Tigerbob: The Next 100 days

Artist & founder Gossamer Rozen (@grelysian) offers a look behind the scenes at the ongoing development of their nascent web2 and web3 brand.

Tigerbob by Gossamer Rozen
13 min readSep 25, 2022
Tigerbob imagined in cashmere, a sample made by Gossamer in their textile studio.

Where has Tigerbob been, and where is the project going?

Dropping the Tigerbob Genesis digital collectible in May 2022 was phase one for us: an opportunity to scale up from my previous 1/1 projects while maintaining a handmade, fine art aesthetic, and to begin building a tight-knit community around the brand. In this short time we’ve seen Tigerbob holders rally around my work and values, and really become patrons of my creative vision, with a level of commitment and care that is really special.

A physical edition of the Grimoire art book, pages of which were air drops exclusive for Tigerbob holders. The book is printed and hand bound by Gossamer.

Over the summer, we did two airdrops of work to holders that explore the lore behind Tigerbob — Grimoire, an art book exploring work from 2017–2019, and Tattoo Flash Sheets, which connect my current body of work to my tattooing practice that dominated the years of 2019 to 2021. The context of this work provides a glimpse at my development as an artist within the last five years, up until the launch of Tigerbob.

Along with providing background on my work, Grimoire in particular added a key mechanic to collecting digital collectibles that bridge the physical — collecting all 27 pages provides access to one of thirteen editions of the handmade book, one of which was already sent out to a successful collector. All of this also hints at the future of the Tigerbob narrative and metaverse along with highlighting the importance of incorporating physical items within the brand.

From July through September, I reviewed and acted on the operations side of the business — a boring, yet necessary foundation needed to move the brand forward. In addition to this, I spent a lot of time alone in my textile studio in Brooklyn evaluating my practices in knitting, rug making, and sewing. All of this, in addition to macro events in the world and in finance, helped me hone in on the direction of Tigerbob for the next few months and, at a high level, for the next few years.

From September through the end of 2022, Tigerbob will focus on building the luxury fashion web2 sector of the brand. Then, we will evaluate our web2 and web3 foundations and build both areas simultaneously through 2023 and beyond.

Keeping in mind the brand’s commitment to being more than just an digital collectible/NFT project, we changed our official social handles on Twitter and Instagram to @tigerbob_global.

What impact has the market downturn had on your roadmap and timeline?

Despite headwinds in the market, we’ve accomplished our initial goals of gaining visibility and resources necessary to embark on the next phases of our roadmap. Of course, stronger ETH would mean more funding for our efforts, and that would make it possible to enact on our roadmap quicker than the current pace. Regardless, we are happy to move at a steady pace and deliver in a timely and realistic manner.

There’s always a lot of talk about the floor price, and I do take into consideration community morale in relation to this discussion. I want to see holders rewarded, but the overall market plunge and macro world events causing it is out of our control, and the impact on our project is not unique to us. More airdrops and, generally, more digital collectibles won’t move the needle right now. However, it’s important to note that our collection is only 1,000 pieces, so very slight movements in the market — say, ten or twelve Tigerbob Genesis sales — moves the floor price much quicker than in most 10k PFP projects.

We’re taking advantage of the lull in the web3 market to build our brand in the market for luxury physical goods. It’s important for folks outside of web3 to learn about Tigerbob and understand what we have to offer to them, regardless if they care about digital collectibles or not. Tigerbob was conceived as a brand that will have a foot in both web2 and web3 so we can expand our audience to as many different customers and markets relevant to my broad range of artistic styles and mediums.

Now that we have created a foundation for our brand in web3, the market has given us an opportunity to focus on web2 for the rest of this year, so we can build and deliver on both fronts in 2023.

Why focus on fashion?

Much in the same way that people find a sense of ownership and identity in a profile picture or digital collectible, the clothes we wear and the items in our homes are objects that allow us to find and express ourselves, to connect to other people and traditions.

In this context, a brand is more than just a logo — it’s a set of values and associations and a statement about who you are. I want Tigerbob to participate in that conversation, especially since so much of my artwork is about exploring and expressing my own identity, especially as a marginalized person. From the clothes I wear, the choice of tattoos on my body, to the items in my home, these seemingly small choices make a huge impact on how I provide comfort for myself and how I invite that same comfort and care to others.

In addition to the narrative of identity, luxury fashion is also a very lucrative industry — raking in over 1.7 trillion dollars in 2021 alone — and is expected to grow in the coming years as the world recovers from the pandemic. There has been a recent shift in global markets to focus on sustainability, especially with how wasteful the fashion industry is. It’s a complex issue that has yet to be tackled in an overarching, meaningful way.

Producing products with intention is my goal to tackle my footprint in this sector. I question deeply if something I create is important enough to exist at all, and if so, if it will be relevant enough to others to be loved and used longer than one year, ten years of time, or more. One-of-a-kind clothing and made-to-order offer a chance to mirror the scarcity of artwork I already make myself. I’m also taking a lot of time to research and choose manufacturers and methods that reduce as much waste as possible along the supply chain.

