Tuesday, September 27, 2011


So here's the story so far:

I'm a huge fan of geeky/witty/clever/cool t-shirts. One day I thought it would be great to find a cool neuroscience t-shirt since that's what I spend most of my day thinking about. So I looked online but really couldn't find much. Generic t-shirts that said "neuroscience" or pictures of neurons really weren't my style. Since I've had some success designing t-shirts for my lab and for other small events, I decided to take a stab and creating a neuroscience t-shirt I'd be proud to wear. Drawing inspiration from this shirt and this old picture, I came up with The Many Moods of a Neuron.

So, I started looking for places to print my new shirt and noticed that if I bought in bulk, the cost was much much lower. That led me to the idea of buying a ton of shirts and selling the m myself. "How fun would that be?" I thought. But then I realized it actually wouldn't be very fun. I'd have to keep a big stock of shirts at my apartment, mail them out whenever someone ordered one, take care of processing web transactions, and maintain the website for selling them. I know I'm a grad student and I don't have restrictions on too much of my time, but if I tried to run a t-shirt business from scratch, my adviser would probably kick me out of his group.

I gave up on the idea for a while until I stumbled upon Cafepress. This site takes care of all the fulfillment themselves, so that all I have to do is design the shirts, design the website, and market it. The downside is that they take the majority of the profits, so I only make a few bucks per shirt sold. "Oh well" I thought, and I spent a good week creating the storefront and more designs. And thus was born Necessary and Sufficient Apparel. If they sell well, I'll take a stab at stocking my own shirts, fulfilling my own orders, and selling at a lower prices while keeping more profits myself.

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