Posted on January 02 2020
On Halloween of 2011, after I moved to Canada, I was stressed, depressed and with only a few dollars left. In an act of desperation I bough a sewing machine to learn how to be a seamstress, just like my mom and grandma. With zero sewing knowledge, and only with what I’ve observed from within my family while growing up, I started doing super DIY leggings, and eventually the idea took off on Facebook.
In February 2013, in a snowy Canadian winter, I printed my first yard of spandex: It was the Desaster classic cross (If you don’t know this German band you should check it out right after you read this!). As a big fan I had tattooed this artwork already on my right arm. I asked the band for permission to create a Desaster dress, and they were fine with it. I changed my mind at the very last minute, and I did a swimsuit instead... And that was the real beginning for Speed Clothes.
As soon as the photo was posted I got reactions, and they were pretty positive! People was stunned and amazed for this new product, leaving comments like “Sin palabras... Esta de lujo!!!!”, “KILLER....where can we find it????”, “Wooww, sooooo nice!!!” And so on... I knew right away I had to go in that direction. I was so excited of seeing people eager for my creations, I wasn’t able to stop or slow down. I created an Instagram account and the word started to spread like a wildfire.
No more time to waste: A new idea was born! Speed Clothes will focused only in bands artworks, working on their graphics and creating one-of-a-kind, handmade products from scratch. But soon after, the attention started to grow and bands wanted in! Many bands contacted me to create clothing with their artwork, thinking this was a bigger business operation, I had to explain I was only making one product of each band I felt passionate about, but they still kept supporting the idea. The feminine heavy metal demand started to get bigger and slowly my two hands weren’t enough to do it all.
One day I got an e-mail that would give direction to my vision: It was Dave Carlo, from mighty RAZOR, and he said: "Hello Tanza, Somebody sent me a link to your site. I think your clothes are works of art. I may have to get you to make something for me (well my wife)! I do not mind that you use Razor artwork. It looks beautiful on you and you are doing something very nice for metal fans. Don't let anyone tell you different. All the best, Dave Carlo"... and like that, with the approval of one of my favorite bands ever, in 2015 I took a decision that it was going to shape the whole business model.
I partnered up with Hells Headbangers Records and we started manufacturing official merchandising for die hard metal chicks. I learnt about merchandising, licensing, band relations, manufacturing, web design, graphic design, modeling, photography, marketing, and all I had to learn to transform a part-time hobby into a full-time business. It was so much to learn while making it work at the same time! It was hard, but slowly I got the hang on it.
Today Speed Clothes is still under my command and I can’t wait to see what’s the next adventure for this new niche in heavy metal... I still can't believe all I've achieved while being an woman, minority immigrant fighting for heavy metal.