History

The Mountain® started in the Mid 70’s as a partnership between best friends Michael Krinsky and Michael Gallen. It’s first incarnation was selling food, craft items, stained glass, handmade belts and buckles at fairs, on the boardwalk and craft shows around New Jersey and throughout New England.

In the mid 80’s the company became know as Mountain Magic and the partners began to build their retail base, selling imports to stores around the country.  In the late 80’s early 90‘s Mountain Magic started to open it’s own stores. By the early 90’s Mountain Magic had a flagship store in N.J and a chain of large retail kiosks in malls primarily in the Mid and North Eastern US. The company was importing goods from Guatemala and China, items like: hand blown glass beads, incense, jewelry, stickers, sweaters, hand-made dream catchers, T-Shirts and other hippy related inventory selling to a 13-30 year old demographic.

After years of working out of the Partner’s homes in 1991 the company moved into a warehouse space to store it’s goods in Marlborough, NH. they were finally out of room and needed a warehouse in order to expand the company.

In late 1991 artist/entrepreneur Michael McGloin owner of ArtWear, a T-Shirt design company licensing the artwork of artists, met with The Mountain partners who wanted to open their own screenprint division and sell T-Shirts through their stores.

McGloin was printing recycled t-shirts and a line of designs including: skeletons, mushrooms, Native American, VW Buses and other hippy shirts; so it was a perfect match for The Mountain.

The Mountain tested ArtWear shirts in their stores and with that success a few months later McGloin came on board and set up The Mountain Print Shop.

Within a years time the print facility had grown larger than the warehouse and the line grew to over 100 images by many local and inhouse artists with each artist getting a royalty on every shirt sold which was McGloin’s mission with ArtWear and continues to this day.

Around 1993 the company was introduced to a new ink called water base discharge. This was the turning point of the company. With discharge McGloin and his team figured out how to print batik and patented the process. Around the same time the team figured out a new dye technique they coined mottle-dye (a look that has since become fashion and copied all around the world by other T-Shirt companies to high-end fashion designers). These two components brought together, allowed the company to start selling a completely new look never before seen in the apparel world, process discharge printing (aka CMYKW) on mottle dyed T-Shirts.

Grateful Dead Merchandising took notice of our printing style and were impressed by our vision and design which allowed us to secure a GDM license and we produced T-Shirts for The Grateful Dead. With that license in hand we were able to go after a Jimi Hendrix and a Bob Marley license, increasing our base and expanding the company into new markets. This was the beginning of our wholesale market and when we changed our name to The Mountain®.

In August of 1995 Jerry Garcia died. Six months later the entire Grateful Dead and hippy T-Shirt market started to slowly disintegrate. During which time we decided to go after the Native American T-Shirt market, introducing Gina Gray to mass market, whose style was very batik-like and a perfect match.

With the success of Gina Gray and our full Native American catalog in 1997 we decided to expand our wholesale market into new territories, going after markets we felt were lacking great T-Shirt design.

Around 1999 the decision was made to sell the stores. The years of retail helped us shape what our company was becoming, a retail friendly wholesale company. Great customer service, tons of choices, always being in stock and with it the ability to ship our shirts in a moment’s notice.

Over the next 4-5 years we introduced North American Animals, Light Houses, Aquatic Animals, Zoo and African Animals, Fantasy, Pets, Garden and Songbirds, Patriotic/Americana, Wolves, Horses and Reptiles; securing our spot as the leading U.S. manufacturer of printed apparel for middle America.

After 9-11 our Patriotic/Americana shirts were the only shirts we printed for a year and a half. Five shirts. This sad time for America was a catalyst for our brand and cemented our name into middle America.

By 2004 our wholesale customer base was very strong and we secured 90% of all Zoos and Aquariums in this country and 50% of Zoos world-wide.

For the last five years we have been steadily increasing our exposure to bands, movies, tv, stars, magazines; the pro and semi-pro: skateboarders, snowboarders, skiers, motorcross racers and bike racers. This has set in motion an amazing support base for an entirely new demographic of customer.

In 2008 we collaborated with Element Skateboards for our first series of skateboards and in 2010 we are on our 3rd series.  This is a full collaboration integrating the Element Skateboards Logo and The Mountain Logo, using Mountain T-Shirt art on Element Skateboards.

From 2006-2008 The Mountain stopped adding new classes of trade to an already overstuffed catalog (over 800 designs) and focused on new classes of trade through expansion.

We established 4 new brands:

  • Skulbone: for bikers, dark fantasy, goth and metal heads
  • Mountain Life™ for sports and outdoor life enthusiasts
  • Life is crap® Licensed Parody T-Shirt line.
  • Wine is Life™ for wineries and wine enthusiasts

After the launch and nurturing of these brands, we refocused our efforts on The Mountain brand in 2009 by introducing:

  • Mountain Evolution™ wholesale t-shirts designed off the sleeve and off the shirt with new tie-dye styles. Printed on a 30 weight fashion fit ring-spun.
  • The Mountain Sun Dresses

And for 2010 we expanded Mountain Evolution and The Mountain Sun Dresses and added:

  • Our new brand, Mountain Organic™ our 100% certified organic line of shirts.
  • Our new Exclusive Thomas Kinkade Line of Apparel.
  • Mountain Retro an old/new class of trade, revisiting our hippy past, peace sign and tie-dye…

In the beginning of 2009 right at the start of the worst recession in decades The Mountain was thrown a hail mary pass by the name of Three Wolf Moon, first mentioned by Brian Govern on amazon.com in November 2008. Then starting in May of 2009 it became the most famous T-Shirt on earth.

3WM, allowed the world to realize that mottled dyed nature shirts are the new hot.

For 2010 our goal is to open our online retail store and offer a much larger selection of new and innovative styles to our retail customer base including higher end garments, limited edition prints and other product available under our licensed artists.


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