Being in the t-shirt market is quite fun, even though it’s super competitive, it gives you the opportunity to meet extraordinary people from all over the world. People who can influence or even inspire you. Here at Printsome we’re constantly looking for finding those who stand out, and obviously the guys from TeeHunter had been a while getting our attention.
With an excellent site and their awesome content, it didn’t make us think much to decide to approach them. Which was quite surprising was the fact that they were extremely friendly, not quite common with dealing with top sites.
After a few months of talking, we decided to interview them. Do you want to learn about the faces behind TeeHunter? Keep on reading! =)
TeeHunter: The Printsome Interview
Printsome: Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blog?
Sure, my name is Sergiu, I’ve worked for the past 7 years at an amazing advertising company from Boston/MA called BuySellAds, which is where I met the original creator for the blog and bought it several years ago from him with the intention of making it more than a t-shirt blog.
Printsome: Did you know anything about this niche besides the obvious fact that everybody wears t-shirts?
I did a bit of design, I knew my way around Photoshop, I certainly knew how to run a website (had several before) but no, I had no clue that something the t-shirt industry is so complex. You’d like to think it’s a piece of cotton with a design slapped on it and that’s it. Well.. think again.
Printsome: How would you describe TeeHunter to a 3 year old?
Best one I can think of: When you like candy, but you can only have 3 at once, then you better have your imaginary friend tell you which ones taste best.
Printsome: How would you describe your target audience?
A good mix of male/female, movie lovers, hardcore gamers, geekish, hmm.. pretty much what I like doing too.
Printsome: What is your favourite t-shirt collection that’s currently on Tee Hunter?
Biased here, it’s the web developer collection because it’s something I like doing. I code, I design but I’m sort of a hybrid over here. You can see the web developer t-shirt collection here, which I’m constantly updating.
Printsome: How do you choose the themes and / or fandoms for your t-shirt collections?
We discuss every Monday and we just loudly mention the tv shows we’re watching recently or games we’re playing. If we love it, chances are other folks are loving it too. We’re also constantly with an eye on Google Trends to see what’s the latest and we scroll on Metacritic.com too, and Reddit.
Printsome: How do you choose the brands you feature on the blog?
Gosh, I love this question, I’ve answered it so many times and I still love it. When we took over we coined the term “brand pages” for t-shirt brands looking to have a landing page on TeeHunter that would drive awareness to their t-shirts. Initially we did it for free, what happened was that we got flooded in emails from many folks asking to be featured. Won’t sugar coat it, 90% were boring t-shirts or extremely weird designs or the website looked like “Straight outta ’96” and if we went that route then, we wouldn’t mean anything for our audience.
First step was to start with some large t-shirt brands like DesignByHumans, RedBubble etc. and then just charge something that would be affordable by an indie clothing brand (a small one) but one that has some serious intentions of selling and printing quality t-shirts. It was something like $50/yr back then. We still get a lot of requests for “freebies” and if the designs are great, we’ll probably do it – for instance there was a kickstarer campaign we really loved that we featured – but we’re slowly churning and keeping only the creme.
Printsome: Does everybody pay right now to get a brand page?
Yes, with the exception of 2 or 3 of the larger brands that started with us from day 0, the rest are happy customers. Let’s face it, $99/yr or $299/yr isn’t that much if you’re serious about the business and you do get a lot of exposure for it.
Printsome: How did the idea of creating a free community based around t-shirts come about?
Check out Dribbble, a community of designers, the best one. Check out Reddit, content driven entirely by the users. That’s where we’re heading with the new version that we launched in September. We want folks to create an account and submit their t-shirts, comment on the designs, love the designs of one another. I mean no matter how large our team will be in the next few years, there’s no bigger curation power than user driven, so let the users have the power to curate the t-shirts.
Printsome: How important are social networks in your marketing strategy?
We spread a bit too much early on, added a social not-so-presence to a bunch of places. Right now, we’re doing it right (I hope). We’re active on Facebook and Twitter but still figuring out how to post new t-shirts with the best audience reach.
Printsome: What do you think is the best strategy that worked well for you to get more traffic to your blog?
Giveaways, we did giveaways because we had the notoriety and brands loved us. They trusted us and betted some t-shirts on us and we created the buzz for them. On the same time, our audience loved us because of the free t-shirst that we actually give away and were themed accordingly. Check out our most recent campaign for TeePublic for Fallout for instance. Pretty cool and the folks participating were genuine Fallout fans.
Printsome: Any other blogs you would recommend?
Printsome: What’s the best part of the t-shirt design industry?
You don’t get bored, there’s a t-shirt design to match anything out there and we can write articles about pretty much anything and bind them together.
Printsome: The worst?
Lots and lots of noise. It’s so easy nowadays to start a t-shirt company with the services out there and it’s harder and harder to curate the brands and spotting when the next big indie clothing brand is going to show up.
Printsome: Where do you see Tee Hunter in five years from now?
No idea about 5 years from now, but I can tell you about next year, I want us to polish our dashboard and give more power to the artists, make it easier for them to submit and share their t-shirt designs, be it that they’re from TeePublic, DesignByHumans, RedBubble, SonsofGotham or TextualTees, we want the very best on TeeHunter.
Printsome is a t-shirt printing company offering from t-shirt printing London to t-shirt printing Manchester, and everywhere else in the UK. For a quick quote or simply some advice on personalised bags, get in touch!