I look at some of the steps fellow web3 creators Vinnie Hager and Danny Cole have made to bridge their NFT projects and continue expressing fine art through experiences and beautiful merchandise, and the result has been absolutely inspiring.

We’ve gathered a community around Tigerbob and my artwork that is passionate about self-expression, about diversity, about sustainability. Aside from adhering to my philanthropic views of giving back directly, creating things people can wear and display is one of the best ways we can use the Tigerbob image to promote those values outwardly.

What sorts of products are you envisioning?

Sample of a Tigerbob tank top handmade by Gossamer.

Tigerbob is a luxury fashion and fine art brand. I’m most interested in starting with high quality knitwear. I’m excited to have my hand at creating one-of-a-kind pieces, a skill I’ve been honing for quite some time, as well as sourcing manufacturers with the highest standards in producing products in an ethical and environmentally conscious way. I want to make goods that last, have scarcity, and retain value. Every piece will be made with intention.

Garments from Gossamer’s first drop of clothing under the Gossamer Rozen brand in 2020.

There are two lines, or types of work, in development right now:

First, Tigerbob holders will get exclusive access to really meaningful one-of-a-kind art pieces made by me, like knitted garments made of cashmere, hand-sewn and hand-painted clothing made from new and vintage textiles I’ve collected over the years, and home goods such as rugs, as well as other unique physical art handmade by me. It’s important to me that holders of the Genesis collection get first dibs on my handmade pieces because the Genesis collection is intended to be the front-row ticket to the brand. We’re still exploring how that will work, whether it involves auctions, raffles, air drops, or even some crazy mechanic like burning Tigerbobs to make them deflationary.

Second, our main line of products will be luxury knitwear made with fine materials like cashmere, silk, and Merino wool. One of the manufacturers we’ve partnered with is located near my Brooklyn textile studio, and I’ve met the founder and toured the facility. It’s important to me to be familiar with each of my manufacturers and learn about the machinery, the fulfillment process, and the culture and environment.

We will add new products in the future as we are regularly researching manufacturers.

Can you talk about what you’re up to in the studio, and elaborate on some of the process photos you’ve shared?

Gossamer adding liquid latex to secure the back of a tufted rug in their textile studio.

I’ve been designing and creating clothes, objects, and cloth toys since I was a teenager. Iteration for clothing to be worn, from choosing materials to working with them, is a learn-as-I-go process since I don’t have formal experience in pattern drafting, tech packs and other skills a fashion designer would normally have. Instead, I work with cloth, thread, and fabric the same way one would work with clay, pencils, and paper. I build pieces up and observe the results, tweak, and build again. Much like my drawing practice, textile work requires a kind of one-at-a-time focus that can be very meditative.

A knitted sample using the intarsia technique in progress on Gossamer’s vintage Brother KH-891 domestic knitting machine.

The unique design of Tigerbob as pixel art was a focal point that not only satisfied the iteration of a collection of 1,000 pieces, but also translates beautifully to knitted and woven products at a variety of scales that will not distort the design.

Multiple knitted iterations and samples made by Gossamer with the Tigerbob pixel tiger motif.

I’ve invested thousands of hours of time over my art career learning textile techniques and exploring materials. I have been sewing by hand and by machine for many years and took a class in early 2020 to learn how to do tapestry weaving, which I can’t wait to explore further with fine art pieces. In February 2022, I took a class on the domestic knitting machine — all of which are only vintage now, gone with the trend of home knitting — something I’ve been fascinated with and wanting to learn for over a decade.

A cloth fish hand-sewn by Gossamer in 2019.

And I began working with a tufting gun this summer to create larger scale pieces for walls and floors. In June of this year I secured a wonderful studio space necessary to work on larger pieces, which was amazing timing since I was starting to consider what types of pieces I would create for the Tigerbob brand.

A view of Gossamer’s textile studio in the afternoon hours.

A lot of this work is extremely time-consuming and physically demanding. It’s not often that fashion designers are familiar with all of these techniques and work with them themselves. And some people have asked me, “Why bother?” Well, not only is it very important to me to make one-of-a-kind works of art and clothing by myself, for my collectors, and to expand my horizons as an artist, but I also feel that putting myself through this training will allow me to better understand the process and possibilities for manufactured goods.

Clothing is sculptural. Flexible materials simple like yarn are highly architectural — something as simple as a piece of cloth is held together with the tension of yarn. Understanding techniques working with thread and cloth allows me to live old-world methods of creation, an appreciation that has been all but lost in modern-day technology and the throwaway vision of fast fashion. I know that my love for process and of material will help me design and oversee the creation of these pieces more effectively, and with more integrity.

Who are some of the brands and creators in the fashion world who inspire you?

Bode New York in 2019.

