How Threadless Thinks Local, Acts Global

At the recent Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, Threadless CEO Tom Ryan shed some light on how his company became an "accidental world traveler" with a global following. It was never the T-shirt company's intention to cultivate a following overseas, but it currently its global revenue comprises 60 percent of its total sales. Talk about a happy accident.

Over time, Ryan explained, international orders started trickling in. Threadless would fulfill them, and eventually more and more started piling up, eventually from over 150 countries total.

Ryan -- and -- both do a great job of breaking down why this happened, and what you can do to someday enjoy similar success. First off, you've heard it before, but it bears repeating: embrace social media. By nature, it's a global entity, and since it unites people around the world to an interest, it doesn't matter where they are.

And of course, Threadless' crowdsourcing model couldn't hurt. It already involves the company's audience, which in turn easily spills over into word-of-mouth marketing. So in a way, it isn't that shocking Threadless has garnered such a big following around the world. Everyone loves T-shirts.

Read the full analysis over at

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