I sometimes think I have too much time on my hands. Other times I feel like I can’t finish all the things I’ve started, and there are plenty of them. Jonathan Kruse, a man behind Shred Clothing, a webzine called Shred News and a T-shirt blog How To Start A Clothing Company is someone who is so busy, and yet he manages to run all these aforementioned things with a style. And apart from all of this, he even managed to answer my questions. So, if you’re into metal, hardcore or alternative rock, I guess you already know about Shred Clothing, or if you’re a T-shirt blogger like myslef – you must know about How To Start A Clothing Company. However, here are Jonathan’s answers – hope you check out all the stuff he’s into.
Can you introduce yourself and tell what you do on a daily basis for your living? What are your stands / beliefs about life itself, and what would you say – what kind of person are you?
I’m Jon Kruse I sell shirts, make websites, help other clothing companies, and drink beer on a daily basis. I am a very easygoing person, you really have to be to be to have your own business. Failure is just something you have to deal with constantly and learning from your mistakes and constantly charging forward takes a lot of patience and you can’t stress the small stuff.
Let’s start with your clothing company, Shred Clothing. How did you decide to start with it, what’s the concept behind it and for how long it’s going on?
I started my first clothing company early last year. I am going to rename it soon to Totally Awesome Clothing and we do what I like to call smart joke shirts about the stuff I love. After doing that I met a lot of friends that did amazing designs and wanted to start a clothing company to utilize them. I started Shred to sell badass shirts, with the best illustrations, best printing, and highest quality shirts. It’s really amazing I can start up a company with a few thousand dollars and produce shirts just as good if not better than the giant companies out there.
In your opinion, what makes Shred Clothing unique amongst all those companies out there? Any specific detail you’re paying an attention to?
It’s the whole package, amazing designers, American Apparel shirts, awesome printing, they all make us stand out from the crowd. A lot of what we are trying to do now is make deals with bands for sponsorships and help them out down the road. We started a side site called shrednews.com and we have a great team of writers that constantly do great articles. The site is really taking off and it will be a huge part of our success if everything goes well.
Do you design all tees by yourself? What’s the process of making the designs?
I don’t do any shirt design anymore. I contact a designer I like, make sure he is with in our budget, give them 50% up front and work with them to create a bad ass design.
What kind of printing and garments do you use? How much do you charge for tees?
We use American Apparel. It’s tough to do everything at such high quality and sell them for the prices we do but I feel like $20 a shirt is the price point we need to meet to sell to this market. We’ll bring our production costs down later but right now we are just focusing on making the best product and meeting the needs of our customers.
What ways of marketing do you use with Shred Clothing? Any bands you’re sponsoring maybe?
Protest the Hero, Vanna, Conditions, Armor for the Broken, we are sponsoring all of them. Most of our hits are just from word of mouth. I know a lot of bloggers and they all write articles about which helps out a ton. I also go to shows pretty often and do a lot of SEO on the site.
Apart from Shred Clothing, you’re also running some kind of a webzine, called Shred News. Can you introduce it, please?
We have an awesome team of writers that love the music scene and write great articles. I’m just behind the scenes making sure everything runs properly, tweaking the SEO, implementing new stuff to make it better.
Many tee lovers enjoy your other wonderful website, a blog called How To Start A Clothing Company. How did you decide to run that site, too?
I actually started it when I started my first clothing company. There was a lack of info on the web and I like helping people out. Almost a year ago I bought my own domain for it and separated it from my clothing line. Today I get 18k viewers a month and growing.
Is there any other project you’re involved into?
The wheels are always turning. I am starting a website called awesomeshirtblog.com We should be up and running in a few weeks. I’ve got a few friends in the clothing business that are really passionate about shirts and design and we are just going to highlight shirts we love and talk about them.
Also my roommate and I have been throwing around this idea of doing a show where we just talk about all the awesome things we loved as a kid. Really everything is very similar to what I am already doing and it just makes sense.
What is the most important thing to remember when dealing with so many stuff, like yourself?
That failing is part of the game. You just got to make the best of it and charge forward.
Who are some of the designers / brands / people you look up to, or who is your biggest inspiration?
Alex Norman, Dan mumford, Godmachine, Stereo bear, Pyknic, Eric Terry, Obey, Electric Zombie, Rockett, Glamour Kills, Johnny Cupcakes, Mathew Skiff, Brandon Heart, Survival, Discordant art, Heavy Prints, Phillm, Tim Toomey…