Emily Bode is an award-winning designer who’s been working really hard to bring back the bespoke nature of handmade clothing since 2016. She started by selling only one of a kind pieces made from vintage materials like quilts, and she was able to retain that bespoke nature of her work alongside limited runs of manufactured clothing. A lot of research, time, and consideration is taken for each piece she creates — it’s like browsing a museum when you shop her clothes and read about the history and inspiration about each piece.

Mia Vesper’s one-of-a-kind tapestry jackets.

Mia Vesper, another inspiration of mine, also started her brand by creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces made from vintage tapestries and other materials. Mia Vesper rose to fame in late 2020 when she was tapped to design one of Beyoncé’s iconic dresses from the Black Is King visual album.

I’ve found a lot of brands outside of the high fashion spotlight on Instagram making remade and handmade clothes from vintage materials, like Farewell Frances and Psychic Outlaw. Over the course of the pandemic, I’ve seen their accounts soar to new heights — growing rapidly, hiring more staff for their intimate home businesses, and gaining lots of followers and recognition for their work.

One-of-a-kind pieces from Nong Rak’s online store.

I also follow a lot of folks who make work with hand knitting and vintage domestic knitting machines, like Pat Sport Riverside (who recently did work for JW Anderson) and Nong Rak (who did a collaboration with Marc Jacobs). It’s inspiring to see solo fine artists and small teams of family and friends coming together to make work they identify with and love, and that others are finding a lot of value in the renewed traditions of handmade clothing.

Customers are more and more alert to the level of waste in the fashion industry, and it’s inspiring to see artists find success by making very special pieces that last, by making clothing from up-cycled materials or even something personally meaningful like a quilt or garment that someone in your family wore a long time ago. I’ve only seen the trend rise, which has only given me more confidence that this model of sustainability, heirloom, handmade, and bespoke artistic clothes can work for me, for Tigerbob.

It’s important for me to collect pieces from designers who inspire me, and I reach out and ask questions as much as I can to learn about each designer’s unique vision and process. I stumbled upon Mia’s work at a pop-up in late 2019 and her encouragement was one of the reasons I was able to debut my first collection in 2020. I learned a lot about knitting machines from Pat Sport Riverside, and he provided a lot of encouragement to keep working at my technique. I was honored to speak to Emily briefly, and she gave me some advice about building a team and the importance of finding folks who share my vision and have the skills to make these kinds of special limited pieces. I’ve taken that advice very much to heart.

How is your team changing?

The Tigerbob team is made up of contractors under my sole proprietorship, GROZEN FA LLC. This is a model that works well for my growing organization because it means that folks can be tasked to work on certain projects while others take a step back as needed, rather than try to organize and delegate all projects and tasks simultaneously.

Our developer stepped down to take on a new role with another organization, and we’ll be partnering with Props and a few other folks to support our plans for upcoming web3 drops, token-gated e-commerce solutions, and other web3 mechanics beginning in 2023. I’ve worked with members of Props before the company was founded, back in 2021 with the Woodies project drop — I am excited to see the new tools they have been working on!

Front-end development such as website updates and our future Shopify store will be managed by Justin Goldberg, and Richard Powazynski continues to assist with marketing and community management.

As things have ebbed in our Discord, we decided to forego any official moderator roles, and instead rely on our very tight-knit community to support and self-govern the server. Our dedicated moderators did an outstanding job, especially through the initial drop and very busy weeks afterward. Things are quieter now, more intimate, and it’s great to see the way community members welcome new holders, field questions, help others, and of course, chime in with a GM.

Gossamer and Allie reviewing Pantone color books for the Tigerbob Brand Book.

We now have a dedicated graphic designer and brand manager, Allie Farris, who brings a wealth of branding, product design, and marketing experience from the hospitality industry. She’s also my twin sister! We’re very excited to have her on board with Tigerbob to help build out the web2 experiences with our new merchandise and products. Allie and I have already spent time working together on an official brand book for Tigerbob that will solidify and articulate the brand, for all the products we make and for any partners we work with.

Where do you see Tigerbob in a year’s time?

I’m looking forward to providing some incredible experiences to Tigerbob holders. Finding and forging this community online has been amazing, but it’s also very important to me that we do things in person. The physical, tactile aspect of my work is really vital, so we’re going to be exploring ways to gather here in New York and around the world if possible for popup or gallery-type events, to celebrate the work and this community we’ve built, together.

I’m often asked what the experience has been like scaling up from being a one-of-a-kind fine artist to a full-blown organization like Tigerbob. The transition has not been easy. From learning to trust others with your vision, to understanding where and how to cut back on budget and resources, bridging the gap from being a fine artist to being a founder and owner of something greater is not for the faint of heart. I appreciate all the amazing support from the Tigerbob community, for trusting and following my lead with a business model that sustains and promotes my artistry.



Tigerbob by Gossamer Rozen

Tigerbob is a luxury fine art, fashion, and character brand by artist & designer Gossamer Rozen. tigerbob.store