Pulling with everyday people: Threadless HQ

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By Andrew Tolentino | Editor

Renowned for having the world’s best and biggest array of unique graphic tees, community-committed Threadless.com provides a hip parallel to the trading card industry.

Offering something that stretches well beyond the buzzverb “crowdsourcing,” Threadless has built an opportunistic empire of user-submitted, user-chosen designs — all the while rewarding artists with cold, hard cash for their awesome designs. As in the story of sports cards, an international network of devoted fanatics has become obsessed (in a good way) with collecting and discussing every print that the company produces.

Luckily located in Chicago (the site of this year’s National Sports Collectors Convention), the affable operation was kind enough to entertain my request to film an episode of “Pulling with Everyday People” at its headquarters.

There, I cozied up in a sweet Airstream trailer with Social Media Coordinator Kristen Studard, Warehouse Manager Bryan Schaefer, Designer Joe Van Wetering and Multimedia specialist Craig Shimala to talk about the collecability of T-shirts over a few boxes of trading cards.

Be sure to take the three-question poll and check out a gallery of images from the visit after the jump.

Don’t let the gate fool you. Threadless HQ has a “light shop” experience open to the public.

Just one of the company’s indoor Airstream trailers.
A few of the classic designs available for purchase in the showroom.

Schaefer, Studard and Van Wetering recap their re-visitation of trading cards.

Warehouse Manager Bryan Schaefer reviews his epic pulls from 2011 Donruss Elite.

Social Media Coordinator Kristen Studard points out a few of her favorites from her Star Trek break.

The genius behind 'Mr. Mittens' Big Adventure' shows off hits from '10-11 Totally Certified Basketball.

An enormous sculpture of "Mister Mittens" (complete with laser eyes) gives a friendly goodbye to guests at the exit.

A few questions …

Did you know about Threadless before seeing this?

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Would you like to see more episodes of "Pulling with Everyday People" like this one?

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Would you / Do you collect Threadless products?

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  1. Laura Aldridge
    Posted August 31, 2011 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    That must’ve been a cool experience for you Andrew. I know some threadless collectors as fanatical as trading card enthusiasts.

  2. Bruce Katto
    Posted August 31, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Us who have been rippin’ wax for a while should walk away with something from that awesome video…when is the last time we were that enthusiastic busting wax? Thanks to the folks at Threadless for making this old school collector reflect for a few moments!

  3. tolentinotown
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Very cool, Laura. The whole staff (many of whom you might recognize as shirt models) was amazing and HQ itself is quite an impressive operation.

    Spot on, Bruce. That’s one of my main objectives with this series. Not only do I want to re-introduce folks to cards again, I know that wax veterans can be a little jaded (for lack of a better term) when it comes to ripping. Here, we see three (briefly, four) people getting amped about what hardcore hobbyists might call “simple.”

  4. tom waldron
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Andrew reall reall cool I hadn’t heard about this comapany before and I plan to check them on Facebook. My Cousin and his wife are reall talented with art styles and I believe a t-shirt from Threadless would reall be cool. So for that Thanks and the excitement over the cards was how my son is when he buy cards. I heard a something there the companies should have more info on the cards and if they don’t do it they should have kids and adult open their product for valued research. Sometime I go to the local Little league to do a fundraiser and take my cards and the look on the kids faces when they get a jersey card or auto they just light up. This is why i enjoy the hobby. thanks again.

  5. tolentinotown
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Thanks for watching and reading, Tom! That’s what it’s all about — watching someone’s face light up when (s)he opens a pack and connects with the subject with such zeal. The next time you take your cards to the Little League fundraiser, feel free to record the experience and send it our way. I love engaging and watching others engage with collecting this way.

  6. Ross
    Posted September 5, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE Threadless. I have probably about a dozen Threadless shirts in my closet right now. I’ve actually submitted a couple of designs for print in the past, currently waiting on the ruling for one. Short of working for a trading card company, being a part of the Threadless team would be my dream job.

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