Strip District Company Prints T-Shirts By The People For The People

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — What your T-shirt says on the outside is often a reflection of how you feel on the inside.

A pair of entrepreneurs in the Strip District have now made it possible to sell your own design, and even make money – if enough other people feel the same way.

Jay Fanelli and Nathan Peretic started a company called Cotton Bureau, which makes T-shirts for the people, by the people.

“Designers and illustrators from all around the world send their design ideas to us,” Fanelli says. “We take a look, make sure it’s right for us.”

“All you have to do is send us an example of kind of what you think that your design might look like,” adds his partner. “There’s no pressure.”

But they won’t waste your time.

“We only accept about 25 percent of what comes in to us,” Fanelli explains. “From that point we work with the designer.”

“The idea was we weren’t going to fill the world with any more garbage T-shirts,” Peretic says.

They say no other T-shirt maker in the country is selling them quite the same way.

“We launch the shirt on the website,” Fanelli says. “And then every shirt gets two weeks to sell as many as they can. If it sells at least 12, at the end of those two weeks we’ll print, it, we’ll ship it, we’ll deal with all the customer service. If it sells 25 or more, the designer gets a cut of the profits.”

They ship about 4,000 shirts a month. Each one is American made, with printing done by a company in Homewood. A “bonus” button is added to each order.

“We don’t see any reason to stop going what we’re doing, working with people that we enjoy working with,” Peretic concludes. “Putting out a product that we’re proud of.”

To buy a T-shirt or more on how to apply, you can visit cottonbureau.com.

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