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Threadless
Type Private
Founded 2000
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois, United States
Key people Jake Nickell (founder, CSO)
Thomas Ryan (CEO)
Jacob DeHart (founder, no longer with the company)
Industry Retail
Products Apparel/prints
Revenue Not disclosed
Net income Not disclosed
Employees 80
Parent SkinnyCorp LLC
Website http://www.threadless.com/

Threadless is a community-centered online apparel store run by skinnyCorp of Chicago, Illinois, since 2000. Co-founders Jake Nickell and Jacob DeHart started the company with $1,000 in seed money after entering an Internet t-shirt design contest.[1][2]

Members of the Threadless community submit t-shirt designs online; the designs are then put to a public vote. A small percentage of submitted designs are selected for printing and sold through an online store. Creators of the winning designs receive a prize of cash and store credit.

Contents

Operation

Designers upload their t-shirt designs to the website, where visitors and members of the community score them on a scale of 0 to 5. On average, around 1,500 designs compete in any given week. Each week, the staff selects about ten designs.[3] Each designer selected receives $2,000 in cash, a $500 gift certificate (which they may trade in for $200 in cash), as well as an additional $500 for every reprint.[1]

On occasion, special contests—known as "Loves Threadless"—run in association with various sponsors. These contests set a theme for designs, with a selection of additional prizes being awarded to the chosen winner; special prizes often relate to the sponsor.[4] The success of this concept led to several spin-off projects by the same company, including ongoing design competitions for t-shirt slogans at OMG Clothing and neckties and wallpaper at Naked and Angry. The competition from OMG Clothing was later integrated into the main website with the introduction of Threadless TypeTees. Multiple other companies have adopted the community model created at Threadless. Nevertheless, in mid-2006, Threadless expanded in a more traditional direction, adding shirts designed by selected artists. These designs, known as Threadless Select designs, are not subject to the voting process.

In the open source community, a Threadless t-shirt or design is considered to be crowd sourced because the designer and the company retain all rights to the design. As the "source" of a design—i.e., its vector graphics file—is not available for download, it cannot be considered "open source".

Threadless shirts are run in limited batches. When shirts are sold out, customers can request a reprint. However, reprinting occurs only when there is enough demand, and the decision to reprint is ultimately up to company. New shirts are released on Mondays.[5]

Additional product lines

In June 2006, Threadless added three additional product lines:[6]

Threadless Kids

Selected winning designs printed on American Apparel kid-sized t-shirts and onesies. In March 2007, Threadless launched ThreadlessKids.com, a site exclusively featuring these products.

TypeTees

Winning slogans printed on standard Fruit of the Loom or American Apparel t-shirts using fonts courtesy of T26.com, the result of the integration of OMG Clothing into Threadless.

The Select Series

Designs contributed from Threadless designers who have previously won the main competition four times or more, bypassing the usual voting system, printed on American Apparel t-shirts, with the usual restrictions on designs extended somewhat to permit the use of more colours (8 instead of the normal 5), foils and metallics.

Blik Wall graphics

In August 2007, "surface graphics" company Blik began producing a line of decals based upon selected Threadless designs.[7]

Threadless Prints

In May 2008, Threadless announced that they would be printing selected designs on high quality paper.[8] Threadless Prints

TwitterTees

On May 19, 2009, Threadless partnered with Twitter to allow users to submit "tweets" to be voted on by the community. The winning tweets are designed by and printed onto Threadless shirts. The winners receive $400 and a $140 gift card to the Threadless.com family of sites.[9]

New T-shirts

In November 2006, Threadless announced that it would begin printing designs on a proprietary brand of tee shirts. Threadless posted in the Blog Forum on its website:[10]

"Imagine a tee that is less boxy than a Fruit of the Loom, but not as skinny as an American Apparel. Imagine a tee whose fabric is softer than American Apparel but not as thin."

The first design printed on the new shirts was titled "I Heart Threadless" and featured the Threadless logo on a charcoal-colored tee.[11] This change in tee shirts had long been encouraged by community members, although there were some complaints regarding the sizing of the new shirts.

Beyond this, complaints had also been posed regarding the side seams on the new tees. Worried customers had been voicing their opinions of the new shirts on the Threadless forum; in an effort to ease the concern, Threadless employee Craig Shimala posted "We're still toying with the specs [of the new tees]."[12] On January 3, 2007, Shimala posted, "[Threadless] made some changes based on everyone's input and should be receiving the revised samples soon."[10]

On December 3, 2007, Threadless posted, "Over the past 7 years, we have took [sic] to heart your comments, compliments, and complaints to help create our very own custom Threadless brand tee. [...] Over the next few weeks, we'll be introducing more and more designs on this new and exciting tee and eventually we'll be using them exclusively!" [13]

Retail store

Threadless store in Chicago

In August 2007, Threadless announced the grand opening of a retail store,[14] located at 3011 North Broadway in Chicago. A variety of shirts from the website are available in the store and change every Friday. In the upstairs portion of the store is a gallery, in which customers may sign up for design classes.[15]

Threadless Tee-V

In March 2008, Threadless began creating and releasing a weekly video segment called Threadless Tee-V.

