The Story Of The Tees

The Story Of The Tees

Hi, we are Amie and Graham, founders of the Autiboi brand. We wanted to give some insight into why we started the brand, where the name came from, who the boy in the brand is and what we are trying to achieve with it!

However, before we get to the nuts and bolts of it, let’s get you up to speed with us and our family. 

We are working parents with relatively stressful jobs and have the two most amazing children on the planet (I know, biased, right). We live in a rural part of middle England and have a fiery orange cat called Freckle!

We have always believed that regardless of the world around us and our children, we focus on the happiness of the family unit, as we believe that if you have happiness, anything is possible! This is an essential point for us as raising an Autistic child is daunting and, at times, very tough, but we have worked our little butts off to ensure that our children and the whole family are (almost) always happy.

So, if you are so happy, why the brand?

To understand this, we must talk a little about our little boy – Logan. From an early age, it was apparent that he was different from the other kids around him, slower somehow, off the pace, and he had a slight lisp when he spoke. He passed all the initial medical exams around hearing and such, so we just put it down to him being a late bloomer as boys often are.

As he grew and started to attend a local preschool, it became even more apparent there was something there. Our local preschool (Little Ashes in Milton Keynes, if you are wondering) was blessed with a team that had extensive experience working with SEN children, and I remember to this day when we were asked if we knew our child was autistic. It had never occurred to us that this could be the case – isn’t he just a late bloomer?

From here, we started to notice it more but tried not to fall into the trap that despair can lead to – he’s our boy, he’s perfect, and we will do everything we can to ensure he has the best opportunity at a full life!

Now, we will talk more about this journey in later blog posts – when I think about it now, as a family, we have been through and done so much with Logan. It makes you realise as a parent how awesome we are (yep, that’s you too ).

Anyway, back to the story. So, we are now armed with the knowledge that Logan may have undiagnosed Autism; in our practical way, we think, let’s get on with it! Logan is, after all, more than awesome; and above all, we are a happy family!

You do start to notice how others engage with your children more once you are aware, and you start to pick up on narrative and body language from people around you, the sympathetic faces, the poor you mindset. This comes from parents who no doubt had to traverse their own problems, just different types – every child has them, as nobody can be perfect. We also noticed that as Logan grew, there was an increasing expectation from people around him that he should be able to interact, answer questions, and generally engage. Still, those with neurodiverse children will know that this isn’t always the case – they could be anywhere in their own worlds or be completely non-verbal!

So, we wanted to create a way to influence the narrative and drive the message that everyone is different, but at the same time, focus on neurodiversity all centred around our little boy, Logan! And we wanted to start a brand with that theme in mind – enter Autiboi!

Auti, as it’s short for Autism, and Boi because Logan is a boy! Clever right? The little face in the logo is based on a Logan (yes, he has blond hair and brown eyes). So Autiboi was born along with our core message around normalising people's differences because, let's face it, we’re all different in our own way – imagine a world where everyone is the same. How boring!!

So, armed with a brand and a reason, what’s the mission?

Personally, I’ve never been a fan of badges or lanyards to identify neurological conditions; I think they call out too loudly, “I am different”. It does create the right effect, though; it helps others understand that they may need to interact with this person differently. However, the need for such things is driven by people’s tolerance levels.

Since being more aware of neurodiversity, my tolerance for such things has changed. I used to have the same thing as most people around expectations of others, that it was a level playing field, but parenting Logan has taught me so much about people and their differences. When I see parents dealing with meltdowns or children who don’t respond to interaction, I look at it differently. I think, “That parent needs a medal” or “I wonder where that child is at the moment”. I have moved to celebrating the lives around me rather than seeing them as inconveniences, all driven through awareness!

For me, Autiboi is not about singling out people or saying, “I am different”; it’s about raising awareness.

Awareness that, as people, we are all different, we all have quirks, and we all have complexities. And those differences are completely and totally and utterly normal!

In addition to this, we all need to be more aware of each other because we are all awesome, each and every one of us!

And the slogans, why start with slogans?

Amie and I share the same love of humour. We laugh each and every day about something, and often, it is situations we find ourselves in because of our children that drive that humour.

And my wonderful wife has a natural talent for turning these situations, and life in general, into slogans! Each slogan has a story behind it, which we will write into separate blog posts. For us, they may be born from situations with one of our two children, but really, they apply to anyone and everyone! Who isn’t “Wired in a quirky way”, and who shouldn’t feel it ok to be “Unapologetically Me”?

And the tee’s are especially important. We carried out ample research on different manufacturers that could help us at this early-stage landing on a wonderful 100% organic brand, and we found a wonderful family-owned print-on-demand business that can print and ship our tee’s.

We use Stanley/Stella t-shirts as they are soft and wash well, and their colours are perfect for our slogans.

The final thought about the slogans is that they get the conversation going, and the more people are aware of neurodiversity and the world around them, the more tolerant they will become. if our slogans do that to even one person, I will call it a success!

Back to blog