I’ve been meaning to post about the imminent closing of the beloved (and sometime hated) T-Shirt showcase and forum website, Emptees. They were beloved by myself and many others because of the top notch quality of designers and T-Shirt designs. Small independent designers were regulars and big time names like Jake Nickell (Threadless founder) and Johnny Cupcakes often frequented the site. Emptees was a melting pot of creative knowledge. In fact, many of the awesome T-Shirt related relationships that I’ve formed over the last 3 years have been because of Emptees. I owe Emptees a lot. It was an almost perfect site.
I say almost perfect, because, like almost everything, Emptees had its imperfections. For every awesome artist that frequented the site, there were a handful of others that would upload pure crap. I know that art is subjective, but I’ve seen some real crap posted on the site. Things got a whole lot better with moderation, but still, some horrid uploads still found ways of sneaking in. Also, the forum, which was a great place for conversation had become one that was filled with so much negativity that I had stopped popping by. I used to visit Emptees at least once or twice a day, but then it had just become too much for me to handle. The bad had overweighed the good and I moved on. What had been a place for awesome tees to be showcased had turned into a site that pledged to fight off Indonesians and rip off artists. Member criticism was no longer constructive. Drama filled the air constantly. The fun seemed to be sapped right out of the site.
This was the official word from Indie Labs:
Part of the extremely difficult decision to close Emptees comes from a larger internal decision that we’ll be talking more about soon, which is to do away with our parent company, Indie Labs, and simply change the name of our business to Big Cartel. This allows us to focus exclusively on Big Cartel and Pulley, and accomplish some of the huge things we have planned with such a small team. Our customers (including many of you) deserve that kind of dedication.
You may be wondering why we don’t just sell Emptees. This is something we’ve looked into, but even if we found a buyer that offered a decent price (and wouldn’t just whore the site out), the amount of time and money it would take to transfer our entire infrastructure, and the legal red tape we’d need to go through, basically take that option off the table. We even looked at giving the site away for free, but that was plagued by these same issues.
Instead, we feel that closing Emptees opens up an opportunity for someone else to do it right. Someone that can stand on our shoulders, learn from our mistakes, and build a curated community from the ground up that they are an active part in. Perhaps Band Job? I know Rob is cooking up some ideas now too.
And so Emptees will shut its door on March 1. It is unsure as to whether Emptees will stay online as a static website (they are filled with a wealth of knowledge). However, there have been a few Emptees replacements that have seemingly popped up and will take over where Emptees left off. Mintees is one of those site, and will be run by former Emptees moderator, Rob Dobi. At the moment, you can sign up for an account at Mintees and even import your settings from Emptees.
Mintees is going to launch within the next few weeks and should be completely up before emptees shuts down. in the next few weeks i’ll be looking to the community for more ideas as to how to make the site better for everyone. a panel of trusted moderators will be chosen to guarantee the site doesn’t let any crap sift through.
for the time being we want all of your valuable content at emptees to remain active. there are far too many resources + tees that would never see the light of day once this place ceases to exist. head over to http://www.mintees.com and activate your account, upon launch your existing content will be migrated over.
Rob Dobi has also put together a funny Best of the Worst Emptees videos. Take a look below:
Peace out, Emptees.