The idea for this site came about years ago. I have been a gamer since Junior High school, starting with a Keep on the Borderlands and spanning multiple systems and genres. One time my brother made a joke about "Boobies of Distraction +5" and I thought to myself "Hey, that belongs on a T-Shirt!". Did I rush right out and do just that? No, of course not. But I did let the idea marinade.
Eventually I began publishing gaming material for the D20 system under the Open Gaming License. Skortched Urf' Studios carved out a solid niche in the PDF market, mostly focusing on D20 Modern but expanding to other settings as well. While publishing material there, I stumbled upon Cafe Press and Zazzle, both of which had T-Shirt options that I took advantage of. Boobies of Distraction +5 was finally available as a shirt!
But the big issue with the POD shirts are the cost. In order for me to make more than a buck or two; I had to charge a lot more than what most people think a T-Shirt is worth. Sure, that's fine if you only want one or two special shirts, but to be "in business" you have to have some profit margin. I found that Zazzle and Cafe Press just didn't leave enough on the table for me to make a go of it. These sites also encourage sticking designs on *Everything*. Shirts, stickers, mugs, mouse pads, baby clothes, buttons and who knows what else. (Not that there is anything terribly wrong with that.) But, the ease with which a person can stick up a design, slap it onto dozens and dozens of different products and begin selling on these sites tends to make it much harder for "the good stuff" to be separated from the "other stuff".
So I was doing that for a while, and got a few dollars in sales but I was making much more publishing RPG material. I decided to look into doing it on my own. I hit the research hard, found the different options and decided to use Kickstarter to launch. During my research, I also found that ArmorClass10.com was an available URL, so I snapped it up as the perfect site address!
I then discovered that there was a local Maker Space near my home called the Artisan's Asylum. Turns out, they had a fully functional screen printing shop for members to use. Needless to say, I became a member! I had the designs, access to the equipment and a plan. Time to hit Kickstarter!
Our Kickstarter launched with a modest goal of raising $1500. In reality, I wanted to make $4000, figuring that would give us a good, solid start. We blew through our initial goal in one day, and reached the $4000 level in just five days. By the time our project ended we had well over $11,000 in funds, 215 backers and had sold over 800 shirts. Not a bad first month!
Then the hard work of actually delivering the shirts began. Yes, it was much harder than I thought it would be. Yes, we made plenty of mistakes and yes, I learned a ton about what to do and what *not* to do.
As the Kickstarter fulfillment wound down, I turned my attention to launching ArmorClass10.com to sell shirts to the general gaming public.
ArmorClass10.com focuses on gamers and gaming. RPGs, CCGs, wargaming and all the other stuff that goes along with "tabletop gaming". We don't really focus on video games, or pop culture or any of the other areas that are very well serviced by the other T-Shirt sellers out there.
We do shirts for gamers, by gamers.
Thanks for reading this and I hope you like our shirts!