Hell-O. We are Zion & Vikki. Some people know us from our rock band, SPiT LiKE THiS. Other people might know us from our movies. Even more people may know us from our ZVTV YouTube Channel. And a whole bunch of people know us because of THIS VERY WEBSITE.
WHY ON EARTH DO WE SELL THIS STUFF?
When we started our band, we needed to have some kind of income to help fund it. We sat around scratching our heads for a bit until we came up with the notion of selling sweary T-Shirts to people Just Like Us. We weren't expecting a lot. We certainly what expecting what happened! Fast forward to right now, since being online, we've had tens of millions of hits and have sold hundreds of thousands of our items to satisfied customers worldwide.
WHERE ARE WE LOCATED?
Up a mountain in the middle of nowhere in the Northern Pennines at the tippy-top of England. Our business is run from an office in our home. We share our home with rescued cats, a dog, some horses and ducks. It is noisy. Oh, don't worry, the animals have no access to our office.
HOW LONG HAVE WE BEEN IN BUSINESS?
We launched SMELLYOURMUM.COM in 2002 and have been actively promoting it and selling our wares ever since.
HOW LONG HAVE WE BEEN RUNNING THIS SITE?
I just told you that, since 2002. Don't you listen?! ;-) Our first "proper" shopping cart based store was launched in 2004. That was when our bank (Lloyds) finally trusted us enough to let us take credit cards. In 2016, we moved from our tired old platform to host our items of Shopify.
There is a more in-depth history below. Thanks for reading this far and thanks for checking out our stuff.
Zion & Vikki x
GOT THIS FAR? HERE'S EVEN MORE TO SINK YOUR TEETH INTO!
So, you might be wondering who precisely are the people behind this website. After all, we are trying to sell something quite unusual and, rather than keep you guessing, we would much rather that we all became friends. Are you sitting comfortably? Then let me start at the beginning...
This website was launched in 2002 by Lord Zion (me) and Vikki Spit . We met in 2000 and soon became best friends, shortly after that we got together as a couple and have entwined our existences to good effect ever since! We started SMELLYOURMUM.COM around the same time we started our band, SPiT LiKE THiS. You see, we needed to have money to fund our rock n' roll dreams but, any attempt at a "normal" job would have failed miserably as our time needed to be flexible. Whilst brainstorming ideas of how we could be in a band and actually earn a living, we decided that sweary T-shirts would be a natural fit. It seems we have a knack of coming up with them!
Initially, we only had a few designs and mainly sold at gigs but, in 2004, we got permission from our bank (LloydsTSB) to have a merchant account with them. This meant that we could finally take credit cards so I re-built the site - incorporating all the necessary security you need for the bank to accept you as an online retailer - and we launched the old version of the site in February 2004. At the time of moving, it had over 18 million hits since!
Around the same time, we decided to invest in our own screen printing equipment. This would mean that we could offer more range and flexibility whilst keeping prices low and quality high. Vikki learnt the whole process and has printed tens-of-thousands of T-Shirts in the intervening years. In fact, she has RSI as a result and has to ice her thumb every day, twice a day.
Disillusioned by other "alternative" sites being run by money-hungry capitalists rather than people just-like-them, our online store very quickly became extremely popular with all types of alternative communities. We were thrown in at the deep end, learning how to run a business, run a band and maintain our sanity all at the same time. Luckily, we got the hang of it!
All profits we earned through the T-shirts was - and still is - ploughed directly into our band and, in 2005, things started going quite well with it. In fact, an EP we released that year entered the Top 10 Rock Charts and hit number 1 on Amazon! We also started appearing in various national magazines.
Of course, with any extreme lifestyle choice there are ups-and-downs but we have proudly maintained our independence and high standards. Our customers keep coming back for more and they love the fact that they can talk directly to us via many of the social network sites we are on. A lot of our customers have also become fans of the band that they indirectly support and, for all of that, we are extremely grateful.
So what of the band? Well, I am happy to report that the last few years have been amazing for us. Our first album "We Won't Hurt You (But We Won't Go Away)" was released in 2008, initially in the UK, but has since come out across most of Europe along with Australasia. We have played many top festivals over the last few years sharing the bill with bands like Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper, Motley Crue, Slayer, WASP, The Misfits & loads more. We signed our debut to a Swedish record label and a German publisher.
During the summer of 2010, we played our biggest festival yet, the mighty Wacken in Germany. Just before then, however, we recorded our 2nd album, "Normalityville Horror", with legendary producer Chris Tsangarides. He has been responsible for classic albums like Judas Priest's "Painkiller" and Ozzy Osbourne's "Blizzard Of Oz". The end result is a phenomenal piece of work released in 2012 after signing to CT's own Dark Lord Records label in Feb 2012!
Incredibly, all the above has been made possible because of this site and, more importantly, because of people like YOU. Instead of buying from a faceless company that sees the alternative market as easy pickings, our discerning customers prefer to buy from a couple of people just like them. People with big ideas and big dreams. And they SUPPORT those ideas and dreams by buying something they love! It is a win-win situation and we often receive glowing testimonials from these customers.
We hope that the above has given you a bit of insight into us and how important you are to us. Our story has very humble beginnings and it grows every day. Still though, every T-shirt or hoody you buy from us is screen-printed by Vikki from an original design usually by me. We then package and post the items (fast!) ourselves. I also personally run this site and answer the emails.
Of course, we would love to get to know you better so, if you fancy adding me on Facebook, please do. Vikki can be added here. This site has an account here and the band has one here. If you fancy checking out the band's main website, that is here.
In the meantime, make sure you explore this site thoroughly and buy something safe in the knowledge that it is EXTREMELY appreciated by Vikki and I plus you are doing a good deed: you are helping keep our dreams alive!
And, for that, we thank you :)
Zion & Vikki x
UPDATE OCTOBER 2015
Since writing all the above, we have branched out into the movie business! Apart from appearing in a couple of films, we have made our own. During 2013, I (Zion) wrote a comedy horror called "Meet The Cadavers", then me and Vikki and a friend, David VG Davies, produced it. I co-directed it with David and both me and Vikki star in it. Editing is taking for ever, but it will come out. Eventually!
There are also three books in various stages of being written. These will come out soon, either self-published via Amazon or through a publisher that won't mess around with it too much.
We have always had an interest in antiques and collectibles. In 2014, we started buying and selling them, focussing on the rare, slightly unusual and quirky. You can view all our listings on eBay by visiting www.Quirkabilia.com
Finally, we launched our own YouTube TV channel - ZVTV. It's a magazine type channel, with videos about any subject we care to shoot a video about! Subscribe here.