Clothing displays personality. Personalized clothing makes it that much more fun.
T-Shirt Monster has been offering a fun way for people to create custom t-shirts, without the need for graphic design. Although they are based in Canada, they welcome orders from other countries. For creative individuals interested in selling their designs, they can also upload and sell them to others through the website.
What was the inspiration for T-Shirt Monster?
The inspiration for T-Shirtmonster was simple: we wanted to create a site where anyone can create a custom T-Shirt within minutes, and have FUN doing it! — No graphic design experience is necessary. We also wanted to create a community where designers can upload and sell their t-shirt designs to customers from around the world. This free service allows artists/designers to earn a substantial income without having to worry about business start-up costs or costly inventory.
Since this month will be your 1 year anniversary, what kind of changes have you seen your business go through over that period of time?
Our sales have quadrupled since we started in 2007 — with sales constantly increasing, we keep adding more staff and more printing equipment to ensure T-Shirts are printed on-demand in a timely manner. We tweak our site based on customer and affiliate feedback. This year we’re expanding our product line to include mugs, coasters, mousepads and other fun items — 2009 is going to be very exciting for us!
What is the average price for one of your custom shirts? What sizes do they come in?
A basic custom white T-Shirt is $14.95. Sizes range from Small to 2XL. We have over 140 different styles and colors available, including baby clothing, organic t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts and American Apparel.
Do you ever plan to expand into any other custom products?
Yes, we’re going to be offering custom mugs, coasters, mousepads, buttons, aprons and grocery bags in 2009. Greeting cards and calendars will also be available very soon!
Although T-Shirt Monster is based in Canada, what percent of the purchases made through your site would you say go out of the country?
Last year appx. 20% of our sales went out of country. This is mainly because we limited our advertising to within Canada. We are expanding our ad campaign this year to target US customers and we expect a lot more business, especially since the exchange rate is so favorable. We also offer the same shipping standards and email notification for shipping/delivery to US customers.
Do you have any goals that you’d like to reach before your business reaches its 2 year anniversary?
It would be nice to quadruple sales again in 2009! Our focus is on growing the business with the same outstanding customer service and print quality our customers have come to expect from us.
What lead you down the path to becoming an entrepreneur? Have you always been business-minded?
I’ve been involved in sales, marketing and business development for the past 10 years and each role has been very independent and entrepreneurial. Making the transition to working for myself was the next logical step.
What prompted the small business you started while you were in University? How long did it last?
While attending Queen’s University, I started an advertising business that targeted students. It lasted 4 years and introduced me to the world of small business management, graphic design and specialty advertising products.
What bits of knowledge were you able to take from all your experience in the business world, and how were you able to apply that to T-Shirt Monster?
The biggest lesson I learned, was no matter how great a product or service you have, it’s going to take a LOT of initial cold calling and a LOT of initial grunt work to get your product/service in front of the right people.
Do you think this will be it for you or would you like to start another business?
Most entrepreneurs I talk to have a few more business ideas they’d like to see get off the ground and I’m no way any different! My next project will be web based, but without the intense labor and production equipment that goes with a printing company 🙂