How to start an online t-shirt business: It Is Written Case Study
How two best friends are balancing full-time jobs, growing families, and their budding online t-shirt business.
Starting an online t-shirt business is a popular venture these days. Ease of setup and different technologies are making it easier than ever to start slinging t-shirts online. Starting is only the first step though.
The bigger question is how to sustain your t-shirt brand, and turn it into a successful brand with customers? For that, we talked to our friends at It Is Written Apparel to hear what they’re doing to have success in the t-shirt business.
Who is It Is Written?
It is Written is a t-shirt and apparel company started by two best friends, Lindsey and Lindsay. Starting just under one year ago, It is Written was founded around the idea of creating “outrageously soft, sweatshop-free, scripture apparel.”
“I started feeling really inspired by a work project and ended up churning out tons of shirt designs that (I thought) would never see the light of day,” says Lindsey. “Thankfully, I had been sending them to Lindsay for feedback. She had the business idea a few months later — company name and everything.”
The t-shirt designs and the business plan were there, but while juggling their own full-time jobs along with their growing families, they knew they'd need to find a t-shirt printer who would partner with them to make the printing and fulfillment of their t-shirt orders as easy as possible.
Outrageously soft t-shirts
If Lindsey and Lindsay were going to start a t-shirt brand, they knew it had to start with softness. Leveraging Real Thread’s SuperSoft ink, It is Written is able to deliver on their first brand promise of outrageously soft t-shirts.
“We’re out to make someone’s next favorite shirt.The kind of shirt that stays in your closet for years and years”
“Our shirts always look and feel really, really well done, which is a high priority for us,” says Lindsey. “We’re out to make someone’s next favorite shirt. The kind of shirt that stays in your closet for years and years and then your great grandchildren fight over who gets to have it someday.”
By opting to partner with Real Thread, It is Written is able to deliver t-shirts with prints that are soft, breathable, and never crack or peel over time.
Like working with a friend
Also important to Lindsey and Lindsay during their startup process was the people they were going to be working with on their t-shirts. Knowing that the screen-printing industry can be somewhat notorious when it comes to service, finding a printer who would really serve as a partner to them was a big key.
“Having worked with Real Thread in a separate capacity, we knew that we needed them on our team from the get-go,” says Lindsey. “Real Thread people are a blast to work with — kind, helpful, and super knowledgeable — and to top it all off, the shirt quality is second to none.”
With a team of t-shirt pros at their back, Lindsey and Lindsay are able to save time and energy by knowing that their order process will always be quick, smooth, and hassle-free.
Easy, cost-effective t-shirt fulfillment
So the brand is created and the t-shirts are printed, but what about storing and shipping them? Wanting to spend their valuable free time building their brand, Lindsey and Lindsay knew that they’d need help storing and shipping all of their t-shirts.
“Both of us have full-time jobs and growing families, so from a time perspective, there’s a high probability that we wouldn’t have the capacity to run our business without Real Thread handling fulfillment,” says Lindsay.
On top of getting their time back, Real Thread's discounted shipping rates offered financial benefit as well. “As anyone knows that’s started a business, keeping the budget lean is very important,” says Lindsay. “Real Thread’s fulfillment service helps us meet our goals in terms of price and quality so that we can focus on the importance of our message and our brand.”
Reliable, timely shipping is also an important factor in keeping customers happy, and another big reason why It Is Written uses Real Thread fulfillment.
“Real Thread’s fulfillment service helps us meet our goals in terms of price and quality so that we can focus on the importance of our message and our brand.”
“Part of our mission is to serve people really well. We want our customers to have a great experience,” says Lindsey. “It’s super important to us that they get exactly what they ordered in a timely manner. Plus, we need returns to be as simple as pie. Without question, Real Thread makes this possible for us.”
Life gets busy, and if you’re looking to start an online t-shirt business, it’s important to find a t-shirt printer who will partner with you to make life easier. For any other t-shirt or fulfillment related questions, talk to our team! We’d love to help you get your t-shirt side hustle off the ground.
Ready to take the hassle out of storing, packing, and shipping your t-shirts? Click here to learn more about our t-shirt fulfillment service.