Amplifier Client & REDDIT founder Alexis Ohanian in Austin Wednesday, Come Hear Him!

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We ran into Alexis (right) two weeks ago @ JFK Airport

Alexis Ohanian has done more before 30 than most people do in a lifetime.  In addition to co-founding powerhouse community Reddit, he’s created a thriving not-for-profit called Breadpig, acted as an angel investor to the likes of Hipmunk, Hubspot, Crowdtilt and helped stop antipiracy legislation on Capitol Hill.  Alexis’ most amazing achievement may be that despite his success, he remains one of the nicest people you will ever meet.

Alexis and his epic tour bus rolls in Austin this week. This Wednesday, he’ll be speaking at the University of Texas about his new book WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION. 

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If you live in Central Texas and care about entrepreneurship, the future of the Internet or making the world suck less, then don’t miss your chance to hear Alexis speak.  Here are the details.

EVENT DETAILS:

Who: Alexis Ohanian

When: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 from 7-9:00 PM

Where: Burdine Hall Room #108 • 110 Inner Campus Dr Austin, TX 78712

Get Your Free Tickets Now

Alexis is no stranger to Austin. While this Brooklyn diehard isn’t quite shopping for houses, he did recently tell an interviewer another primary motivation for his stop in Austin.

“Austin is a hub for tech. There’s a tremendous tech community there and it’s nice to come without South By Southwest going on all around me. It’s also one of the largest universities in the nation so to reach such a large chunk of students is a great opportunity. I’m also coming for the tacos. I should make that clear.

He ain’t lying, he loves him some breakfast tacos!  Now sign up and get ready to listen to someone drop some science.

Girl Scouts visit Amplifier, forget to bring us Thin Mints

We’ve hosted book signings and Kickstarter mavens but yesterday’s visit by Girl Scout Troop 1252 will go down in Amplifier history as our first time staging an actual merit badge challenge.

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We’re pretty sure these girls will grow up to be creative kingpins. Every year, they design and print their own troop tees, with stencils and ink and amazing DIY grit and gristle.

This year, they asked us if Amplifier would teach them to screen print for real. Who can say no to girl scouts, even when they aren’t selling cookies?

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Our screen printing man, myth, and legend Chris Vreeland taught them the printing process, from art to film to screen to tee, and they took turns printing and curing their very own t-shirts.

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The shirts look amazing. We’d like to say you can get your own Troop 1252 tee in our online store, but you can’t. That would be… strange.

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Thanks again for stopping in, taking the tour, and brightening our day with your questions about screen printing, glitter ink and unicorn posters, Troop 1252. Let us know when you’re old enough for summer jobs!

Amplifier All Hands Meeting

All Hands Meeting

Yesterday, March 27th, we held an all hands meeting at Amplifier. During yesterday’s all hands meeting, Everyone ate huge, ridiculous, almost debilitating portions of Rudy’s BBQ.  Pretty cruel when you consider that after the meeting everyone had to go back to work instead of take a nap.

We surprised the crew by handing out embroidered Red Kap workshirts. (If you don’t know Red Kap, they make some of the best work wear in the business.)  We thought it would be cool to color code our teams by their department. Do so enables visitors to instantly grasp what’s happening in the often raging sea of activity on a typical day. 

Color schemes were: 

5 Year Jerseys

We also took a moment to recognize employees who had put in more than 5 years at Amplifier with a special handmade flannel baseball jersey.  We do hard work here.  Anyone who has made it five years has put in unbelievable hours. No matter what their department, it’s a given the “5 years” have packed thousands of orders, worked many a holiday, and generally done so with a great attitude.

These jerseys were a secret. Only our founders knew about them.  We just asked employee for their favorite number between 1 and 100.  They didn’t know it but they were picking their team number.  

  • Joel Bush - #1
  • Paco Contreras - #20
  • LeVar Fresch - #77
  • Jud Harris - #67
  • Topher Hyink - #17
  • James McNown - #2
  • Doug Sewell -#33
  • Jef Sewell - #00
  • Macon Stokes - #7
  • John Totman - #44
  • Chris Vreeland - #23
  • Terry Wallace - #3

Very soon Tanya Johnson and Cody Isaacks will join the 5 year club.  We hope everyone working here today sticks around to earn a jersey.  They’re a great crew and we’re proud of all of them! 

