Today we’d like to introduce you to Meghan Hogan Tauber.
Hi Meghan, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Hogan Made was born out of necessity! As most locals and visitors know, Ybor City is known for the roosters that strut all around the streets and byways, as well as its cigar-making industry. One day Mom (Ellen Hogan) suggested that Ybor needs a GOOOOD rooster shirt. I immediately dusted off my art degree from USF and got to work. I created a simple outline of a rooster silhouette, did a crash course in screen printing and printed it on a few shirts. Then I searched for a good place to start selling my tees, and lo and behold, Ybor City Saturday Market became my second home as I began refining the business.
After experimenting with lots of t-shirt brands, we settled on a very soft, durable, high-quality shirt that everyone loves. So, after we provided Ybor with a simple design, we amped things up and started designing for different neighborhoods around town (Sulphur Springs, Tampa Heights, Hyde Park, Davis Islands, Seminole Heights, etc.), using iconic architectural and neighborhood images. I started branching out to do pillows, tea towels, and greeting cards.
After a couple of years at the Ybor Market, watching the Yoga Loft class in the courtyard of the museum (across from the market), I came up with the idea to do a design that depicts three roosters in three different yoga poses. Namaste Ybor! The next design came to mind after hearing about the Cigar Heritage Festival that happens in Ybor’s Centennial Park every year – and the Smokin’ Rooster was born! This has been my best seller.
As with other small business, the pandemic had a big impact on Hogan Made. I was not at Ybor City Saturday Market from March 2020 until Oct. 2 of this year. It’s great to be back and I plan to be there through May 2022 (or whenever it gets too hot), from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I am a workhorse. I get things done and I am very efficient and resourceful. These qualities have been a huge asset to me over the last five years. Being a small business owner, you become the accountant, marketing manager, decision-maker, designer, maker, and toilet cleaner. I have been very fortunate to have the support of my family and friends throughout this time and that has made things seem (seem) easier than they probably were!
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I come from a long line of creatives! My mom is a potter, seamstress, and writer. Red Hogan (dad) is not only eye candy and bouncer for Hogan Made, one of his many talents includes woodturning. At the ripe age of 74, he taught himself how to use a lathe and immediately began creating beautiful pieces of art (available on my website hoganmade.com). Now 87, Red continues to create these pieces and he even has an Instagram account! My husband, Steve Tauber, is a professor at USF and a fitness buff; not only does he provide support and muscle to our efforts, but he’s a great source of comic relief! My sister, who passed away in 2013, continues to be an inspiration to all that Hogan Made is and stands for. Our passion is the love of our community, which Kathleen Hogan taught me, growing up on the mean streets of South Tampa. Our passion is to create in a positive, fun, customer-focused environment while maintaining professionalism, organization, and smart business practices. Kathleen’s attitude, creativity, and love for family inspires us every day to do and create in the best possible ways. Kathleen’s natural ability to make people smile is a legacy Hogan Made wants to integrate into every single transaction with our customers.
My specialty is designing t-shirts. I am not a screen-printing shop, but I do print all my own shirts. I’d say that our most famous design is the Cigar Smokin’ Rooster. It captures the whole of Ybor City in a simple image and is popular with just about everyone, from native-born Ybor residents to tourists passing through, plus we have solid online sales. We are set apart from other designers and t-shirt companies in that we focus on community. We use high-quality shirts, simple, but effective designs. And we make it our business to give back to the community. Through our Purch the Merch Community Giving Program we have raised nearly $13,000 and have provided local afterschool programs with young entrepreneur programs. Obviously, COVID has had a pretty big impact on our giving, but teaming up with Grammy Award-Winning musician Janis Ian during the pandemic has allowed us to give back to her nonprofit, the Pearl Foundation, which helps fund scholarships for adults returning to school. One third of all Janis Ian Wearables and More goes directly to the Pearl Foundation. Once her tour starts in February 2022, we’ll have a slew of new designs!
So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
I love working with nonprofits. I worked in the nonprofit world for a while and I know how incredibly hard that crowd works and with very little. I prefer to work with organizations that help out artists, kids, and animals, but if I meet just the right person, that can easily be expanded. I also prefer to work with smaller, local organizations that would benefit from smaller donations (under $2,000). When I set out to do a Purch the Merch Community Giving Program for an organization, I usually “force” my family and friends to match what I raise (no more than $300) and I would love for more local businesses to help boost this, and potential donors to contact me and keep an eye on my website for future programs. All donations go directly to the organization so that they can be recognized as a donor.
- Tanks and Tees from $23.99
- Long Sleeves and Hoodies from $27.99
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: https://www.hoganmade.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hoganmade/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hoganmadebetter/