Forget Web Publishing: The Big Money Is In T-Shirts

Threadless, the Chicago-based make-your-own t-shirt company beloved by hipsters and people who love hipsters, has a new CEO: Thomas Ryan, a veteran of of Virgin Mobile and EMI Music who’s spent the last year or so as an entrepreneur in residence at Bessemer Venture Partners.

Tom will technically be running skinnyCorp. the holding company that Threadless spawned; he’ll be commuting from Williamsburg for the time being, and eventually heading out to Chicago.

Threadless is a make-your-own t-shirt company with a twist: Users can vote on their favourite shirts, which means that some shirt designers become stars (in the t-shirt design world). The NYT has a nice summary of the company here, and the stuff Threadless makes looks pretty appealing to us. It would look more appealing if we weren’t so old and hopelessly out-of-touch, but whatevs, as we believe the kids say.

In any case, the shirts are phenomenally successful, apparently: We’ve seen estimates that peg annual revenues at $20 million and staff at about 3 dozen. And after reading those numbers, and reminding ourselves of the money that the CollegeHumor guys are making with their t-shirt business, we’re thinking that we might be approaching this Web startup thing from the wrong angle.

See Also: CollegeHumor Guys’ Secret Success: T-Shirts

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