Teespringers approach the platform through different methods, and benefit from it in a variety of ways. Some have become world travelers, others have used their Teespring earnings to launch large businesses.

Meet some creators here and learn about how they make Teespring work for them:

Unemployed to Monthly Vacationer

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Kiss me, I'm a Successful Teespringer

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The Real Work Study Program

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Engineer and Entrepreneur

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A Golden Fundraising Opportunity

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Author, Reader and now Entrepreneur

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Dempto Clothing

Kiss me, I'm a Successful Teespringer

Everyone’s heard the expression “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” at some point in their lives. But not everyone has the fightin’ spirit to turn the expression into a lucrative livelihood.

This past January, Mark L., an online marketer at a Bay Area technology startup, decided to try launching a Teespring campaign to make some extra money and hone his business skills. He quickly saw an opportunity to scale his early successes into a bigger operation, so he tapped his friends Phil, Blake and Charlie to help out churn out a series of themed “Kiss Me, I’m _________” shirts.

Ten months later, Mark & Co.’s bustling business — now collectively known as Dempto Clothing — has earned a 600% return on their campaigns and sold over 40,000 t-shirts. “That’s the equivalent of if everyone in Oracle Arena bought one of our shirts — twice,” says Phil. The team has since used the capital to start their own investment fund and look into real estate deals.

They’ve also learned key lessons they could apply back to their day jobs. “Thanks to Teespring, I’ve learned that focusing on super specific audiences helps improve our metrics,” says Mark.

Phil and Blake Making Campaigns

How Did They do It?

Dempto attributes their company’s success to several factors.

First, once the group realized they had stumbled upon a successful theme for a t-shirt series, they moved quickly to capitalize on it. “Once you find a niche that customers are crazy for, you have to go all in,” says Blake. “Kill your other tests and use the knowledge from your previous failed campaigns to maximize what you know works.”

Secondly, the guys took a very targeted approach to advertising their product. To hit their sweet spot, they placed extremely targeted ads on Facebook, serving ads to individuals based on a combination of their college majors, occupations, ages, interests and familial relationships. They also reached out to family, friends and co-workers on social media platforms and developed an online community around their brand.

Third, because selling their shirts on Teespring was a secondary job, the guys blocked off specific time periods where they could work on their shirts without interruption. During these ‘hack-ations,’ Phil would organize his friends into a human assembly line, whereby one person would work on the actual t-shirt designs on Photoshop while another would do the targeting for ads. This method of creating a continuous flow of work netted the team 40 campaigns in one weekend and over $40,000 in sales.

 Scaling up

After the initial success of their “Kiss Me” line, the Dempto team expanded their design line to also include “Trust Me, I’m A ___________” series of shirts and a variety of themes. Now, their volume is such that that they’ve had to mainstream their business. With the help of Phil and Blake’s father, a lawyer, the company has incorporated (for tax purposes) and the original team has begun delegating work to freelancers through the service oDesk. As sales continue to skyrocket, the team has also launched an affiliates program, where they supply designs to other printers for a fee, and hired an accountant to keep track of their books.

Adopting a "Teespring Lifestyle"

The success of Dempto has allowed the core team to drastically change their lifestyles with comparatively minimal effort. In the last few months, Blake and Charlie quit their day jobs to find a more fulfilling career and study for the LSATs, respectively. Mark was able to quickly find and move into a new apartment after his old apartment was robbed; and Phil applied his Teespring learnings to his existing job, to better position himself for a promotion.

This DJ booth is one of Phil and Blake's many new toys

This DJ booth is one of Phil and Blake's many new toys

“Our success provides crazy leverage,” says Blake, who also worked in a trip to Thailand earlier this year (paid for by Teespring earnings, of course.) “Because Teespring gives me an extra, steady source of income, I can now take the time to find the perfect job for me and negotiate a better salary and other perks, like working more from home.”

“It’s truly a job that you can do from anywhere, and still be a huge success.”

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The Real work Study Program

Student to Superstar Entrepreneur

Sales doesn’t have to be in your DNA in order to be a businessman. All you need is an entrepreneurial spirit, as demonstrated by Florida International University biology major Marc Boulos

“I’ve always been interested in business,” Marc says. So when a friend told the college junior about Teespring, he was instantly intrigued by the possibilities. He began launching campaigns in earnest this past June, making shirts for photographers, veterans, painters and military personnel. He’s since moved on to making shirts for high school juniors and seniors.

In total, Marc has spent about $28,000 on paid advertisements for him campaign, results in over $63,000 of revenue. Overall, Marc has made over $35,000 in profits.

Even better, he’s taught himself how to run a small business from his bedroom, giving him valuable work experience that will be applicable to whatever he chooses to do after he graduates from college. Not bad for a side project he only spends five to seven hours on per week.

How did he do it?

Marc says a friend tipped him off about Teespring and he quickly starting trying the service out for himself. “Teespring has a really simple system, so after I learned about the technical aspects of advertising and targeting, I really honed in on how to build an audience.”

