Fowler thought he was just being innovative in 2011 when he had a computer program generate slogans that could be printed on T-shirts.
Solid Gold Bomb's catalog went from 1,000 to more than 10 million, greatly increasing his chances of getting his wares in front of customers on Amazon.
And there was no inventory risk, because he made the T-shirts only after a customer made his selection.
"We migrated the business to be print on demand," he said. "It's a numbers game, a quantitative culture. It's never been about taking the time to develop a beautiful design."
The catalog began with mostly innocuous sports-themed designs. Then early last year, he set his sights on reproducing versions of the British "Keep Calm and Carry On" propaganda poster of the Second World War era after hearing that a British company was attempting to trademark the phrase.
Fowler says he wrote a computer program script that would take "Keep Calm" and randomly pair it with a verb and pronoun. He gathered 700 verbs and imported them en masse -- but says he didn't carefully go over the list.
Fowler imagined phrases like "Keep Calm and Nurse On."
He got those but also the disastrous results that also included "Keep Calm and Knife Her" and "Keep Calm and Hit Her."
By Fowler's account, the shirts never existed. Only computer-generated images did.
After being available for a full year, the effort blew up in his face Saturday morning.
Fowler, an American who married an Australian, was in Melbourne having a morning coffee at home when he noticed his company's Facebook page suddenly light up. Death threats accompanied accusations of misogyny.