Hogan (dad): After retiring as a man of all trades, including underwater welding, building contractor and waterfall designer to name a few, Red turned to wood art.
Ellen Hogan (mom): Ellen, a professional writer, has recently taken up pottery and has been a life-long seamstress.
A Rooster Inspires A Business
“It was really my mom’s idea,” Meghan says. “One day she suggested that Tampa needed a rooster t-shirt to capture the historic Ybor City neighborhood’s unique character. The more we talked about it, the more we realized it was almost impossible to find unique and authentic items/keepsakes for any local areas.”
That was all Meghan needed. Having recently transitioned out of a corporate role Meghan was looking for her next endeavor. She went back to her artistic roots and Hogan Made was born.
Capturing the Spirit of Neighborhood
Meghan, and Hogan Made, exhibited and sold the rooster t-shirt for the first time at the Ybor City Market in April of 2016. It was a hit! Ellen and Red helped at the booth and also sold art of their own. Hogan Made continued to have a booth at the Ybor City market through June.
During one of the markets Meghan met the organizers of the MiraBay Market, who invited them to exhibit at the market in Apollo Beach.
Meghan and family (from Lutz) decided to check out the South Shore area to see if the MiraBay market and area would be a fit for Hogan Made, and to figure out what they could sell that would be unique and represent the area.
“We were driving around Apollo Beach racking our brains trying to figure out what designs we could do. Then all of a sudden,” Meghan says, “Doh! The TECO stacks. I’ve seen them every day of my life for 40 years,” Meghan says.
This new t-shirt idea didn’t come without a bit of drama. While taking pictures of the TECO stacks, for design inspiration, Meghan was chased away by TECO security. Of course, this bit of fun only fueled the excitement for the process.
Hogan Made T-Shirts Are Art
Meghan controls the entire process: Creating the original design on the computer; printing a transparency; burning the image; and, screen printing individual shirts. She cannot turn out thousands of t-shirts, but her hand made shirts are original and top quality.
“I did a lot of research on shirts,” Meghan says, “and I experimented with lots of different brands before finding one I love.”
The Hogans visited the ISS International Sportswear Show in Orlando to check out different shirt brands. This is where Meghan discovered the brand of shirt she uses today as the backdrop for her designs, Next Level brand.
Meghan’s design and process is always evolving. Her original rooster t-shirt, once a solid design, now has feathers and will soon have a cigar. Meghan’s also done a few limited edition ‘Yoga Rooster’ shirts as a nod to the YogaLoft classes that take place in the courtyard across the street from the the Ybor City Market.
“I always saw these folks right before or after their yoga class,” Meghan says, “and I thought the rooster can do yoga”. The Yoga Rooster shirts regularly sell out.
Meghan has also upgraded her screen printing process and stays true to using top quality everything, from ink to shirts to screens.
Capturing the Spirit of Our Neighborhoods
The rooster t-shirt was Meghan’s first foray into creating art that represents a neighborhood.
“It’s fun,” Meghan says. “I’ve started seeing people wearing my rooster t-shirts around Ybor City. People are proud to represent their neighborhood.”
Hogan Made is also filling a gap for up and coming areas, such as South Shore. Until recently, there’s been limited opportunity to find clothing with designs that call out our iconic landmarks or destinations.
Today, Hogan Made represents South Shore with a Four Stacks shirt, a manatee shirt (Winky the Manatee) and a Grumpy Grouper Shirt.
“Well, the Grumpy Grouper t-shirt really represents all of Tampa,” Meghan explains. “I can’t tell you how many women, at both the Ybor City and MiraBay Markets, have stopped by saying they needed a Grumpy Grouper shirt for their husband or dad. It’s a unique way to poke a little fun and give something that echoes our area.”
“People get it,” Meghan says. “And, if they don’t get the art right off the bat, it’s fun to tell the story.”
Meghan will continue to test new design ideas. “I’ll create a design and watch how people react. If the design takes, I’ll make more. If not, I’ll retire it,” Meghan says.
You’ll also find Red’s wood art and Ellen’s pottery and sewing creations at both the Ybor City and MiraBay Markets. Hogan Made plans to exhibit at both markets through the end of the year and beyond.
Red learned wood turning from an old friend. The equipment needed is sizable and prompted Red and Ellen to move into a home that had workshop space (uh, spaces) for Red’s wood turning equipment, antique cars (another hobby) and Ellen’s pottery and sewing art.
Today Red creates wood items as small as burl wood earrings and manatee Christmas ornaments to larger one-of-a-kind wood creations.
Ellen makes small fabric items such as handy zippered pouches, that Meghan silk screens with her iconic neighborhood images, as well as well as her pottery.
Find Hogan Made Products
Hogan Made will be exhibiting at both the MiraBay Markets and Ybor City Markets indefinitely. The next MiraBay Market is Sunday, December 18 (11-3) and the Ybor City Markets are every Saturday from 9-3 in Centennial Park.
You can also find all of the Hogan Made items on the Website: http://www.hoganmade.com/
If you’ve not yet met the Hogans be sure to stop by their booth. You’re sure to have a fun visit.