Brian LaRoche sits in his house in Belize, writing answers to our interview questions over email. He started selling with Teespring on January 5, 2015 and one year later finds himself fulfilling his lifelong dream; on January 14, 2016 Brian moved to paradise to semi-retire and enjoy life to the fullest.
Once in Belize, Brian used his Teespring earnings to purchase his new home, a vehicle and revel in his newfound freedom.
“I love my Teespring Life. I’m going on 2.5 yrs and it’s been the best business decision of my life. I am finally working smarter not harder and doing it all from paradise. Since joining Teespring I have fulfilled a few dreams and I am looking forward to seeing what comes next.”
Living the dream in paradise—Brian’s new waterfront home in Belize
Brian’s success story is inspiring and a bit surprising, like so many top Teespring sellers he didn’t start out with a lot of experience selling online (contrary to what you might expect!). Brian originally got involved in the custom apparel business with his mom back in 1997. They opened a small 250 sq. ft t-shirt printing shop back when Shinko Thermal Wax Printers were around.
“Back then we could only print on white & ash grey apparel, white crown hats, mouse pads & coffee mugs. But we made it work and within 2 years expanded to a 5,000 sq. ft building, where we added a vinyl/graphic shop, upgraded to Roland ColorCamm Printers, so we could offer colored apparel. Even though we worked harder than smarter I wouldn’t change those days for anything. Love you Mom.”
Fast forward ten or so years and Brian began trying his hand at selling online. He used a variety of platforms before settling on Teespring in 2015. After finding Teespring, much of Brian’s success can be attributed to his smart niche selection. Whenever he enters a new niche market he makes sure it’s evergreen, so that he can focus on selling to it year-round. He also looks for effective ways to connect existing niches to new niches, so he can utilize his existing audiences. For example, he’s currently focusing on the “Autism” niche.
“I approached the Autism niche with the mindset of ‘How I can bring Autism into my existing niches and customer base.’ Let’s say I’m in the horse niche, I would get my design message lined out and then in my artwork of the horse, I would either make the saddle & reins ‘Autism Blue’ with some puzzle pieces or I would make my horse blue with puzzle pieces as the spots. I could go create a generic autism design and compete with everyone else, but I prefer to stay with my niches and what I know. If you’re targeting a niche like this I would recommend donating—I usually donate at least 10% of my profits and add a Verified Donation Badge to each listing.”
As Teespring releases new products Brian is also finding new ways to market them to his existing audiences. Instead of putting his t-shirt designs on pillows, he is creating new, universal design messages that could work in many of his niches. He said this tactic has allowed him to find instant success with pillows as he’s “thinking outside the living room pillow box”. When promoting a new product to previous buyers his first step is to contact them via email/buyer messaging. Then he will post the new product to his Facebook fan pages. To date, Brian has enjoyed a lot of success with pillows and said he is looking forward to selling more new products in the future.
“I test all of my new designs and products on my pages. My pages range from 5k to 100k likes. I test by running Ads to “People Who Like My Page” if I find success there, I will create a few ads for the masses.”
Brian mentioned another important element to his success is generating additional organic sales. By scheduling Teespring product posts around the clock, Brian consistently promotes his products to page followers and gives his audience content to engage with and share.
We look forward to seeing what Brian does next and can’t wait for more photos and videos of his adventures in Belize! Thank you for sharing your story Brian!
“I just want to say I love the Teespring Life. I am achieving all my dreams. I sometimes can’t believe it’s real. Working smarter not harder! Good luck to all!”
Ready for your own success story?