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Two Business Novices Decide to Open a T-Shirt Shop!

We both had the idea to make t-shirts before we ever met. The idea came up between us a couple of times in conversation, and was laughed off. Then I found (this is embarrassing) a "Yudu" ad in a magazine and brought it home to show Travis. We kept looking at it, started keeping ideas in a spiral notebook, and thought about how we could make it work. We had no clue just exactly what it takes to create a t-shirt shop. We thought "We'll buy some shirts, screen them, and sell them! It'll be great!" Little did we know...

The turning point for us was getting into "Portland Saturday Market." It provided an actual "shop," but more importantly, it gave the foot traffic we needed to get us going. We are in our third year at the market and loving every minute of it!!

The next big thing to happen to us was Etsy. We opened our shop, listed some shirts and waited for the flood of orders. As you can imagine, not much happened. We didn't really do our homework, so we were befuddled as to why we weren't swarmed. So we just kind of left it alone and forgot about it. We got 3 orders our first year and 1 the next. In that time, we learned a ton about design and printing, bought a real press (4 color 2 station Silver Press!!), and leaned that Etsy was changing. We decided to give it another try.

This time we did our homework, looked at other shops, tried a bunch of different things, and focused on learning Etsy. While we are not the biggest shop on Etsy, we are up to 148 sales as of today (9/10/13)! We see Etsy as being a huge opportunity for both selling and learning. It forces us to keep upping our game - learning about presentation, photography, and design.

Travis has always said that if we knew what we were getting ourselves into - what a giant financial commitment it was - we might not have done it.

Instead, we will continue to add designs and products, grow our shop and keep the world clothed!!

Thanks for stopping by!
Jan and Travis

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