14 Online T-Shirt Business Success Stories 
Running a t-shirt business is an opportunity many entrepreneurs are looking into as a side hustle or even a full-time business opportunity. While it is possible to have your own physical store, online businesses are becoming extremely popular in this field.
Launching your own successful online t-shirt business may feel daunting, but with the guidance & insights from people who are already pioneering this industry, it's simpler than you may think. You can start with selling customized quotes t-shirts, tie-dye prints/screen printing t-shirts, or solid color t-shirts. The opportunities for this industry are endless.
Here are some real life success stories of starting a online t-shirt business:
1. Boredwalk ($3.3M/year)
Matt Snow & Meredith Erin (from Los Angeles, CA, USA) started Boredwalk over 8 years ago.
We are Matt Snow and Meredith Erin, and we’re the co-founders of Boredwalk, a lifestyle brand that sells original art and graphic design on functional goods.
We’ve been growing fairly rapidly, especially in the last 2-3 years as we’ve become more adept at digital marketing to find and retain our ideal customers, averaging MoM growth of 10-12% and YoY growth of 50-100%.
2. Tumbleweed TexStyles ($1.12M/year)
Brian Wysong (from Frisco, Texas, USA) started Tumbleweed TexStyles over 10 years ago.
What’s up Y’all! My name is Brian Wysong and I am the Co-Founder and Co-Owner of a Texas-inspired apparel brand called Tumbleweed TexStyles.
We also hire teachers to help us out with art, events and sales. We love to support students and teachers in any way we can.
3. Dogecore ($720K/year)
Dominic Jackson (from ) started Dogecore almost 5 years ago.
Hello! My name is Dominic and I run a successful meme empire and brand known as Dogecore with my Polish business partner Aleksander. Initially, we started around 8 years ago as just a fun page to post funny pictures of dogs on Facebook but this expanded out to be multiple pages about many ranges of animals and finally a multimedia brand that primarily deals in T-shirts.
Our main sales demographic is depressed teenagers and young adults who have no hope in life and want to die. We fulfill their last dying wishes of looking cool wearing a t-shirt I designed whilst drunk. Currently, we have a monthly turnover of around £6,942.00 British queens pounds.
4. RIPT Apparel ($2.4M/year)
TJ Mapes (from Chicago, Illinois, USA) started RIPT Apparel almost 13 years ago.
They feature nostalgic, pop-culture parody and limited edition mashup artwork on their t-shirts, hoodies, and more.
Over the years they’ve worked with hundreds of artists and paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to their community of talented artists.
TJ Mapes (from Chicago, Illinois, USA) started RIPT Apparel about 13 years ago.
“Snitch Please - Exclusive” by artist alex.pawlicki - concept sketch to complete finished design
5. Cinquanta Cox-Smith ($120K/year)
Cinquanta Cox-Smith (from Killeen, TX, USA) started *Cinquanta Cox-Smith * almost 13 years ago.
Hey, y’all I’m Cinquanta Cox-Smith I hate putting myself in a box, but If I had to explain what I do: I’m a Multipreneur. (Author, Podcaster, and Entrepreneur) I’ve been helping entrepreneurs start an EASY Print On Demand side hustle from anywhere for about 3 years now. I’m originally from a small town in South Carolina called Georgetown. It’s historic in many ways, especially for the Geechee Gullah culture. I’m an Army Veteran and my Husband (Shawn) is an active-duty soldier. We have 2 kids Kyree (15) and Sharye (12). Let’s not forget about our dog ChuChu. He's most definitely the star of this show.
I’ve always felt like this was just a hobby, or I was just making shirts but Print On Demand is so much more than that. It’s helped me create $7,000 in one month selling POD journals on Amazon KDP, it’s helped me land a Magazine Cover with my T-Shirts for Stars & Stripes (American Military Newspaper). It’s helped me teach over 10,000 people how to create passive & residual income from home with just a computer and some wi-fi. Most importantly it’s allowed me the gift of TIME. Time to spend and travel with my family. Once we get further along into this interview. I’ll tell you about how I accidentally started in the Print On Demand industry 12 years ago.
6. The Foodnited States ($60K/year)
Chris Durso (from New Jersey, USA) started The Foodnited States about 5 years ago.
My name is Chris Durso and I am the creator and owner of The Foodnited States. The concept behind The Foodnited States is U.S. States made from food and renamed with a proper pun. Believe it or not, the idea was first suggested by my then 8-yr-old son, Cameron.
What is essentially an offshoot of my first ecommerce shop, The Foodnited States currently generates an extra 3-5K each month with only 11 U.S. States available so far.
