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It's STILL For Business, Enslaver! #TBT

Posted by Toby King on

Crap the bed, it’s been a full calendar year since Merpola started test-trading! I know it’s a bit silly to get nostalgic when we’re still such a young label, but hear me out. 

In the warmer months of 2015 I was putting all of my business ideas into a document in order to apply for a funding loan from The Prince’s Trust. People were grabbed on the street and through their laptops for surveying - thanks again if you were roped into that. I looked at designs, researched inks and fabrics, studied the market & the industry until my eyes were jammy puddles but there was still a big question looming over the business plan. Will anyone find this website, like the look of a t-shirt and pay for it? Enter Enslaver.

It's For Business... Enslaver! Madonna inspired Merpola T-shirt Tee for Test Trading, 2015

Merpola won a small grant in order to test-trade. With that we bought some paint and some shirts, and our objectives were the following; test the functionality of the website, the demand for our product, the skills it would take to produce product fit for market and sell the bloody stuff.

In case you were wondering, it went really well. Even RuPaul said he liked it! We completely sold out (except for the first one which I'm keeping for the fantasy museum that will someday want it - will post a gormless selfie with it below) and due to the success of the test-trading Merpola was taken seriously in the funding pitch, gaining just enough support to launch properly a few months later.

Here ya go, told you it would be gormless. The first ever Enslaver print, and the last "new" one.


Our real birthday is October 30th 2015, that’s when Merpola washed ashore as an official business with a small collection of items, so save your candles and cake for then. The test-trade will always be special to me personally though, so I felt it worth celebrating. Especially as {SPOILER ALERT} our next, newest product is a direct progression from that first Enslaver print, and it’s launching soon. Like, “in a few weeks” soon. Enslaver 2.0 (as we’ll call it for now…) is the accumulation of everything learnt so far and a mashup of all the products done to date, it’s really bold and exciting, I hope you love it. Sign up to our newsletter here, be the first to see it.

All my Enslavers out there; thanks for making this happen. I love ya.

-Toby, aka Mr. Merpola

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