I’ve been a fan of Glenn Jones, or Glennz as he is known on Threadless, long before this blog was born and I became consumed with indie T-Shirt culture. I’ve always been impressed by the wit of his designs. Glennz art always make me smile! What Would MacGyver Do is one of my most used Threadless tees – I love the confused looks that come about whenever I wear that wonderful shirt.Â
This is the 20th Indie Tee Spotlight and to celebrate, I’m featuring one of my Top 5 favorite tee designers – Glenn Jones of Glennz Tees. We talked a bit about why he stopped submitting designs to Threadless and what it has been like running his own line. And I of course, I got the scoop on what’s up with all of the Darth Vader themed tees. Is Glenn a big Star Wars fan? You’ll need to read on to find out!
Coty: Glenn, you’re one of the top printed artists at Threadless. What made you move away from submitting to Threadless? Any plans to maybe submit to the site again?
Glenn: After doing a bit of work with the guys from Despair.com, we just started talking about a possible partnership as an independent project. They have a lot of experience with production and fulfillment so we were able to combine our strengths and idea of having my own range of tees was something I had thought about for a while. I’m just really enjoying growing my own range of designs at the moment, but I might submit to Threadless again in the future.
Coty:Â Dark Side of the Garden is one of the classic and iconic Threadless tees. Since then you’ve done Self Maintenance and have previewed the concept tee, The Lords Breakfast. Is it an understatement to say that you’re a huge Star Wars/Darth Vader fan? Of the 6 films, which is your favorite episode?
I wouldnt say I’m a huge Stars Wars fan, but I just find parodying Vader really funny, I’m always having ideas based around that, I just can’t seem to get it out of my system! I think Return of the Jedi would be my pick.
Coty:Â Do you focus 100% of your time on Glennz Tees or do you have a day job?
Glenn:Â No, it would be great if that one day became the case, but at the moment I do freelance work as well. I left fulltime employment just over a year ago because at the time the t-shirts were something I was just fitting in when I could. I knew if I wanted to give Glennz Tees a good go I needed to have some more time to focus on that, so freelancing allows me to spend time everyday so it has worked really well.
Coty:Â You’ve built up a pretty large catalog of tees at Glennz. Which is your favorite design and why? Which Glennz tee has been your best seller?
Glenn:Â It’s really hard to say, I like them all but I’m a bit biased!
Coty:Â Your designs show that you have a love for comics. Who are 5 of your favorite superheroes?
Glenn:Â Yes, you’d probably think that, but actually I’ve never been into comics – I just find the parody of heroes and villains amusing.
Coty:Â Do you ever miss simply submitting a design and having someone else worry about printing and promoting it? Do you enjoy running your own business?
Glenn:Â That’s how it has worked really well with the Guys in Austin, I concentrate on the shirt designing and leave the printing expertise to them. Obviously I’m a bit more involved in the process but it’s working really well!
Coty:Â Many brands like to keep new designs “secret” up until the big release. You, however, showed off a bunch of concept designs on your Behance page that later made its way to the Glennz site. People can now vote for the next Glennz tee. What made you go this route? What has the response been like from Glennz regulars?
Glenn:Â I thought about this for awhile, because yes we are showing our hand a bit, but I’m always designing new tees and I find it really hard to decide which ones to print first. Rather than just having them sitting in a folder we thought involving our customer in the process would help and it has. We’ve had a great response from people visiting the site.
Coty:Â What are three things that you’ve learned about the tee industry or business in general since starting Glennz Tees?
Glenn:Â I’ve learned lots of things, and I’m alway learning more which is great, a few things would be:
- Patience is important, you can’t expect things to happen over night.
- Be open to changing your way of thinking as we go. We’re always learning and tweaking stuff on the site, which I think is great because it’s all about evolving and trying to make things better all the time.
- It’s not just about the design on the shirt, its the whole package – shipping, customer service are just as important and we’re always trying to improve what we do.
Thank you to Glenn for taking the time to chat a bit! I look forward to covering Glennz Tees in the future and I wish you a gazillion T-Shirt sales!Â