Hello friends old and new,

Today we’re making a sad but necessary announcement — Emptees will be closing on March 1st. I hope you’ll take a minute to read this post in its entirety.

The Past



Emptees started out in 2007 as a little side-project of Indie Labs (then just Eric and myself). We wanted it to be a place where artists could showcase the tees they’ve designed and hang out with their peers. The site took off immediately, and tee designers and enthusiasts were joining us from around the world. It was very exciting.

The Present



Today Emptees has over 40,000 people in its community, and they’ve submitted nearly 50,000 tees, 30,000 forum posts, and over 1,000,000 comments and tee shirt loves. Pretty amazing.

Unfortunately the news isn’t all good. Over the years Emptees has taken on a life of its own, and our once little side-project has gone a bit out of control. We greatly underestimated the amount of moderation and maintenance a community of this scale requires, and Indie Labs (now 9 people) has been so busy keeping up with the growth of Big Cartel that we haven’t been able to dedicate the time and resources needed to keep Emptees stable.

Because we've been unable to focus much on Emptees, the site has suffered from some severe performance issues, there are some very necessary moderation features missing to maintain quality control, we’re losing money every month from high hosting costs, the site has grown stale from a lack of new features and improvements, and worst of all, the community has grown increasingly negative to each other.

The Future



Part of the extremely difficult decision to close Emptees comes from a larger internal decision that we'll be talking more about soon, which is to do away with our parent company, Indie Labs, and simply change the name of our business to Big Cartel. This allows us to focus exclusively on Big Cartel and Pulley, and accomplish some of the huge things we have planned with such a small team. Our customers (including many of you) deserve that kind of dedication.

You may be wondering why we don't just sell Emptees. This is something we've looked into, but even if we found a buyer that offered a decent price (and wouldn't just whore the site out), the amount of time and money it would take to transfer our entire infrastructure, and the legal red tape we'd need to go through, basically take that option off the table. We even looked at giving the site away for free, but that was plagued by these same issues.

Instead, we feel that closing Emptees opens up an opportunity for someone else to do it right. Someone that can stand on our shoulders, learn from our mistakes, and build a curated community from the ground up that they are an active part in. Perhaps Band Job? I know Rob is cooking up some ideas now too. :)

Thank You



On behalf of the entire crew at Indie Labs / Big Cartel, I’d like to thank all of you for an amazing ride. We’ve met so many great people through Emptees, and it’ll be an experience we’ll never forget. Most of all I’d like to thank our amazing moderators. Rob, Jimmy, Derek, Joey, and Newman - we couldn’t have made it this far without you.

Please join us in the comments and share some of your Emptees thoughts and experiences. It’s the end of an era.

638 Comments

  • 8-bit ZOMBIE

    Holy crap.
  • cityhall

    my god
  • jib

    :(
  • 8-bit ZOMBIE

    This sucks. =(
  • quakerninja

    oh shit
  • Jake Ward

    Well that's shit, I actually feel realy sad. On to band job
  • paxonpaxon

    Emptees has been my online shopping place for designs for 2 years. I'am deeply saddened, although I just became a part of the community I'm loosing a lot, I hope I will be able to find some other places to buy designs. Can anyone give me suggestions?
  • DOOOM

    I am sad.
  • Lmerrill

    Somebody please purchase it from IndieLabs….
  • Gianni

    Wow. Looks like it will be great news for band job though.
  • HighFive

    i feel sick... i think i need to lie down... this seriously feels like getting evicted
  • DOOOM

    paxonpaxon said: Emptees has been my online shopping place for designs for 2 years. I'am deeply saddened, although I just became a part of the community I'm loosing a lot, I hope I will be able to find some other places to buy designs. Can anyone give me suggestions?

    Band job is the place i think everyone will move to.
  • Aaron_James

    );
  • Jake Ward

    HighFive said: i feel sick... i think i need to lie down... this seriously feels like getting evicted

    true
  • Christiane

    Ahh, this is utter shit
  • Myth

    Sad face :(
  • Kyle Crawford

    haaaaaaa
  • justinryan

    03/01/2011 nvr 4get

    for real though, total bummer. site has definitely had some low moments, but it was fun while it lasted
  • 110specialblack

    fffff
  • Kyle Crawford

    yea but the thing is, you half ass wanna be shit designers wont make it there, you can say youre going to go there and you can post on / in the forum, but you will never make it to the main event ladies
  • Lmerrill

    Wow, this is really the only place I'm getting much work/offers from. I'm going to be living in a dumpster come the end of March.
  • Christiane

    Kyle Crawford said: yea but the thing is, you half ass wanna be shit designers wont make it there, you can say youre going to go there and you can post n the forum, but you will never make it to the main event ladies

    i wonder why emptees is going...
  • Lion Caster

    Man, I was just about to launch my line this spring finally. there goes some of my sales.... :)

    Thank you guys so much for putting up with us and keeping this site going for so long.
  • Tom Philibeck

    Well, this blows.

    What the hell am I gonna do with myself?! I have never loved another site as much as I love emptees. I guess Bandjob will have to do, but it still won't be the same.
  • Kyle Crawford

    Christiane said:
    Kyle Crawford said: yea but the thing is, you half ass wanna be shit designers wont make it there, you can say youre going to go there and you can post n the forum, but you will never make it to the main event ladies

    i wonder why emptees is going...

    ?
  • ZAMN!MD

    damn. didn't see this coming-
  • againstbound

    Fuck shit.
  • Sam Kaufman

    dang
  • Cutty.

    Definitely a bummer. I was just getting to know you guys too ='(
  • MonkeyMouth

    This sucks. i have really enjoyed this place, even though ive only been here for 11 months.

    This is a true loss for all of us "upcoming" designers, who gets a load of clients and relationships through this very site.

    I am actually really sad about these bad news.
  • weirdmoyo

    some people will laugh..some people will be sad..
    this is a big WOW for all
  • blakecan

    For real... Didn't see this coming. Sad to see.
  • quakerninja

    I'd really like to talk you out of but, I guess it's goodbye.

    Can't we just continue with no adult supervision, works good so far.
    What about a subscription model, I'd pay for membership.
  • horsebites

    SAD DAY
  • Who is Ryan C.

    WAT!!!!
  • dunewhore

    This doesn't make sense. Why can't you get money through ads or even membership. I would be willing to pay to keep this place open. Am I the only one who feels this way?!?!?
  • Brock May

    I don't know any appropriate way to respond to this.

    My day is pretty much wackish now.
  • Lion Caster

    I would def pay a yearly fee or something.
  • Kyle Crawford

    theyre nicely saying they dont give a shit anymore.
    I dont blame them. it's like a cat lady with too many cats. sooner or later you have to kill them or abandon them and focus on real life.

    they have spoken, its done, just be on the look out for new stuff, and hopefully it wont turn into a shit fest
  • Christiane

    quakerninja said:
    What about a subscription model, I'd pay for membership.

    ME TOO!
  • This thread is currently locked. Comments are disabled :(

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