GARTH IS EVERYWHERE... at the Garth Store
Sunday, August 28, 1994
There's something for every Garth fan, ranging form American Honky-Tonk Bar Association buttons costing 50 cents to beautiful satin embroidered tour jackets selling for $74.95. You can buy a Garth coffee mug for $7.95, a baseball cap at $9.95 or spend $5.95 for a bandana. Other items in the Garth line include cameras, keychains, bumper stickers, tank tops, shorts, shires, football jerseys, scarfs and, to carry it all back home, the official Garth Brooks tote bag. Unless, of course, you're the lady who came in during Fan Fair and bought $550 worth of Garth goodies, checked her Visa card balance and came back in for another $200 worth of shopping. She needed more than a tote bag to haul away her Brooks collection.
"Garth is very hands on and is so involved with his merchandise," Elaina Gustat of The GARTH Store told COUNTRY WEEKLY. "He's quite amazing. I've been in this business for 17 years and Garth was the first person that came along who put the emphasis on merchandise and helped make decisions on where and what it should be."
Elaina's New Generation Inc. owns The GARTH Store and the retail merchandising operations, paying license fees to Garth. "He's much involved in all of his designs and selection of photographs, even down to typefaces,: Elaina said. "I'll come up with ideas to propose to him and he'll say 'I like this type of typeface' or 'I was diriving through Oklahoma last month and I saw this sign that had this style of type set up this way.' "Elaina puts together different designs and layout ideas, takes them to Garth and gets his opinion. "He may call in the middle of a plane ride and say, "Hey, I just had this idea, what d o you think about it, could you check it out for me?'"
The GARTH Store's biggest sellers are T-shirts, available in children's sizes up to the gargantuan 6X shirt. Elain had a hung huge sample at the warehouse when Garth walked in and said, "I love that shirt." "Are you kidding?" she asked. "No, I want to do that for the road. I'm serious." The giant family sized T-shirt has become a best seller.
The mail-order side of the Garthwear business is also booming. The catalog itself is a Garth collectible. Overseas orders come from such locales as England, Austrailia, Germany, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, and Japan. "The best quality for the best price is our philosophy," Elaina advised. "Garth is very emphatic about keeping his prices down so that when the fans come to his shows, they can buy a ticket, have popcorn and walk away with a T-shirt as well."
Browsers and buyers at The GARTH Store agree with that credo. "This is great," praised Cindy Schulze of Rochester, N.Y., vacationing in Nashville with her husband and three children. "We were walking by and saw the store, so we came in. We're all Garth fans and watch him on TV and have all his albums." As the Roy Hesson family from Albany, GA., pondered whether to purchase the 6x T-shirt, 6-year old Shane Hesson told COUNTRY WEEKLY what he likes best about Garth. "I like it when he breaks the guitar."
Count on Garth for the unexpected. Once, at the shop's location in Nashville, a fan from Iowa got the shock of hsi life while browsing through a rack of Garth T-shirts. Some tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Excuse me, can I help you find something?" He turned and stood face to face with his idol, Garth Brooks. "Oh, my God," the stunned fan said, as Garth laughed at the reaction.
For catalog requests, or to order merchandise from the catalog through Visa or Mastercard, fans can call 1-800-94-GARTH.