10 Tips From 10 Great Indie Brands (Part II)

Can you believe it guys? Another 10 Indie Tee Spotlights have come and gone. How the time zooms by when you’re having fun, huh! So just like last time, I’ve got a wrap up post for your consumption containing ten, count em’ TEN  great tips from the last 10 featured Indie Tee Spotlight brands. Enjoy with tea and a comfy tee!

1. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously. “When we first began brainstorming ideas and concepts for shirts we thought we were going to revolutionize the t-shirt world. However, as we began studying our competition and becoming familiar with the t-shirt blogging scene we realized that a lot of people not only had the same ideas, but were sometimes better executed. It made me realize that we can’t take ourselves too seriously.” -Steve Orlando of Robit Studios

2. Hating Your Day Job Can Spark Inspiration. “We both really wanted to start our own tshirt company, with designs we couldnt find in stores. It also helps we both hate our day jobs. Ill never forget checking out Emptees for the first time and saying wow, this stuff is amazing I really want to wear this. ” -Brothers Jason and Jeff of Zombie Liquorice

3. Trial and Error Works. “There is so much knowledge available on the internet for the taking. The key is being able to sift through it. And then once you think you’ve sifted through all you can handle you take the plunge and start to put your money on the line and test things out. So my whole shop, process, everything came from being willing to learn and never be too set in my ways, which is something I think a lot of people get hung up on. You have to be fluid.” -Jon Wye of Jon Wye

4. Your Brand Should Mean The World To You. “It’s such an amazing and beautiful thing to be at the helm of a boundless and opportunistic endeavor. The identity, personality and collective attributes of my brand are nothing short of what time, frugality, devotion and hard work can produce. Prestigious means the world to me.” -William Matte, Jr. of Prestigious Clothing

5. Create Something That You Would Wear and Won’t Lose It’s Appeal. “That’s a good question. There’s no real formula or specific criteria here, but generally each shirt should be something that (a) we think is inventive, humorous or unique (and hence, won’t lose its appeal over time) and (b) something that we ourselves would wear out in public.” -Travis Greenwood of Found Item Clothing

6. Plan, Test and Go For It. “When it comes to advice, all I can say is go for it. Relating to tees, I’d say plan and test everything before going nuts ordering tons of product. You really have to be one of those people who gets obsessive about designing and working on projects to make it work. It’s not an easy road but we all deserve a chance. ” -Greg Kerr of {miles to go} Clothing

7. Develop A Niche But Keep The General Public In Mind. “The ultimate goal of Endgame Clothing is to promote chess. I believe that this is a great way to promote chess away from the board. Millions of people wear Tapout and Fox without ever being in an octogon or on a motorcycle. Hopefully people can support the intelligence, beauty and strength of chess in the same way.” -John OBrien of Endgame Clothing

8. If Your Customers Demand It, Sometimes It’s Best To Give It To Them. “We had a bunch of people asking us to re-open our Big Cartel shop, mostly just because we had it for so long and they missed it. I always wanted to have more than one webstore that people could go to, so I was happy to revive it.” -Victoria, Nicole, Mike and Rachel of 410BC

9. It’s Not Just The Design That Matters, It’s The Whole Package. “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.” -Glenn Jones of Glennz Tees

10. Give People A Reason To Come Back. “Write about something you’re passionate about, otherwise you’ll get bored quickly. Keep posting regularly, try to post every day if you can. I usually write lots of posts ahead of time whenever I get the chance, and then set them to be robo-posted at some date in the future, that way there’s always something new going on my site, and it gives people a reason to keep coming back.” -Andy Bowness of Hide Your Arms

A big thank you to all who have participated in the Indie Tee Spotlight series so far! You guys are all very awesome people!


  1. says

    Excellent roundup here. Number 10 is probably the strongest in terms of building a tshirt empire although if you don’t keep #1 in mind all the time, you’ll likely not get anywhere.