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Ugmonk by Jeff Sheldon from Ugmonk on Vimeo
Jeff Sheldon had a problem: As a designer, he wasn’t satisfied with the low-quality, impersonal, poorly designed t-shirts and accessories he found in stores. He craved more products that fit his simple, minimalist style and weren’t just capitalizing on the latest trend.
He started designing t-shirts that he himself wanted to wear. Fortunately for Sheldon, lots and lots of other people wanted to wear them too.
Nine years later, Sheldon’s solo operation has grown to become the Ugmonk brand and includes not only t-shirts but also leather-bound journals, messenger bags, wallets, posters, and more. It commands a loyal following of customers who value simplicity in design just as much as Sheldon.
“Relating [my work] back to something I personally like, rather than trying to please the masses, is something that has always been at the core of what I’m doing with Ugmonk,” Sheldon explains.
Ugmonk continues to be a very personal endeavor for Sheldon, despite its tremendous growth and growing renown. Though Ugmonk no longer stores its inventory in Sheldon’s parents’ basement, his family members still process orders, run customer service, and manage inventory. This intimate approach to running a small business keeps Sheldon focused on the quality of his products, rather than quantity. In his own words, “Ugmonk is a lot more about the design than it is about selling t-shirts.”
Watch the video for a behind-the-scenes look at Ugmonk’s intimate headquarters, Sheldon’s design process (including a few childhood sketches), and his one-of-kind products.