Merchify Launches from Beta with HUGE Update! Keep Reading.

Our 3 Most Requested Features in 1 Update!

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During our Beta period, users gave us terrific suggestions. Great minds must think alike.  Most of you told us very similar things.  Here’s what you asked for:

  1. Women’s Tees - This was hands down the biggest request. Unisex blanks just weren’t cutting it. You can now add designs using the American Apparel 2102, the most popular Women’s Tee that they sell.
  2. A “Value Tee” Option - Some of you wanted a more traditional shirt style and a less expensive shirt. You got it!  Now you can create shirts on the well known, classic-fit Gildan Tee. And yes ladies, our Value Tees are available in Men’s AND Women’s cuts (2000 & 5000L.) 
  3. Add Multiple Colors at Once - You now can create up to 12 different colors at once! Just click to turn on/off every color swatch you want to sell. If you want to preview them, simply click the color swatch under the preview area. We’ll also create thumbnails for each color and push them all to your store.

Last but not least, we lowered our prices on American Apparel tees!  White Tees now start at $16 instead of $19! Color American Apparel tees are cheaper too! Hey, we did tell prices were subject to change. Every once in a while, that’s a good thing!  Existing Merchify users can check out the newest features here

Don’t have Merchify yet? No problem, it’s free for all Shopify users to install.  Not yet a Shopify user?  Get a free 14-day trial here. It’s the easiest way in the world to start selling made-on-demand products from your very own online store.

Rooster Teeth's Burnie Burns on/is the Future of TV

Rooster Teeth’s Burnie Burns joins Kevin Smith, Lisa Kudrow and others to discuss the Future of TV.  The thing is, Burnie and his wicked crew don’t need to speculate on where the Internet is going in the future.  They are BRINGING THE FUTURE into the now.  If you have ANY interest at all in where Internet, community and original content is going, you need to study every word that rapidly fires out of Burnie Burns’ mouth. 

Filmmaker Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy, etc.) summed up Rooster Teeth’s amazing accomplishment like this. “You’re my hero man, your generation is doing what we dreamed about doing… We’re like ‘We want to be independent!’ but we weren’t, ultimately we sold out.  You guys truly are independent, and you’re doing it from a great place, like, 'this is what we love to do.’ You’re like, 'I could wait for somebody else to give us some loot or I could build what I want over here.”

Follow @burnie and @roosterteeth on Twitter.

Maker's Row

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Another highlight of our recent trip to New York was meeting the team behind Maker’s Row. We visited with Matthew Burnett (left) and Tanya Menendez (right) along with designer Scott Weiner (not shown but he rocks similar mojo.) 

So here’s the idea.

Offshoring your manufacturing once presented a nearly irresistible temptation. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost in the last two decades to this option.  US Companies thought they’d save a fortune by leveraging the cheap cost of labor in developing economies.  For a while, it worked.  But in many ways this trend now seems played out.  Rising overseas labor rates coupled with increasing fuel costs have greatly reduced the savings of outsourcing. And when one factors the reduced flexibility and inescapably slow shipping time involved in transoceanic delivery, domestic manufacturing suddenly looks a lot more compelling.

But there remains a problem. While the spirit may be willing to buy from American factories, the flesh often has a hard time finding them. Many possess amazing, proprietary production capabilities and generations of experience, they simply lack Internet-era marketing savvy. 

That’s where Maker’s Row steps in. 

They’re making it unbelievably easy to find even highly specialized makers in the good old United States of America. Search by all manner of capabilities such as Pattern-Makers, Toolers, even Ideation. Want to make a belt? Check out Universal Elliot. Custom handbags?  How about Manolucci Handbag Factory.  Wooden buttons you say?  No problem, try Buttonwood Corp.  The possibilities seem limitless.

They say nothing is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.  And speaking as a company who routinely procures all manner of compelling merchandise, we can say that time to look at US production is now.

Congrats and thanks to Maker’s Row for shining a light on our fellow American makers.