Celebrating Mainland Media's new showroom were, from left, Jamie Jones of New York Graphic Studios, who shares the space; Paul Ramirez; Anthony Ramirez; John Martin and Felicia Reyes (Photo by Jordan Moss)
Around 2004, John Martin and Anthony Ramirez worked at the big nonprofit SoBro and they were looking for Bronx-related posters to decorate their offices with. They couldn't find any. So, after mulling this for a bit they rented a helicopter -- no kidding -- and took aerial images of the Boogiedown that they then sold on a website. Mainland Media, named for the only borough that is attached to the rest of America, was born just a year later in 2005.
Fast forward six years, and there they were -- the Bronx-loving entrepreneurs who first met at Horace Mann High School in Riverdale -- presiding over a well-attended opening of their studio in a tenement on East 135th Street around the block from the Bruckner Bar and Grill with their business partner Felicia Reyes, an art director and graphic designer. Ramirez's brother Paul Ramirez is also a key member of the operation, which features ultra-hip Bronx t-shirts, posters by Bronx artists like painter Daniel Hauben and photographer Ron Terner, mugs, etc."Everything we sell is creating by Bronxites for Bronxites," said Anthony Ramirez, who explained that fromthebronx.com is the on-line storefront for all the Bronx-focused gear and artwork. Mainland Media does custom print jobs, consulting gigs and event promotion.
A popular Mainland Media t-shirt design.
They'd like to have a permanent retail location but in the meantime they'll open their showroom by appointment. They share it with t-shirt designer/manufacturer Jamie Jones who runs New York Graphic Studios.
fromTheBronx Facebook juggernaut, which has 84,000 fans, a good sign that there might just be a bit of a market for their Boogiedown-centered inventory.