Ten years ago, Glenn Jones quit a successful career as a creative director to start his own T-shirt brand, Glennz Tees. Already a star on T-shirt competition site Threadless, he knew his tees were popular. The challenge lay in launching his own line as a solo venture.
Step up printer Despair.com and order fulfillment firm Amplifier, two Texas-based companies who offered Glenn the opportunity to launch his brand in partnership with the pair.
“Quitting my career was a huge risk for me. I was a graphic designer for almost 15 years and worked hard to get to a role as a creative director,” recalls Glenn.
“But I didn’t want to be left wondering, so I just put everything into it to make it a success. Leaving to work for myself was the best move I ever made.”
Today, Glennz Tees sells hundreds of T-shirts online and wholesale all around the world. The illustrator’s fun vector designs have been worn by both big-name celebrities – his Melting tee even made it onto Big Bang Theory – and the brand’s hundreds of thousands of fans globally.
Image: Glennz Tees – Melting
More recently, Glenn’s also been selling prints through Glenn Jones Art, which he runs with his partner Julia.
It’s a family business: Glenn provides the artwork, while qualified engineer and project manager Julia runs the company. The pair have small children and wanted to start a business they could work on from home.
Image: Glenn and Julia
“We work on the business when the kids are at school and daycare, meaning our time is limited, so as we grow we’re offloading fulfillment and the product manufacturing to other partners,” explains Glenn. “We’re always learning and trying to tweak the business to run smoother.”
What’s the biggest lesson they’ve learned since launching Glenn Jones Art? “Don’t try to do it all yourself. Concentrate on what you’re good at,” says Glenn.
Images: Glenn Jones Arts – Caffeination Affirmation; Retro Relaxer prints
At the heart of it all, Glenn loves drawing. “I always have,” he says. He uses Adobe Illustrator with a MacBook Pro, Wacom tablet and cinema screen.
“I’ve always enjoyed using Illustrator to find new ways to create my ideas and bring them to life,” he adds. “It’s great that I can monetise the creations, but above all that, I just love creating the images.”
Creative Giants: In this new series we’re looking at inspirational creatives with a thirst for learning and pushing the boundaries. They aren’t afraid to take risks. They face each new challenge with optimism, grit and passion. And they’re changing the world around them, one step at a time.
Images: Glenn Jones Art – Beehives; Beach Store prints
Images: Glenn Jones Art – Road Trip; Be Brave prints