Young Punks

Irreverent Tees for Kids

Look Who's Talking

You won’t find baby blues or cotton-candy pinks among Phil Rowntree’s creations. His palette starts and ends with basic black. Add a dash of wit, and there you have it: kids’ tees with a refreshingly irreverent style.

Phil prints each Young Punks shirt by hand in Berkeley, Calif. An artist and a single dad, Phil started making clothes for his son in 2005 when he couldn’t find any kids’ clothes that fit his tastes. Jules and her sons spotted Phil’s hipster T-shirts and onesies at a street fair in Northern California, and
the guys just had to get one for their newborn cousin, Killian. They picked a onesie that says “YOU’RE OLD.” We’re also partial to these sassy sentiments: “DO NOT IRRITATE,” “DON’T MESS WITH ME” (paired with a picture of Earth), and “THEY PUSH ME AROUND.”

The printed messages are maverick, but without going overboard. Moms, dads, cousins and grandparents alike can get a kick out of the Young Punks shirts – and they’ll make the young wearer feel pretty cool, too.
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Philip

    I've been "Empowering the little people since 2005" when I could not find clothing for my son that appealed to me and I set out to design my own. Young Punk designs make the kids look and feel cool and appeals to both Dads and Moms.

    Now, my weekdays are dedicated to my son, and on the weekends I concentrate on my business. When some teenage boys made a purchase from my booth at a street fair a few months back I had no idea that I would end up talking to you here on Daily Grommet today, but life's full of serendipity and I'm happy to be here to answer any questions you may have.

  • Layne
    9/30/2010 1:19 PM

    I use a wheelchair. I think the one reading "They always push me around" would be good for me. Or "People always want to push me around" "I can't stand being pushed around"

  • Philip
    Philip – Special Guest
    9/30/2010 1:21 PM

    He he - great idea.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    9/30/2010 1:27 PM

    These shirts are even more fun when you learn about the story and the personality behind them. It's amazing how many businesses are inspired by parenthood. I think it's the sudden transition between your world as you knew it and your new reality that creates an unsettled environment where new ideas flourish.

    @tokengimp - that is great!

  • Lisa
    9/30/2010 3:50 PM

    Love the little spokesmodel!

  • Gina
    9/30/2010 4:35 PM

    I think these are ridiculous. Our children are already put on a pedestal and told how wonderful they are. You are enabling kids to make adults look foolish .

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    9/30/2010 5:59 PM

    @Lisa - I love all the kids in that video, so darling!

    @Gina - thanks for sharing your point of view!

  • Guest
    9/30/2010 7:02 PM

    For most part I like your daily grommets, but I think this one makes fun of being disrespectful. I don't think they are funny at all. No thanks & if you offer more of this type of "trash" I will drop your site & pass it on to all my friends

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    9/30/2010 7:47 PM

    Oh man "anonymous". I have to admit we did not expect that kind of reaction to these shirts. (And I don't like rude children any more than you, so I am sensitive on this issue.) But the truth of our process is that we really can't fully predict the reaction to any Grommet. We always hope that unpredictability is part of the adventure for everyone...if we all agreed it would be a really boring world. I really appreciate your weighing in.

  • Philip
    Philip – Special Guest
    9/30/2010 7:58 PM

    Thanks Jules.

  • Philip
    Philip – Special Guest
    9/30/2010 8:07 PM

    While I respect peoples opinions and their right to dress their children in whatever they like, I teach my son "respect" and not to go around making rude comments.

    There are over 20,000 children running around California wearing Young Punks clothing. I guess you need a sense of humor to dress your children in what I have made - luckily for me there any many people out there that are looking for something other than the blue and pink teddy bear variety. Not that there's anything wrong with that type of clothing and I certainly would not disrespect it.

    If anyone dislikes my clothing, I have no problem with that, all I ask is that you do the same as intimating that my son and have a little respect - if you are unable to take a little poke at yourself directed by a child, it may be time to ask yourself why you feel so threatened.

  • Jill
    9/30/2010 9:03 PM

    I think you should make the "Don't Irriate Me" one in larger sizes-I would like to buy one for my teenager!

  • Philip
    Philip – Special Guest
    9/30/2010 9:18 PM

    The "Do not irritate" actually started out as an adult's design - I then kept being asked for it for kids - I'd be happy to send you a sticker, so perhaps your teenager could proudly display it on his bedroom door/skateboard.

  • Dan Weinreb
    Dan Weinreb
    9/30/2010 10:47 PM

    I'm not crazy about the "You're old"; it's just not that funny. If it were more funny then the "disrespect" factor might go away. But the other three are great! And I totally love the idea of taking photos for the future. When the kids are teenagers, instead of shying away from pictures that make them look uncool and little, they'll look back and laugh and say "Yeah, I was empowered!"

