From Hobby To 10 Years Of Business With Threadless Co-Founder Jake Nickell

December 11, 2010

3:39 pm

When Jake Nickell started the popular crowdsourced t-shirt design site Threadless in Chicago 10 years ago, he thought he’d be holding down a typical 9 to 5 with room for a life outside of his t-shirt making hobby. But Jake’s hobbie turned into a real business and has been one of the most interesting crowdsourcing businesses of the decade.

Threadless is a successful business that took 10 years to build. But not without sacrifices. For example, Jake didn’t pay himself a salary for 2 years. In the beginning, Jake would go to the post office during his lunch hour to ship out the shirts that people bought. When an employee needed a soundproof booth to start a podcast, Jake suggested they find an Airstream for the office on eBay (and they did).

I interviewed Jake to get some insight into how he built Threadless over the past 10 years into the success it is today, and explore some of the ups and downs along the way.

Watch the video interview (above). Photo courtesy of Jared Goralnick.

This interview is a part of Beyond The Pedway, a site created by Tim Jahn dedicated to discovering what drives creative entrepreneurs.

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Tim has conducted over 150 interviews on, a website he founded for creative entrepreneurs to learn from the successes, failures, and journeys of fellow creators. Follow Tim on Twitter @timjahn.

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