Going to the Country with 5R Farm
Raising chickens is a dangerous hobby. No, we’re not talking about getting pecked (although that can happen too). The problem is that once you commit to a chicken, you may find yourself with more than you bargained for. It begins as a small backyard roost and quickly escalates into an entire flock of dozens of chickens until you’re running an entire farm. What the flock just happened? Stacy Benjamin can relate.
Stacy started 5R Farm out of her Portland, Oregon backyard around 2010. It was a small affair in the city—an urban plot with her and her husband’s first five chickens. Over time, as Stacy and her husband planned to grow their feathered family, they realized they would have to expand their flock’s home. Soon they found themselves with 4.5 acres of land in the country, and what began as a flight of fancy turned into a real farm in St. Helens, Oregon.
Real farms need real branding. While 5R Farm doesn’t sell fresh produce, they do offer handmade soaps, lotions, and candles, making it important to have custom clothing to showcase the farm to customers—and for customers to show their own support. Stacy knew that the 5R logo (the number five modified to look like a chicken) needed to be somewhere on their apparel. Thanks to Custom Ink’s team of talented artists and custom design services, 5R Farm manages the coop in style. “The design for my Custom Ink gear incorporates the main chicken coop on the farm as well as a couple of my charismatic flock members—Ringo my tom turkey, and Brown Rooster, the alpha rooster of my flock,” Stacy explained. The 5R Farm logo fits perfectly on the main coop in the art to establish the farm.
Aaron R., one of Custom Ink’s Graphic Illustrators, ensured that Stacy’s vision for these 5R Farm shirts wasn’t left to the birds. Aaron described the design process, “The goal was to create something simple and organic, while unique to the customer’s brand. As such, I made it a priority to highlight the most distinctive element of the design; namely, the chicken coop.”
With the strong character of the chickens in the foreground, the coop could have been overshadowed, but the variation in the linework helped draw attention to it. “The most challenging part of creating this design was establishing contrast between the primary and secondary elements,” Aaron said. “Initially, we weren’t sure if this would be a full front or left chest design, so I knew that most of the details would need to be simplified. I really enjoy working within specific limits/parameters, as it often spurs me to experiment with different artistic techniques and styles. In this case, the biggest win for me was learning how to ‘suggest’ certain details (like the tree leaves and chicken feathers) without the design becoming too busy.”
Stacy had nothing but glowing feedback for Aaron’s design. “The design team did a great job creating a personalized design that captures my life on the farm, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.” And Aaron couldn’t be happier hearing that feedback. ““When a customer trusts us with their vision, and we nail it with the artwork… that’s an amazing feeling,” said Aaron. “When I read positive feedback from a customer about my artwork, or if I happen to see one of my designs show up on the Custom Ink Instagram page, it just fills me with joy.”
The finished art looked slick, and the farm could now add it to whatever products they wanted. Because Oregon’s climate ranges from chilly winter mornings to the hot summer sun, it’s necessary to have the proper attire to showcase the 5R Farm design. With a wide range of products for all seasons, Custom Ink had it covered. “I spend a lot of time outdoors taking care of my chickens and turkeys, no matter what the weather. This time of year it’s cool and rainy, so I got a couple of sweatshirts to keep me warm. I also got some short and long sleeve t-shirts to keep me comfortable when the weather warms up,” said Stacy.
The District V.I.T. Crewneck Sweatshirt and Hanes Comfort Garment Dyed Long Sleeve T‑shirt Stacy chose were perfect for those cold mornings in St. Helens, and the Hanes EcoSmart 50/50 Pullover Hoodie kept chills away with its soft fabric made from recycled material. Once spring turns into summer, the Allmade Tri-Blend T-shirt, District Women’s Tri-Blend V-Neck T-shirt, and Bella + Canvas Jersey T-shirt makes the outdoor work a breeze.
Now everyone who works on the farm can wear a shirt—including the turkey! Stacy loved having the custom design and apparel for the farm. “It’s important to have a unique brand for your business—something that helps people recognize you and your products instantly. Custom gear does that too, it’s an eye-catching way that helps you get recognized.” And to other farmers and feathered-friend aficionados thinking of custom merch? “Do it! It’s a fun way to build support for your brand.”