(Jake Nickell, bottom right, and the Threadless/SkinnyCorp Crew)
Arguably the biggest name in T-Shirts, ThreadLess.com has gone from a forum-based t-shirt design contest to a multi-million dollar t-shirt empire. By fostering community interaction and embracing the work of talented designers from around the world, they’ve built a strong business and an impressive catalog of tees. GearCrave sat down with the founder and CEO of ThreadLess to discuss t-shirts, cravings, and the ever popular lightning round.
For the uninitiated describe what is the wonderment that is Threadless.com.
Threadless is an ongoing call for tee shirt designs. Anyone can submit a design, they are voted on by the public and the best designs are selected for print and sold from the website. Designers of selected designs receive $2,500 in cash and prizes with the chance to receive another $10,000 at the end -of-the-year Bestee awards.
We’ve seen Threadless change a lot over the years. What started with selling t-shirts on the web has progressed to a brick and mortar store along with the introduction of new products like hoodies, wall decals, etc. What’s next for Threadless?
Right now we’re really interested in advancing our kid’s line and setting up better distribution around the world. We have 2 new notable additions to our product line in the works as well that should be announced in 2008.
Where and when do you see the next store opening?
Probably a kid’s store in Chicago and another store in Boulder, CO – hopefully by end of 2008.
Threadless’ corporate umbrella also hosts some other fun projects. Can you share anything about some other skinnyCorp projects you’re currently excited about?
We’ve been putting a lot of work into Naked and Angry (nakedandangry.com) the past year and starting this spring we plan to release a new product every month through that project.
In the nearly 8 years that Threadless has been in business, you’ve likely seen countless t-shirts go to print. To date, what is your personal favorite Threadless tee?
My favorite changes pretty much every 2 weeks. Right now this tee with this crazy UV ink rules.
GearCrave’s focus is to showcase the coolest gadgets, gear, entertainment, design and style on the web. Beyond style, we’d like to talk more about what you’re craving on the web right now. In short, this is our chance to get to know you, Jake Nickell, the “guy behind the guy”.
What is the must-have gadget in your life that you can’t live without?
I’m addicted to my iPhone… checking email and bloglines and such, taking pictures, etc. It’s becoming a problem! Ha!
What car do you wish you had in your garage right now?
I have a 1970 International Scout 800A SR-2 that I need to put a new engine in and fix up – I wish it was done and in the garage!
What was your favorite movie of 2007?
I like almost every movie. I have a 5-month old baby at home so it was hard to go see movies last year but I really enjoyed 300. I’m a sucker for a good action 🙂
Apart from Threadless where is your favorite place to buy clothes?
I’m really into Nau (nau.com) – they have a good thing going on. I also like outdoorsy brands like Helly Hansen, the North Face, Patagonia.
Which gadget can you not travel without?
Always need my laptop and cell, but that’s about it. It’s nice to have a camera. And diapers.
What has been your most indulgent purchase?
Electric go-karts for the office.
What album is hopelessly stuck in your head right now?
The acoustic Against Me album… I could listen to it forever.
Alright, Jake– are you up to it? Time for the GearCrave Lightning Round!
Mac, PC, or Linux?
Mac and PC, must have both!
Sports car or Hybrid?
Blondes or Brunettes?
Video games or the Great outdoors?
Elvis or the Beatles?
The Office UK or The Office US?
Novels or Biographies?
Myspace or Facebook?
MacGyver or Chuck Norris?
Ninja’s or Pirates?
Thanks for chatting with us, Jake. For those of you unfamiliar with ThreadLess, be sure to give them a visit. Also don’t miss out on NakedAndAngry, whose products we’ve covered a few timeshere on GearCrave. Also, keep your eyes on GearCrave for more interviews– and be sure to subscribe to the GearCrave RSS feed!