In this episode of Memphis Type History: The Podcast, Rebecca meets with Ben Fulfer, the man behind Bozwell + Lily, to talk about his journey and decision on starting his company. He tells us the thoughtful process behind what items he chooses to sell, who he works with, and the Memphis inspiration and history that some of his products tell.
First, did you know?
We don’t mention this on the podcast, but did you know Ben was once a radio DJ? He also recently redesigned the setup at Ditty TV because he’s got the skills for design and aesthetics. Put these skill sets together + a traveling man with motivation and inspiration and you get Bozwell + Lily, a small shop with a lot of history and thoughtful design.
So who are Bozwell and Lily?
Well, they are Ben’s beloved dogs. And when you hear the personality each possess, you gather how it perfectly embodies the theme of the shop. When Ben tells the story of how the shop got started and its process of growth, he connects how the personalities of his pups each reflected that process.
What is the story behind the ’46 tee we most often see?
This is the tee with the Native American screen print shown above. I thought it was maybe a nod to a particular Memphis native American who perhaps made history by fighting a tribe of coyotes and saving a village. I was close… it is actually a nod to the Memphis baseball team called, “the chicks” preexisting the Red Birds we know and salute today. In particular, this imprint is something we would have seen on their jerseys in the year of ’46 which isn’t the most recognizable. If you Google Memphis Chick images, it will be a long time of scrolling before you come across this particular logo.
It then occurred to me that a good number of Bozwell + Lily products have this same vintage feel and inspiration. The type of fabric…the imagery…the banners…the hand-stitching…the screen printing…these are all details made to give each product its own type of thumbprint with a process that pays tribute to days of long ago.
Where did it start?
The first product of Bozwell + Lily was the B.B. King imprint tee. Ben tells us the story of creating that shirt, how much it cost, and how it gave him the courage to keep moving forward. Also, if you happen to own one of these shirts with the misspelled name “Boswell + Lily” on the tag, you know you have a Memphis original.
Ready to buy your next apparel or household embellishment? Visit Bozwell + Lily’s online shop at bozwellandlily.com or follow them on Instagram @bozwellandlily
Visit Ben in person April 13 and 14 during Memphis Fashion Week, as Bozwell + Lily will be a participating vendor of their Trunk Show. And be on the lookout for their next popup shows!
Support the show via Patreon and get bonus content like our weekly blooper reel, digital wallpaper featuring Rebecca’s artwork, t-shirts, signed books, and more!