What happens when you combine the phrases “jawbreaker” and “jaw dropping” with cute tees? You get Jawbreaking.
At age 15, Aly Silverio needed money, like most teens, going into her junior year of high school. But also like most teens, she didn’t want a “real” job. So exactly how would she earn money? She’d start her own business, of course!
Taking polymer clay and a toaster oven she found at the Goodwill, she began creating jewelry out of her bedroom in North Carolina. And thus, Jawbreaking Jewelry was born! Aly notes that feedback from friends allowed her to tweak the jewelry designs that she was selling on Myspace. Once Facebook and Twitter took off, she began using social media as a way to spread the word about her company. She would also give her pieces to bands and others who had a large following in hopes of reaching new customers.
Fast forward a few years later, Aly knew she had to go beyond the world of clay jewelry. She had always dreamed of starting her own clothing company, but it was pricey to start up this new company. So, using the money from selling her clay pieces, she dropped the phrase “Jewelry” and just became what is now known today as “Jawbreaking.”
As the newly started “Jawbreaking,” Aly, with help from her mom, began creating t-shirts with relatable sayings and hand drawn designs. When asked what inspires her designs, one word sums it up: “life.” Aly draws inspiration from everyone’s favorite songs and movies while also pulling from her real life experiences, ranging from boys and relationships to travel and inside jokes with friends. Whether you prefer inspirational sayings like “dream while you’re awake” and “not all who wander are lost” or more sassy, sarcastic sayings like “bloggin > jogging” and “boy bands ruined my life,” there is a Jawbreaking shirt perfectly fit for you.
With the start of this new business, the Jawbreaking started spreading the word through a variety of platforms. They began with vending their shirts at Vans Warped Tour, gaining popularity amongst the bands and fans alike. As their company grew, they began sponsoring some popular bands, such as Megan & Liz and Set It Off.
In 2012, Jawbreaking quickly gained popularity when Zayn Malik was seen wearing their Wanderer tank. At the time, One Direction was a new up and coming boy band quickly gaining popularity here in the US. When they made a stop in Aly’s home state of North Carolina, she knew she had to get her shirts to them somehow. She found out they would be at a radio station nearby, so along with a few friends, she packed up some tees in hopes of running into the boy band. In the madness surrounding the radio station, one of Aly’s friends handed a shirt to Zayn, letting him know that Aly had designed it herself. It wasn’t until a few days later that Aly realized that Zayn had switched into the tank to film an interview with the Today Show. Like any boy band fanbase, fans began going nuts in pursue of the shirt Zayn was wearing, wanting to snatch one up for themselves. As time went on and Jawbreaking grew in popularity, other members of the boy band began wearing Aly’s designs. Louis Tomlinson wore the “Veni Vidi Vici” tee multiple times while the band was on tour, Niall Horan was also spotted wearing the “SOS” tee, and Liam Payne sported many tees including the Wanderer baseball tee and the Jawbreaking logo tee.
Jawbreaking also became a favorite of bands such as 5 Seconds of Summer and Simple Plan. Ashton Irwin, Calum Hood, and Michael Clifford, of 5SOS, all wore a variety of designs, including fan favorites like the Weekend Warrior tee and the Wanderer tee. Pierre Bouvier of Simple Plan has also worn a variety of Jawbreaking shirts since 2012.
As their t-shirts began gaining popularity, the company became a bit too much for Aly and her mother to handle on their own. They expanded their team and even moved into their own office, Jawbreaking HQ, so that they could have a central place to handle the growing number of orders coming in each day.
Although Aly still continues to draw design inspirations from her life, she has gained some help from favorites among her customers. In 2013, she collaborated with dancer Danielle Peazer to create a “Peace, Love, Happiness” design. Danielle still continues to wear Jawbreaking today, becoming friends with Aly in the process. In 2014, she also collaborated with “Orange is the New Black” star Taryn Manning to create a range of designs inspired by her role on the show. These included the “Guilty Innocent” tee and the “Text Offender” sweatshirt. Earlier this year, Jawbreaking joined forces with Megan & Liz once again to create a tee inspired by their single “Big Kids.”
As I’ve watched Jawbreaking grow over the years, it’s amazing to see the hard work and determination Aly and the team put into creating each new line. Over the past year alone, they have introduced products ranging from workout gear and denim shirts to hats and mugs. At the end of March, they even introduced a line of cuffs, rings, and keychains, bringing them full circle to the days of Jawbreaking Jewelry.
To this day, Jawbreaking is still taking advantage of the power of social media. Their strategically laid out instas make us want to snatch up every piece and their relatable tweets make us laugh out loud as we hit retweet. Even with their growing popularity, Aly still takes the time to reach out to her customers on Twitter, helping them with everything from sizes and returns to styling. A tweet from them makes you feel like you’ve been friends for years and it shows that they really care about their customers.
A few years back, I took my love for Jawbreaking and created a Massachusetts street team Twitter account. Although it fizzled when life got in the way, it introduced me to some wonderful ladies I’m still friends with to this day. We can’t thank Aly enough for bringing us into each other’s lives, all because of our love for Jawbreaking.
You can shop Jawbreaking’s current line here now and apologize to your wallet later. You can follow the team for news about sales and restocks on their Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages. Also, get to know Aly better by following her on her website, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Header credit: Jawbreaking