Interview Liz Fulghum of Pop Threads: Tee Shirt Artist, Writer & Web Designer

Liz Fulghum is an all round creative with her fingers in many businesses and creative head, people are more likely to recognize her from her work with the online sites Pop Threads and Pop Culture Tees. We are privileged to share a great interview with liz and we got the chance to share a few moments with her to talk tees, web design, social media and more.

Hi Liz, it’s a great pleasure to introduce you to our Design Juices readers. Can you tell us what it is your background is and what your role in your business is.

Thanks Jared! I have a sort of varied background: I’ve worked as a writer, a t-shirt artist, and a web designer. I’ve worked for large corporations, small companies, and myself. These days, the areas I focus on most are web design/development and marketing for small businesses/creative companies. I did the design and back-end programming for PopThreads, and now that the easy part is done, I’m trying to put all of my efforts into marketing for the project.

How did you get into the t-shirt business? Was there a particular event/persons who encouraged you to go into this business?

I was the lead artist at a screen printing company here in Tennessee for about 4 years. While I was there, I was responsible for coming up with new designs for customers on a daily basis, so I started to get really involved with looking at what other artists were doing with t-shirt design. It became a total obsession. So, in 2008 I started PopCultureTees to channel that obsession into something productive. A few years later.. seems like I’m still addicted.

We know you as also having experience with the Pop Culture Tees brand, what role do you have in this indie brand?

I own the site, write a large number of articles, and am responsible for (or to blame for, depending on how you look at it) the random re-designs that happen every 6 months or so.

What are the things as a business owner for sites such as PopThreads and PopCultureTees, that are the most time consuming and labour intensive?

Emails and Marketing/Promotion. Emails aren’t fun, but it’s one thing you can’t outsource and really have to set aside time for every single day. Marketing and Promotion is just hard work (and more emails) – and it’s something you have to keep up all the time.

What are your favorite brands within the t-shirt world you always turn to for inspiration? or to purchase from?

There’s a lot of REALLY amazing talent that has come out with new lines in the last year or so, so it’s really hard to pick favorites (or even make a short list). I can say that I’ve noticed a trend away from cartoon-y or spot color designs towards more illustrative/photographic work which I think is fantastic.

What kinds of projects do you undertake as a web designer? Do you have a favourite project from your portfolio of work?

I worked for a number of years at a music label and then for an agency that handled a few artist accounts, so a lot of what I enjoy doing is working with musicians and other creative types. I can do corporate, but I really enjoy more creative design.

I recently made the leap to try and get my own company nosleepforsheep off the ground; there’s a lot of challenge in that and I’m loving it! Right now my favorite project is probably the work I have done for a local magazine here in Nashville called FRINGE fringemagazine we’re actually in the process of a redesign because they have grown so much!

How big of a tool is social media for you? and which medium do you work with on a daily basis the most?

Social Media is HUGE. These days, using it effectively is pretty much critical to the success of your business. My personal favorite is Twitter, so honestly I invest more of my time there. Facebook is probably equally as important, though. And the information you can learn about the demographics of your users from Facebook is killer.

What members of your social media circle would you recommend our users to follow?

In general, I try to follow a smaller group of people, but lots Tastemakers (who are usually kind enough to retweet anything that’s interesting). Follow Liz (@popthreads)

A few people I’d recommend:

@sethgodin (the man when it comes to business and entrepreneurship)

@buysellads (even though they’re an ad network, they actually post a lot of great articles about design, marketing etc that I think they come across from their customers)

@mashable (just like their site, tons of good stuff about social media, etc)

@inspiredmag (for my web design fix)

Quick Fire Five:

Short or long sleeves? Short sleeves, totally.

Graphic or text based designs? Text-based, but only when the typography is really, really good.

Mcdonalds of Burger King? Burger King. Onion rings rock.

Iphone or Blackberry? This interview was sent from my iPhone.

Winter Snow or Summer Sun? Winter Snow.

What can we expect from you in 2011? Are there big plans afoot for new ventures?

PopThreads and my design business are the main focuses for 2011. The plan is definitely to get the current projects off the ground before trying to further my plot to take over the world!

Thanks to Liz for taking the time to complete this interview with us today, if you know anyone or would like to be interviewed yourself please get in touch with us here at Design Juices.