His biggest tip for others looking to sell on Teespring? “This is cheesy, but don’t give up,” he says. “I have one friend who quit after three shirts in a row didn’t sell. As for me, my first 30 to 40 campaigns only sold five shirts collectively — five!” Marc laughs. “Plus, I spent $400 on ads, so I was really out of pocket.”

Marc rocking one of his best-selling tees

Marc rocking one of his best-selling tees

The key in the beginning is simply trial and error, he says. Though he eventually figured out what types of shirts sold best for him, he adds that he still makes plenty of shirts that don’t sell. The main difference is that he’s less emotional about it. “In the beginning, I would get bummed out if a shirt I liked didn’t sell. Now, it bothers me less.”

Living La Vida Teespring

In addition to making money, Marc has discovered several unexpected perks from running Teespring campaigns.

First, because he’s been putting the payments for his Teespring Facebook ads on his credit card, he’s been racking up airline miles. He was recently even able to treat his girlfriend to an all-expenses paid trip to New York City based on his credit card points alone.

Secondly, because Marc uses his Teespring profits to pay off his credit card every month, he has an excellent credit score. “It’s better than most adults’ scores,” he says. “It’s especially useful for me, because I’m young and this gives me a solid foundation for the future.”

As for biology? Marc is happy to just focus on his shirts for now. “I’m going to keep going until I can’t make the shirts anymore,” he says. “I may slow down a little if I don’t have enough time, but Teespring is a rapidly growing company and it’s really changed my life.”

Engineer Turned Entrepreneur

Procrastination, the unexpected ingredient to success

We’ve all been there: pulling an all-nighter in the library, taking on a painfully long shift at work, keeping our eyes open during a monotonous lecture.

Often, the only saving grace during these trying times is snagging a few blissful minutes to yourself. Occasionally, as demonstrated by one of Teespring’s very first creators, a quick break can morph into a prospering business.

Like many aspiring engineers, University of British Columbia student Hung K. frequently escaped from the pages of his too-thick textbooks by logging into his Facebook account. His classmate’s communal grievances about their hectic workloads and shared procrastination techniques gave him solace as he powered through his workload.

One night, Hung figured out that if these jokes and memes were entertaining to him, they’d probably make his friends laugh too. So Hung decided to launch “Engineer Memes,” a Facebook page where he could compile all of the inside jokes, memes, and funny article links his fellow students might find amusing.

Growing His Audience: a few Friends to a Few Million

Here’s the hitch: Hung had never built a Facebook page before. But, like a true engineer, he launched right into the project. Learning as he went along, Hung started off slowly and invited a few new friends every day.

Before he knew it, his friends began sharing the page with their friends, and the growth snowballed.

The engineering major attributes the group’s rapid growth to two main factors: encouraging social shares and learning to optimize his content based on what his fans seemed to love the most. Additionally, posting a steady stream of new content every day helped to ensure that fans had a reason to stick around.

At latest count, Engineer Memes boasts a cool 537,000 followers, with hundreds more joining each week.

Once Hung’s group had reached about 250,000 fans, he started to hear comments from his friends about trying to monetize the page. “But I didn’t want to do something random, just to make money,” says Hung. Then he remembered a few friends who had created engineering shirts of their own to sell to other students in the program. Hung, however, didn’t want to invest in shirts he wasn’t sure he could sell and setting up a store seemed like a pain.

Teespring presented the perfect option—all he needed to worry about was his design and sharing his campaign.

Skyrocketing His Campaigns to Success

While Hung had a decently-sized audience, it was nothing compared to how extremely powerful his levels of audience engagement were.

Each design Hung created went through several different drafts. He solicited feedback and design ideas from his audience, and found a way to incorporate the ones that were the most popular.


When community members can participate so directly in the creation of the shirt, he learned, they’re often excited to place a purchase when the shirt is finally released.

“I wanted to make a shirt where they would be proud and happy to wear and not just at school, but anywhere! ”

“It puts a smile on my face, to see people across the globe wearing the design we created.”

Additionally, Hung answers any of his customers questions directly on his page whenever possible. Though Teespring has a team of support agents, he was quick to take advantage of the opportunity to show potential buyers that he was excited to help them out if he was able.

Living Worry-Free

With the money earned from his shirts, Hung was able to not only cover his schooling and living costs, but also a few vacations to places like California, Burma, and Thailand.

“Being able to run these campaigns risk-free has made it a lot easier for me to attend university and go out and explore the world,” says Hung.

While it took time to build his organic following, Hung was creative about finding ways to continually engage and entertain his community. With a base of a few hundred thousand community members and several thousand loyal customers, Hung looks forward to releasing more limited edition merchandise in the future.

“At least once a day, someone emails me asking me when I’ll be releasing my next design. And that feels pretty awesome,” says Hung.

Get started on Teespring here.

A Golden Fundraising Opportunity

Over $40,000 raised for kids with cancer

This past September, Liz Dicus, the program director at the American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO), was handing out pamphlets and other free resources at Curefest when her t-shirt caught the attention of a passerby.

