Chicago-based online T-shirt collective Threadless is going to open its first physical store outside its Ravenswood-neighborhood HQ. The shop, set to open in Lakeview, used to house a leather-goods (read: whips, harnesses, chaps, etc) store. The Sun-Times reported that skinnyCorp, Threadless' parent company, received an undisclosed infusion of cash from New York-based Insight Venture Partners to expand the retail arm of the company and boost worldwide distribution. While the first shop to open will be in Chicago, Threadless, which reportedly claims $20 million in annual sales, there's no word yet on locations of additional stores.
The beauty of Threadless lies within its community focus. The company, founded in 2000 by then-art students Jake Nickell and Jacob DeHart (now 26 and 25, respectively), invites its 400,000-person user base to submit T-shirt designs, which are then voted on by the rest of the community. The shirts then get a limited print run and when they're gone, they're gone.
[via Gapers Block]
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