References

External links

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Threadless
Type Private
Founded 2000
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois, United States
Key people Jake Nickell (founder, CSO)
Thomas Ryan (CEO)
Jacob DeHart (founder, no longer with the company)
Jeffrey Kalmikoff (CCO, 2003-2009)
Harper Reed (CTO, 2007-2010)
Industry Retail
Products Apparel/prints
Employees 80
Parent SkinnyCorp LLC
Website http://www.threadless.com/
Alexa rank 3,439[1]

Threadless is a community-centered online apparel store run by skinnyCorp of Chicago, Illinois, since 2000. Co-founders Jake Nickell and Jacob DeHart started the company with $1,000 in seed money after entering an Internet t-shirt design contest.[2][3]

Members of the Threadless community submit t-shirt designs online; the designs are then put to a public vote. A small percentage of submitted designs are selected for printing and sold through an online store. Creators of the winning designs receive a prize of cash and store credit.

Contents

Operation

Designers upload their t-shirt designs to the website, where visitors and members of the community score them on a scale of 0 to 5. On average, around 1,500 designs compete in any given week. Each week, the staff selects about ten designs.[4] Each designer selected receives $2,000 in cash, a $500 gift certificate (which they may trade in for $200 in cash), as well as an additional $500 for every reprint.[2]

On occasion, special contests—known as "Loves Threadless"—run in association with various sponsors. These contests set a theme for designs, with a selection of additional prizes being awarded to the chosen winner; special prizes often relate to the sponsor.[5] The success of this concept led to several spin-off projects by the same company, including ongoing design competitions for t-shirt slogans at OMG Clothing and neckties and wallpaper at Naked and Angry. The competition from OMG Clothing was later integrated into the main website with the introduction of Threadless TypeTees. Multiple other companies have adopted the community model created at Threadless. Nevertheless, in mid-2006, Threadless expanded in a more traditional direction, adding shirts designed by selected artists. These designs, known as Threadless Select designs, are not subject to the voting process.

In the open source community, a Threadless t-shirt or design is considered to be crowd sourced because the designer and the company retain all rights to the design. As the "source" of a design—i.e., its vector graphics file—is not available for download, it cannot be considered "open source".

Threadless shirts are run in limited batches. When shirts are sold out, customers can request a reprint. However, reprinting occurs only when there is enough demand, and the decision to reprint is ultimately up to company. New shirts are released on Mondays.[6]

Additional product lines

In June 2006, Threadless added three additional product lines:[7]

Threadless Kids

Selected winning designs printed on American Apparel kid-sized t-shirts and onesies. In March 2007, Threadless launched ThreadlessKids.com, a site exclusively featuring these products.

TypeTees

Winning slogans printed on standard Fruit of the Loom or American Apparel t-shirts using fonts courtesy of T26.com, the result of the integration of OMG Clothing into Threadless.

The Select Series

Designs contributed from Threadless designers who have previously won the main competition four times or more, bypassing the usual voting system, printed on American Apparel t-shirts, with the usual restrictions on designs extended somewhat to permit the use of more colours, foils and metallics.

Blik Wall graphics

In August 2007, "surface graphics" company Blik began producing a line of decals based upon selected Threadless designs.[8]

Prints

In May 2008, Threadless announced that they would be printing selected designs on high quality paper.[9]

TwitterTees

On May 19, 2009, Threadless partnered with Twitter to allow users to submit "tweets" to be voted on by the community. The winning tweets are designed by and printed onto Threadless shirts. The winners receive $400 and a $140 gift card to the Threadless.com family of sites.[10]

Retail store

In August 2007, Threadless announced the grand opening of a retail store,[11] located at 3011 North Broadway in Chicago. A variety of shirts from the website are available in the store and change every Friday. In the upstairs portion of the store is a gallery, in which customers may sign up for design classes.

In 2008, Threadless Kids opened it's own store front. In addition to featuring the new t-shirts for the week for adults, it has a constant rotation of onesies, infant tees, & kids tees. It's located at 1905 W Division in Wicker Park, Chicago.[12]

Book

In October 2010, Abrams publishers is set to release a ten year retrospective of Threadless t-shirt designs and the company's history.[13]

References

External links


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