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Threaded Canvas Interview

How often is it that you find a t-shirt subscription service that offers amazing prices, alongside high quality art and unique t-shirt designs? Probably not often. Threaded Canvas is a monthly t-shirt subscription service that vows to shed light on some of the most elite indie art and indie artists around the world. Not only is the work created by these artists kickass, but subscribing to a monthly t-shirt subscription service that features these artists isn’t a bad way for t-shirt enthusiasts and art lovers worldwide to grow their collections. Kelsey of Threaded Canvas gives us a little more insight into what makes this t-shirt subscription service a cut above the rest.

TM: T-shirts are an effective method of advertisement or endorsement, with the wearer serving as somewhat of a “walking billboard”. Threaded Canvas uses tees as means to showcase incredible art created by elite artists from all over the world. When, and by whom, was the concept for a subscription-based t-shirt business developed?

The idea for Threaded Canvas came to me during a typical production day at a small time print shop I owned in the oversatrated market of Evansville Indiana. My staff and I were going through the paces, printing up another batch of uninspired business logo polos, when it hit me. “We’re printing at wholesale pricing right now, why not make put awesome graphics on quality shirts and provide them direct to consumer at these prices?

If we’re going to do great work for super cheap, why not print something fun? That night I opened communication with a few local artists that I know, and the rest is history.

How did you come up with the name Threaded Canvas?

It’s simple, we use T-shirts as a canvas for our artists. The artist’s vision goes directly on to the garment as if they’re painting or drawing it onto a canvas.

Threaded Canvas is a monthly t-shirt subscription service. Are there very many t-shirt subscription services out there, and if so, how does Threaded Canvas compare?

We are the first of our kind. There are a few ‘Shirt of the Month’ Clubs out there but our focus and vision is completely different than theirs. We focus on the art, getting an insanely comfortable and phenomenal looking tee, and of course, the value. We offer 3 tees, 1 art print, and 3 small art collectibles all for $20.00, which is less than the retail value of just one of our art t-shirts.

We likely won’t see any competetors in the future either. Our prices are so low for such a high quality product, that companies who are able to produce such work, just won’t see it as viable.

Threaded Canvas is dedicated to the support of local and worldwide indie art and indie artists. How important do you feel it is to celebrate the life and work of indie artists, and in what ways do you feel they differ from artists that are represented in the mainstream commercial fine arts market?

One of the reasons why we created Threaded Canvas was because of the lack of support independent artists receive.

We have an amazing art council in our hometown of Evansville Indiana that is bursting at the seams with pure talent, and yet none of their art is well known. (Shout out to The Arts Council of Doom -tacodoom.tumblr.com)

Why is this? Because while these artists create phenomenal works of art, they don’t have the means to get their creations into the hands of the mass public. We know that there are so many artists who deserve the opportunity to have their work showcased to the world just like a mainstream artist and that is why Threaded Canvas exists. We want art lovers to experience all the amazing artists out there and we know that the indie artists deserve that exposure.

1 high quality print, a button, 3 tees, and 3 small, and unique, art collectibles, all for $20 plus shipping per month. That’s a pretty sweet deal. How does Threaded Canvas manage to stay competitive with prices that seem to be pretty great in comparison to some?

We keep our cost down by screen printing and manufacturing all of our products in house.

I ran a commercial production facility for years, so I’m well aware of what constitutes a quality product, and how to produce it at the lowest price possible.

Our subscribers not only get amazing one of a kind designs but they also receive products that are lovingly produced by hand by the Threaded Canvas Team. Each Threaded Canvas box we ship out is lovely crafted from conception to creation.

How do artists submit work to be featured on Threaded Canvas/How do you find the artists whose work is featured?

We have a “Submit Your Artwork” link at the bottom of our site that leads to a page where artists can submit their work to us. We have a “Meet the Artist” page as well where we list bios, interviews, and contact info for all of our featured artists. We are constantly updating the page, adding more amazing artists as they come in.

What one piece of advice would you give to new and upcoming t-shirt brands, as it relates to creating, owning, and operating a successful t-shirt business?

LOVE WHAT YOU DO.

We know it sounds super cliché but it’s the truth. You’re going to hit roads blocks. You will have days where you want to hit your head on the nearest blunt object and then you’ll have a good day that make up for 2,456 of those bad days. What keeps us going through all of this is the fact that we love it.

We wake up every morning eager to take on whatever the day throws at us and we are constantly seeking ways to improve what we’re doing.

Without the love, you lack the passion; without the passion you lack the fire. Without the fire, you can’t set ablaze the world with your ideas.

With any business, there’s “ups” and “downs”. More of which has Threaded Canvas experienced since conception, and how did you manage to overcome or revel in them?

We’ve experienced about an equal share of ups and downs but with the amount of determination we share we have been able to turn all of our downs into learning experiences and make every ‘up’ count more than 10,000 ‘downs’.

We take every single experience, good or bad and turn them into a growing experience for Threaded Canvas. We’ve learned what works by doing what doesn’t and when we find what works we strive to make it better. Our goal is to produce the very best product on the market, so having both good and bad experiences is essential to our growth as a company.

What’s the art scene like in Indiana, and how does, if at all, it influence Threaded Canvas’ mission of giving the gift of art to larger audiences around the world?

The art scene from Indiana is the core of Threaded Canvas’ mission.

We have a seriously impressive force of artists in our hometown that have been flipping the art scene of Indiana on it’s head. These artists have been the driving force behind the art scene revolution here. They are so determined to bring their art to the world, they’ve set up show after show and event after event. It’s been working for them, locally that is. That’s why we decided that these artists are good enough to be seen by the world and that we could help do that.

We work hard to make our dream come true everyday not only for ourselves but these artists too.

You’ve said that you use a hybrid screen printing technique as means to produce tees. What exactly does this mean, and how does this method of printing lend to the quality of the shirts produced by Threaded Canvas?

In the screen printing industry, when the term “hybrid printing” is mentioned, it’s usually talking about a specific printing method that is a mixture of a discharge base with soft hand plastisol ink printed on top.

We use this method, as well as many other techniques to provide ultimate comfort for our tees.

So I visit the site and I like some of the featured art. Is there a way to get more information about the artists featured on Threaded Canvas, past and present?

Of course. We have a “Meet the Artists” that is continuously updated with our new artists. We have interviews, bios, and contact information for each artist on that page. Keep an eye on our Facebook too, we always post and announce when we put new artist on the website.

In addition, each box comes with a print out talking about the different artists while providing links to their various home pages.

How does Threaded Canvas manage to stay fresh in the t-shirt biz, and what can we expect from you in the near future?

We are constantly seeking new knowledge and way to evolve Threaded Canvas. My partner and I are on a quest to make our subscribers the perfect tee that is the exact right combination of softness, fit, and vibrancy.

Perhaps more importantly, we are always searching for new and inventive ways to celebrate creativity by finding the best artists out there and bringing their art to our subscribers in unique way they’ll be proud to display.

There you have it; Kelsey of Threaded Canvas. Check out the collective of artists and subscribe to get your monthly dosage of awesomeness over at ThreadedCanvas.com!
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