Jake Nickell

Jake Nickell has certainly done alright for himself. Nine years ago, at the tender age of 20 when he was still living in a small apartment in Chicago, he submitted a T-shirt design to an online contest held by a small web design festival in London. He won. Today, he’s the founder and CSO of multimillion dollar empire Threadless, the biggest community-centred T-shirt store on the web. It sells more than 100,000 T-shirts per month and Jake’s just moved into his new self-designed 5,000 square foot home in Boulder, Colorado.

Jake Nickell and his friend Jacob DeHart (now no longer involved with the company) started Threadless as a hobby. They invited anyone to submit artworks and had a small but steadily growing community rate the designs. They printed the best ones on T-shirts, with the winning artists receiving cash prizes. Both Jake and Jacob had no business experience whatsoever. In fact, they didn’t even know that what they were doing had a name. “We learned that what we were doing was called crowdsourcing about three years into the project,” Jake chuckles, “and ended up being the prime example for it. We just started Threadless as a hobby, not to be a business. Not only did we not know the business model was crowdsourcing but we didn’t know there was a business model. Today it’s the core of our business. It affects every department: the way we market, the way we do our customer service.”

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The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of eight full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Ecommerce Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Editor, Digital Art and 3D Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Beth Nicholls and Staff Writer Natalie Fear, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.