February 20, 2009
We interview Andrew Cronk of t-shirt design contest site, Cameesa.
TM: What made you want to get involved in the t-shirt industry?
AC: I have always loved t-shirts; they are the loin cloth of our generation. In high school, I used to love going to Goodwill and raiding the racks for old and awkward shirts. They were the softest shirts around (if you could ignore the fact that some old man probably wore the shirt for 15+ years).
Our company was formed around the concept of crowdfunding, the idea that lots of different people give small amounts of money to make something happen. We thought this concept could work well with t-shirt design and production.
TM: How did you come up with the concept of Cameesa?
AC: It was a Saturday morning, and I was sitting in a haze looking out my window, thinking about how companies choose what they make. I was thinking: “how does MTV choose which shows to produce? Focus groups? Are those really effective? How can you actually gauge demand?”. Earlier in the week, I read about some companies like aSwarmOfAngels, MyFootBallClub, and Sellaband using crowdfunding in Europe. It just made sense to me: don’t ask people what they want, let them show you. Let them speak with their wallets.
TM: How does your company differ from other t-shirt design communities out there?
AC: Our main goal is to connect t-shirt designers with their fans, make what they want, and get out of the way. We are not a design contest, and we don’t choose what gets printed. We might print 10 black t-shirts in a row, that’s fine. On Cameesa you don’t need a huge following; your work can speak for itself. If people like it, we make it.
TM: What are your personal top 5 favorite t-shirt designs on Cameesa?
1) Listen to the B-Side by thatrobert
2) Eye for an eye by godmachine
3) One Tree at a Time by viiieast
4) Water Color Fighter by kooky-love
5) Take Me To Your Reader by vonmonkey
TM: What would you say is the best part about Cameesa?
AC: I really like the fact that anyone can participate and be part of the t-shirt production process. Artists and their supporters work together to make it happen. I am also very proud of how much we give back to our community. Every time we sell a shirt, we give money to the artist and also the supporters of the design.
TM: What are your future plans for your company?
AC: As I mentioned earlier, I see Cameesa as a crowdfunding company. We are laser focused on t-shirts, and are working with our community to fine tune how we use crowdfunding. The plan is to expand into using crowdfunding for products with more complex manufacturing processes.
TM: What are some tips you can give to t-shirt designers who want to get their designs out there?
AC: I’ve noticed that our most successful artists spend their time creating quality and helpful content online. They blog about Photoshop tips, they share things that may be considered design secrets, they offer honest and thoughtful feedback to other designers. Spending time creating content rather than soliciting feedback seems to win the day.
Check out the crowdfunding fashion over at Cameesa.