Turns out, Liz’s tee — a “Gold Ribbon” charity t-shirt created on Teespring — featured the name of the passerby’s daughter, who had passed away earlier in the year. The grieving mother had submitted her daughter’s name for inclusion on the crowdsourced shirt, but had forgotten to order one in the terrible days that ensued.


“I felt as if she was meant to be there,” she says.Through this chance encounter, Liz says, she was able to give this mother — who almost didn’t even come to the conference — a touching memento of her late daughter.

Why Teespring?

For underfunded organizations like ACCO — a grassroots, national organization dedicated to improving the lives of children with cancer and their families — Teespring offers an easy and effective way of raising funds.

Liz says she first learned of Teespring in early 2013 at a gathering for non-profits and launched her first campaign soon after. The shirt — which raised awareness for National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month — sold over 1,000 items, and ACCO was able to use the $7,000 raised toward programs that emphasize information, advocacy, awareness and research.

ACCO finds its supporters organically through word of mouth and referrals. When launching a new shirt, they post frequently on their Facebook page and actively engage their network of involved families and volunteers.

How Did They Do it?

For ACCO’s most recent 2014 campaign — the one which caught the eye of the Curefest attendee — Liz says the design team announced on Facebook that they wanted to design a shirt that featured the names of children who have or had childhood cancer. Then ended up getting over 800 names to put on the shirt, and decided on a graphic that arranged the childrens’ names in the shape of a giant gold ribbon. The campaign sold over 3,000 shirts, raised $43,000 in funds and more importantly, generated a positive response in the community.

“Teespring has helped us raise a lot of funds to go toward our programs and was fantastic to help raise awareness,” says Liz. “The platform is very user friendly: You set up your design, and their creative team is good about helping you if there’s an issue.”

What's Next?

Since starting with Teespring, ACCO has launched numerous fundraising campaigns and plans to continue using the platform to support a variety of their programs. “We’re especially proud of our ‘Founding Hope’ program, which helps empower families even in their time of loss,” says Liz. “When a family loses a child, they often want to help other families in similar situations but don’t really know how to set up a non-profit or 501c. That’s where we step in, and Teespring steps in to help us.”

Get started on Teespring here.

Jayne Rylon

Author, Reader and now Teespring Entrepreneur

After seeing several of her fellow authors create Teespring campaigns to generate pre-release excitement amongst fans, romance novelist Jayne decided to create a shirt of her own.

“When I realized that people could order exactly what they needed and Teespring would handle the shipping and customer service, there was nothing stopping me from giving it a try,” says Jayne.

She designed the shirt for fans of her “Powertools” book series. To get started, she picked out a few fonts from Teespring’s designer tool, and got to work.

For her design, Jayne created a word collage that featured important characters and themes from her novels. By sharing the campaign with her email list and her social media pages several different times, she was able to sell 99 shirts to fans.

After selling nearly 100 shirts to just her small fan base, Jayne realized there was an opportunity to reach an even larger audience.

“So, I began making generic designs tailored towards reading lovers. And that’s when things really took off,” says Jayne.

Jayne didn’t rush to create her next design. Like other successful Teespringers, Jayne involved her audience in the creation of her unique design by presenting a few different options, and allowing her Facebook fans to vote on their favorite. “It helps build up a lot of anticipation,” says Jayne. “That momentum can’t be underestimated.”

The winner featured a design Jayne created herself using a mix of fonts and stock photography, called “I Read Past My Bedtime.”


Finding Fans

Even though she was excited by the prospect of reaching a large audience, Jayne was also intimidated by the idea of trying to reach them all.

“Once you decide on a design, be ready to find the right audience for the shirt,” says Jayne.


Jayne decided to try to segment potential buyers. She created several different Facebook advertisements, each targeting 5 to 10 prominent authors in a specific genre. For example, one ad targeted fans of several prominent romance novelists, while another targeted fans of a few authors in the mystery genre.

Jayne then “scaled up” the ads that generated the most sales by giving them a larger budget. The ads that did not perform as well were promptly shut down.

Jayne estimates that about half of her sales came from her paid advertising methods, and half from organic traffic. Besides using Facebook advertising, Jayne set up cross-promotions with other authors and bloggers. For example, in exchange for sharing her campaign with their audiences, Jayne would promote content or books recently published by her author and journalist friends.

The Aftermath

To date, Jayne has sold over 4,700 “I Read Past My Bedtime” tees to fans all over the globe. She’s even created a version just for male readers after receiving numerous requests.

As fans started to receive their tees, they eagerly submitted “selfies” of themselves, each one more goofy than the next.

Because Jayne added her own personal website to the tee, she also found increased traffic to and engagement on her site after her campaign finished. She also made sure to order a few extra tees for herself, which she used as “giveaways” for social media contests she knew she would want to host later on.

With all of her earnings, Jayne was able to fully fund a complete overhaul of her website, and convert her entire backlist of e-books into audiobooks for her fans to download.

Get started on Teespring here.