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Innovation & Job News

Local T-shirt company reaches Kickstarter goal early, will feature ideas from writers and artists

Aplomb & The Creative Conspiracy, a graphic t-shirt company based out of the Affinity Lab, has successfully met its Kickstarter goal nearly three weeks ahead of schedule. With the $7,000 in funding already raised, founder Ryan Ryskamp is gearing up to print and ship five different designs to introduce his company to the public.
The Creative Conspiracy is an offshoot of Aplomb, a clothing label Ryskamp has run since 2006. Here is how Ryskamp envisions the Creative Conspiracy process: Writers contribute an idea to the Creative Conspiracy website and are compensated with points. Members of the Creative Conspiracy upvote ideas posted on the site (upvoting also earns the voters points), and the ideas with the most points are given over to Ryskamp's artists. An artist designs a shirt around the idea. Once the shirt is printed, it has a hangtag with the artist's bio and the beginning of the writer's piece attached.

Ryskamp, an artist himself, says that those who create designs for the Creative Conspiracy will be appropriately compensated. "The industry standard is to pay $200 to $250 for an artist's design, and you don't have to mention their name," he explains. "So they never get exposure. We pay double industry standard--$500—or $250 plus one percent of gross receipts for the lifetime of the product."
And the points members earn? They are for "purchasing" t-shirts and other items in the Creative Conspiracy's shop (shipping is free). 
Ryskamp calls this project "ideas worth wearing," and says that the project is designed to give up-and-coming artists more exposure via a word-of-mouth campaign. "One of the first things I wanted to do was give the artists that we've worked with [at Aplomb the chance to design]," he explains. "The shirts have the hangtag with the artist's photo and bio. Our goal is to have the artists grow beyond us."
The Kickstarter funds will allow Ryskamp to "produce more shirts and put them in retail locations," he says. "That way, we can cast a wider net and relay our message to a wider audience."

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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