  • Sue
    9/30/2010 10:52 PM

    I ordered the do not irritate for my niece ... I think it's hilarious! I like that Daily Grommet has the courage to profile unique products from a wide variety of industries. A little humor brightens the day, and there is nothing funnier than a carefully worded t-shirt! My 12 year old often wears a shirt that reads "Wasn't Me" - this may as well be his 'motto' !!

  • Philip
    Philip – Special Guest
    9/30/2010 11:42 PM

    Thanks guys - I actually don't mean any dis-respect with the "You're Old" design - the bottom line is it's true wether we like it or not. If if had put "you're fat" now that would be untrue (probably) dis-respectful (definitely) and just not funny. Happy you liked the rest of them and a big thank you to everyone at the Daily Gromett.

  • Lisa Knittel
    Lisa Knittel
    9/30/2010 11:55 PM

    My friends all crack up at the "You're Old" onsie. We own it, and we embrace our "old age." I have a hard time making the leap from this onsie to the idea of its influence in creating disrespectful children. Me thinks it takes more than a shirt to do that. I don't attach that kind of power to a cotton onsie. There are so many real things to get bent about in the world that it is actually cracking me up that people can get up in arms about this. I will get bent about natural disasters and the jerks who play hip hop music below my balcony at all hours (and I am pretty sure a onsie didn't drive them to be jerks), but not a onsie.

  • Heather Carpenter
    Heather Carpenter
    9/30/2010 11:59 PM

    I dressed my little baby and young toddler in many young punks shirts and onsies: My FAVORITES and kept: "Your Old"(--Which I think is hilarious upon a 3 month old onsie---)" and "Well behaved children rarely make history" Also loved our Bruce Lee 3 month onsie. Now some context" I am not all about making kids too hip. In fact, most of my chosen clothes are organic, colorful and simple for my boy. I want him to be a little boy not a pre-adolescent at 3. But I do think Young Punks is funny and about the only graphic-style ts I ever put my kid in. So that's my two cents

  • urban momster
    urban momster
    10/1/2010 5:53 AM

    eh, I've seen much much much cooler punk kiddo shirts. printing 'punk' designs on American Apparel shirts for kids is a pretty dated idea. everyone has different ideals... but to call an 'American Apparel' shirt cruelty free is really really a laugh. the company is infamous for sexual harassment and for mistreating their employees. eh, everyone's got different taste, but my lil monster gave your shirts a 'yawn'. best of luck and I hope you find cooler other designs on other shirts. peace.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    10/1/2010 10:35 AM

    @urban momster - Phil creates a full line of shirts but we chose to feature the ones that caught the eye of Jules' sons. This is a great example of Citizen Commerce. Jules' sons found a product that really spoke to them, they met the creator, experienced the quality of the products and decided that this was a company that they would like to support. They submitted their idea as a potential Grommet. Our Discovery team looks through all submissions and chooses a wide range of quality products from good companies to showcase on our site. We know that not every Grommet will appeal to everyone.

    If you have a favorite t-shirt designer or company who is doing something fun and unique we would love to hear about it! Please submit their information by clicking on the Tell Us button at the top of the page. Maybe they will be one of our next featured Grommets!

  • Soo
    8/4/2011 7:42 PM

    @Katherine - Daily Grommet Community Team: I enjoy receiving your e-mails because the products are usually different and interesting. I have purchased items because many of your grommets promote social conscience. Punk sayings on newborns and toddlers are cute. Any older, not so much. Consider this, if you give an older child a "label" they may start acting that way because it's expected of them. My three cents worth.

  • Philip
    Philip – Special Guest
    10/1/2010 11:32 AM

    I have done a lot of research int American Apparel. I can find no convictions for the accusations listed above just a lot of jealousy. I went to LA and talked with some of the employees and the only complaint I heard from one of the seamstress's was that "she was not doing the job she wanted". If any one knows of a better supplier of quality childrens clothing, made in the US, that can reliably supply at least 10,000 items per year, please let me know. I checked with a spokesperson for the ethical garment industry and she informed me that at present American Apparel are currently my best option - having said that I'm still open to suggestions.

  • iriejen
    10/1/2010 12:52 PM

    Oh my, are you kidding! I love the simplicity and humor of these shirts. My kids have several of them, as a matter of fact, my youngest wore her SECURITY shirt to school today. I support all local artists especially since I live in a rural area and am limited to Walmart. I have become more and more anti Walmart since there is so much Chinese crap there. I applaud Young Punks and hope to see them around for a long time. I have also met Phil's son who is a most well mannered and polite kid. Keep up the good work!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    8/5/2011 8:22 AM

    @iriejen: Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your thoughts about these tees. We're glad that you stopped by.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

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