As a youngster, Jake Nickell was immensely interested in how things work. And this curiosity led him to learn web development when he was just a sophomore in high school. Since then, his passion for websites and tech only grew stronger.
While in school, Jake would constantly get involved in a forum called Dreamless. Here, he and other creatives worldwide would share designs, art, and ideas.
When a t-shirt design contest was announced, Jake willingly submitted his entry. And to his delight, his design was the chosen winner. And an hour after that victory, Threadless was born.
The business offers all kinds of designs, from adorable frogs to abstract figures. And what makes their company stand out (besides the awesome prints) is the community that builds it. Jake and his partner Jacob DeHart would post design contests, choose from the entries, print them, and then compensate the artists with commissions.
This may be one of the most remarkable ways to make your community engage with your products.