7. NerdKungFu.com ($312K/year)
Dave Inman (from Oakland) started NerdKungFu.com almost 12 years ago.
I am David Inman, founder of NerdKungFu.com. We are a nerdy t-shirt site specializing in officially licensed t-shirts, posters, and gifts for nerds and lovers of specific genres. Movies, TV Shows, Video Games, Comic Books, and anything else a passionate nerd might like, we carry! My team and I can talk the talk as we are all super nerds ourselves, passionate about our nerdy loves (I’m a Trek man myself), and wanting to show them to the world.
8. Thor Fitness Europe ($144K/year)
Joel St John (from Tunbridge Wells, England, United Kingdom) started Thor Fitness Europe over 2 years ago.
For what was an idea is becoming a pretty cool reality. It’s such a fun project to do on the side, some of it with my wife Emma. It’s been amazing to see how the brand has been received in the close-knit CrossFit community. At each event we do, people now recognize us as an established brand and that's a wonderful feeling.
The Geo-Stag Unisex Sweatshirt - one of our best sellers. Organic, Fair Wear, Sedex Approved and WRAP certified
9. Encircled ($2.4M/year)
Kristi Soomer (from Toronto, Ontario, Canada) started Encircled over 9 years ago.
My name is Kristi, I’m the founder and CEO of Encircled. Encircled is on a mission to create versatile, high quality and responsibly-made clothing so that our customers can be truly proud of their wardrobes.
Encircled started in 2012 with one product, in two colours, on the floor of my 500 sq. foot condo. We’re now a team of 10, with over 35 products, in close to 2300 sq ft of office space and continue to expand. We’ve experienced over 300% growth alone in the past two years.
10. Ishihara Design ($12K/year)
Paul (from Osaka) started Ishihara Design over 4 years ago.
Hi there! My name is Paul, I’m French but am based in Japan. I run a clothing brand called Ishihara Design that I started in early 2018. My main products are tee shirts and sweaters, and I sell to a very specific niche of customers that are really into music/visuals/aesthetics.
As of today, I moved on to other projects and am not at all working on the brand (might change soon though!), however, it is still making around $1,000/month!
11. Big Frog ($492K/year)
Sanford Booth (from Dunedin, FL, USA) started Big Frog over 14 years ago.
- Everything you need to know to start a t-shirt company. Marketing tips, franchising info, and all the steps to make a profit selling shirts the first year.
- Sanford Booth started his own t-shirt printing company by buying a Big Frog franchise and turned his original investment of nearly $200k into a profit in four months. The first year he took home $80k, and this year he’s expecting to make $550k!
- The first step in the process of how to start a t-shirt business is to conduct research to determine which t-shirt printing business is right for you. Your t-shirt business needs to work with your mentality, but should also appeal to your customers’ needs and wants.
Read the full story on upflip.com ➜
12. Portland Gear ($1.44M/year)
Marcus Harvey (from Portland, OR, USA) started Portland Gear over 8 years ago.
- Marcus Harvey turned his love for Portland into a hometown clothing line called Portland Gear. He started screen printing in college to make some extra money but stopped taking on his first job.
- On Thanksgiving of 2014, he designed two shirts, posted them on Instagram, and sold $5k on the first day. Six years later, Portland Gear is making over $100k per month.
- Marcus took the time to explain how to start a clothing line/brand. He gave us a ton of great advice about how to start your own clothing line that we’ll include while providing a step-by-step guide to start a clothing line.
Read the full story on upflip.com ➜
13. Ratchet Clothing ($1.32M/year)
Dhillan Bhardwaj (from Nottingham, UK) started Ratchet Clothing over 10 years ago.
- Meet 25-year-old Dhillan Bhardwaj who has turned his tie-dye t-shirt hobby into a successful business, having celebrity clientele such as Madonna, Miley Cyrus, and Zara Larsson.
- Ratchet is an organically grown unisex handmade clothing brand specializing in tie-dye and other various hand printing methods. Every item we sell on Ratchet Clothing is hand-made uniquely with love and worn by many big named celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Madonna, Drake, Rihanna, and many more.
- From start to finish we pride ourselves in creating every individual item differently and to the highest quality standard.
Read the full story on youtube.com ➜
14. 80sTees T-Shirts ($10M/year)
Today I’m thrilled to have Kevin Stecko back on the show. Kevin runs an awesome site called 80stees.com where he sells t-shirts from the 80s.
Kevin’s t-shirt business was already super competitive but in the past several years, it’s gotten even more intense. As a result, he made some fundamental…
Kevin Stecko (from Remote) started 80sTees T-Shirts ago.
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