Apparel Merchant Is the ‘Godfather of Memewear’

Ardon Lukas wore a shirt to this job interview from his on line attire shop, Shirtwascash. It was a velvet tank best with a photo of Elon Musk cigarette smoking marijuana during a podcast.

“I see my function as broadening people’s perspectives,” he told me. “Our products cause a person to be controversial.”

Lukas introduced Shirtwascash in 2014, getting used quite a few yrs in corporate finance. He sells t-shirts, hoodies, shorts, sweatshirts, you title it — all printed with cultural memes or photographs. Some are edgy all are attention-grabbing. He’s the “godfather of memewear,” according to his LinkedIn profile.

Our dialogue tackled the small business, structure choice, client subcultures, and additional.  The complete audio model is embedded down below. The transcript that follows is edited for size and clarity.

Eric Bandholz: Shirtwascash sells clothing with printed memes — slogans and photographs.

Ardon Lukas: I see my purpose as broadening people’s views. Our items bring about anyone to be controversial. We used to have a bravery part, which was attire things that took bravery to have on.

Bandholz: Sitting throughout from me, you are putting on a velveteen tank with an graphic of Elon Musk using tobacco a doobie. Do you wear this things all the time?

Lukas: Of course, I do. This one retains some supplemental benefit. I value Elon Musk’s expression of independence and spirit. This photo was at the time hanging in Joe Rogan’s inexperienced room. It’s a cool piece. I like the statement that it will make, especially with the velvet.

As well as it’s super soft on the within. I surely go for consolation. You just can’t seriously be your self if you are awkward.

Bandholz: I enjoy your willingness to consider on unpopular topics. I have several feelings that I hold to myself mainly because I have issues about how I’ll seem or get rid of customers.

Lukas: A good deal of people today want to discuss up and specific on their own. We have been a sort-based mostly corporation from working day one. That is how I’ve often picked our layouts. Individuals will response each individual question you toss at them. I send our clients a sort to solicit their views and opinions. The sort that has humanity powering its method and its queries. It is a person of the secret good reasons Shirtwascash has been equipped to exist for seven yrs.

I continue to mail forms. A form can request the queries that make a difference most to clients. Companies have a tendency to make a whole lot of assumptions. I even query my have contrarian mother nature. Am I ideal? Am I wrong? So our forms check with immediate personalized thoughts of our clients. What are your dreams? What issues are you experiencing now? Who’s your arch-nemesis? Who’s your finest buddy?

Earlier this 7 days, I texted every single repeat buyer. I said, “I’m amassing pics and stories from buyers. If you put on our clothes this weekend, send me images to this selection.”

And the variety was a Google Voice text variety. Possibly 10% of these clients replied. I have 20, 25 threads with folks I’ve just been texting back again and forth. I can request far more concerns — whatever is on my intellect.

It goes back again to being aware of our viewers, in which they are at in existence. What sort of dresses do they want?

Bandholz: It is wonderful that, as a founder, you get the time to get to know your admirers and customers.

Lukas: I desire the resourceful facet. But I invest most of my week on ecommerce and internet marketing — seeking at our funnels and targeted traffic turbines and comprehension our customers.

Bandholz: How can listeners learn much more about you and link?

Lukas: I’m on Twitter, @ardonlukas. Our ecommerce website is