We're Tegan & Sam
Our mission is to empower you to start meaningful conversations about important world issues.
We’re Tegan and Sam, two best friends who love having interesting conversations and want to help you do the same. Whether you’re at work, with friends, or at an event, we know it can be easy to get caught up in small talk you don’t really want to be having. That’s why we started Big Talk – to help you dive right into the conversations that matter and make real connections wherever you go!
There are so many challenges facing the world, from climate change to artificial intelligence, fake news to superbugs. These challenges require innovative ideas, and we believe that the best ideas start as conversations. When any conversation can be packed with learning, brainstorming, and debating we believe no conversation should ever be wasted on small talk.
If you have any comments or questions, just send us an email – we’d love to hear from you!
I’m Tegan, and I’m an ex-boring person. I used to feel like I didn’t have much to offer in conversations, and I talked super fast because I didn’t think what I had to say was all that interesting. I was an English major in university so I knew my Shakespeare and my Austen, but if you’d asked me whether I thought we should be traveling to Mars or the moon first, I wouldn’t have had a clue.
As a junior in university I decided to change this, and I set off on a quest to make myself more interesting. I started reading a lot and experimenting with what people found most interesting to talk about. As I started learning more about some of the biggest challenges facing the world, I found that the scale and complexity of these issues couldn’t NOT start incredible conversations. I started making new friends, talking to more strangers, and gaining a ton of new perspectives.
Having these conversations and gaining confidence in my ability to provide new, interesting perspectives was life-changing. I went from dreading conversations to looking forward to every opportunity to strike up a new discussion.
That’s why, to me, these are more than just shirts – they’re part of living a life of big fun, big adventure, and big impact. I believe life is way too short for trivial conversations – because as Shakespeare said, “we are time’s subjects, and time bids be gone.”
When I was in highschool I was incomprehensibly awkward. I was awkward in part because I had no clue what to say to anyone, in part because I felt like my brain was too slow to think of the right things to say, and in part because I was so crushingly terrified that if I ever said anything wrong I would be laughed at for the rest my life.
I would often lie in bed and imagine myself in all kinds of terrifying social situations. I would recite comebacks to all the mean things that people could say to me the next day, which of course never worked in practice.
Fast-forward to university and I had completely turned my life around. I loved and thrived in social situations, and had gained the ability to become friends with anyone. As I was making the transition from awkward to popular I didn’t need to sacrifice who I was at all. I was still weird, and people told me so all the time – the difference was that they loved it. The key was my ability to turn a boring conversation into an interesting one. I made it my responsibility to constantly come up with interesting conversation topics so that no one would be bored. Most people rarely talked about renewable energy, or space, or the latest scientific discoveries, but I challenged them with these topics, and they often loved it.
When designing Big Talk shirts and products I try to channel this same essence of making interesting topics approachable.
My favorite shirt is The Great Filter. I like it because it’s odd and confusing. It piques curiosity, one of my favorite human qualities. Most importantly, it strikes at the heart of what matters most to me: can humans survive as a species long-term? Will we destroy ourselves? Stay tuned to find out…
HOW BIG TALK WORKS
Find the shirt that reflects what you’re most passionate about.
Learn more about the topic. Every product comes with a description of its origins and why it starts a conversation that matters. Dive into our World Issues list for more.
Start conversations wherever you go on that topic! Make sure to share with our Big Talk community your experiences starting conversations!