I thought it would be interesting to interview some other people doing start-ups. I am sure many of you have seen all the shirt companies out there, Threadless (they rule), Busted Tees, etc…So to find a new one launching I was a bit skeptical. Let’s here what the founder of AntiClothes, Bryan Hewitt has to say…
How did AntiClothes get started?
AntiClothes was launched in August, making it 2 months young. We started the concept about a year before that, and it finally all came together then.
What made you become interested in doing your own business?
I’ve got an expensive habit with loving cars. Oh, and people uglying themselves up with crappy t shirts. I wanted to make things that felt like a warm hug every time you put it on. It’s like a replacement for a significant other. Those are so overrated!
What’s missing in the t-shirt business online now and why do we need another one?
Simple, consistency. So many companies are pushing our fresh designs every Monday, but most are forced ideas. We may move into releasing every week, but right now we wait, pick the best idea, then design. After we design, we filter even more to what we dig the most, and think our customers will like the best. You can’t show up with just one or two good designs, and the rest fillers. You need solid ideas, executed to the T (oh god, puns), every time.
How do you plan on people marketing AntiClothes shirts?
We’re promoting through standard channels, banner ads, traffic plugs, but we have alternative marketing methods in mind. We are launching a ‘viral’ campaign, based around video. I put viral in quotes because it’s never really something you can predict, or create, but you can damn sure use the tools available to try. I’ve spent a lot of time researching what has gone viral on video sites, as well as what seems to be popular amongst our target market of 18-30.
Our first video is coming out on Youtube in about a week or so. I had a cartoon version of myself created, and I teach YouTube obscenities in sign language. Inspired by this lovely gem: YouSuck T Shirt . I want to give each shirt it’s own video. Some will be completely random, and some will be based around the shirt.
There are many t-shirt companies, how are you going to stand out?
We’re the badass of the group. You’ve got Threadless who focuses more on a designer/art type t’s, and BustedTee’s who focuses on the joke and not the design as much. Both are great companies, but we’re what would happen if you smashed the two together and threw sprinkles on top. Our shirts aren’t novelties, they help our customer stand out. Strangers come up to me and compliment certain designs I wear, and that reaction our customers get as well, will help put us on top.
Biggest challenge and greatest so far?
Designers who flat out suck. We’ve went through a good piece of change with artwork that never came out right, or we just didn’t receive. We need a vast array of styles for our line up, and though you can find one solid designer out of filtering through 10, we needed more than that. What I advise to people is to search outside your niche. This is risky, but will pay off incredibly if you can find someone with raw talent in a similar field, and get them to filter it to yours. We’ve had people who are street designers, comic artists, but they raw talent is there – and once they channeled AntiClothes’ vibe they’ve made us great pieces.
A second challenge has been the fact our competitors have hundreds of designs, when we were starting out with 16, and now we’re up to 20. I’m aiming to get us to around 24-25 within a month and a half, then keep expanding from there. Selection is important, most people appreciate a good amount of our shirts. The more we have, the better a chance of some one finding their clothing match made in heaven.
Yes, I’m on a mission. Companies like SnorgTees, which I feel have some of the lamest shirts, are managing to do well. I feel I need to save their customers from buying such horrid t shirt fashion faux pas. AntiClothes is here people, we can save you!
Also, feel free to check out AntiClothes, drop some feedback in this blog post. If you like anything enjoy 10% off with code “okdork”. Don’t forget to check back here and there too! We only have 20 of our designs up right now…plenty more coming!
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