November 21, 2015 was the day we arrived.
We signed the lease a week earlier. We were desperately looking to move the Unwelcome operation from my mom’s house--who was tired of:
the crew constantly invading
the loud printing and cutting sounds in the middle of the night,
and the supplies cluttering every livable corner of her home.
We first found the Traphaus on Craigslist and after successfully scoping it out without being shanked and/or kidnapped (notorious on Craigslist), we were still hesitant about taking the spot.
The Run Down
First off, this place has no windows. Even prison cells got windows. It's essentially a cardboard box, except for the fact that it literally has no ceilings either. I repeat, no windows and no ceilings. Bruhhhhh.
One thing you should know about us: we’re workaholics. Regardless of the fact that it's a glorified cardboard box, we’re still gonna be here 18 hours a day working to make the Unwelcome Dreams possible. No fresh air and no privacy… no big deal.
The Traphaus isn't actually a house--it’s a room, or advertised as “a 300 square foot art studio” inside a giant converted warehouse in Brooklyn, New York. The warehouse used to be an animal slaughtering/ food processing facility so there’s blood stains everywhere. Just kidding, no blood, but it's now partitioned into about 70 studios. And lucky for us, all 70 studios have to share a bathroom.
One thing we can't really fuck with is sharing the toilet. We were worried about how uncomfortable it'd be to take a shit in a stall that 50 other people might be waiting on. Plus, public bathrooms never smell pleasant.
Despite these first world problems, we didn't really have another choice. On the second day our lease started, we moved in all our equipment and hopped over to IKEA to cop the essentials, including a bomb ass couch so we can pass out whenever we worked ourselves to death and/or got blackout drunk.
The Origins of "Traphaus"
We didn't immediately call the spot "Traphaus". Initially, it was just "the office", sometimes "studio", all your corny everyday names. But then one day when we got tired of listening to our neighbor's gospel music (no ceilings, remember?), we just had to collaborate on a Spotify playlist. We all have different music tastes (except we all agreed on Drake) and needed hours of nonstop tunes to motivate us through grueling hours pumping out Unwelcome Greeting cards. We called the playlist "THE TRAPHAUS" (check it out here).
The name was also partly inspired by our homie who visited the spot and after not seeing windows or a ceiling, he said "Yo, y'all really runnin' a fuckin' trap up in here. It's like a trap house for greeting cards". Shout out to Jeff!
After that our new space was christened Traphaus aka The Trap in our group texts. Whenever the homies came through to chill, we made sure they knew they were coming to The Traphaus. Affirming the name over and over help made the spot truly our own.
But we couldn't just stop there. We had to continue the takeover, adding in features that were reflective of The Unwelcome spirit as well as all the projects before this that paved the way to our current incarnation as the creative C.R.E.A.M. phenoms we are today.
Our Salon Wall
Soooo... As any narcissistic visionary would do, we put together our very own museum wall reminiscent of old school salons (lemme educate you on salons). It features a dominant red theme reflecting our parents' communist roots before coming to the United States.
Since we're born and bred in New York, we also had to shout out the city that built our values, work ethic, and sense of humor. There's no humor like New York humor, partly because we're so overexposed to the crazy shit that the world has to offer.
Traphaus or Tarphaus?
And remember the part about us having no ceilings? During our frenzy to make thousands of Valentine's Day orders, and because of our rigorous quality checks we had cards going off 16 hours a day. One asshole actually called the property management and they showed up at our door saying the sounds irritated the hell out of him and kept him from doing his work. What a bitch. We should've called John Cena to kick his ass.
Anyway, building management asked us to reduce the noise, so we came up with a DIY solution: hang up a giant tarp. Just to be clear, this isn't designed for that, it's supposed to cover cars, boats, basically big shit that someone could steal. Plus, we were violating every fire code possible. The fire inspector came through one day was like "Yo bruh WTF m8?" We just replied "k bye." We are Unwelcome after all.
The last thing we really had to do to make The Traphaus our own was to deck out our front door. The doors are a drab metallic gray with an equally metallic door handle. This wasn't us. I mean have you seen our cards? They're fruity AF. But gorgeous. You always gotta keep it gorgeous.
We needed to make it known we were here, just like how pirates raise their black flags on the sea. We thought about painting our door like a few of our neighbors, but we don't like following examples. Since our cards were our pride and joy, we organized them on our door as if they were million dollar art pieces (because they are). We even made the DJ Khaled Another One card, our doorbell.
And The Traphaus Was Born
Now that the physical upgrades were completed, there was still one thing missing: our uniforms. We put together a quick design, and ordered a bunch of dad hats featuring "The Traphaus" with a flame emoji. It's lit, check it out.
If you think it's dope you can get one too. And when we see you in the street wearing it, we're gonna know you about that life. (CLICK FOR HAT)
The current Traphaus is not the permanant traphaus. The Traphaus isn't even a phsyical location. It's us making our environment what we want it to be. We don't adapt to the environment, we make the environment adapt to us. Our lease is ending soon, and we'll be moving to a bigger space, one that will eventually earn the name "The Traphaus."
If you got a traphaus of your own, send us some pics at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe we can visit each other.