Tools of the trade

Matt Thier

August 04 2014

Tools of the Trade is UT.LAB's way of showcasing people we respect and love by finding out a bit more about their everyday work. 

We're happy to kick off this series with Matt Thier of Betabrand. Alongside creative cohorts Chris Lindland and Jared Graf, Matt co-founded launched the company with their initial offering of Cordarounds which in the past few years has grown to and expansive line of innovative and fashion-forwardable pieces. 

The UT.LAB has had the pleasure of working with Matt and team on launching the upcoming LIGHT WING FRANKLIN HIGH.  We got a chance to catch up with Matt during our last visit to the Betabrand office, which is not only as a command center for their day-to-day operations, but also serves as a prototyping studio and a storefront. We're happy to launch our Tools of the Trade series with Matt. 

Who Are You?

I'm Matt Thier. I'm one of the co-founders of Betabrand, and currently head up our crowdfunding platform. 

Tell Us About Your Company.

Betabrand is a crowdsourced and crowdfunded clothing company. Our community supplies us with ideas and designs of what they want us to make, and we use a voting process to vet and narrow them down. The ones with the most voting support get prototyped, and we crowdfund those prototypes on our site. The ideas that pass their crowdfunding goals get produced and become part of our collection; those that don't, don't get made.

Every week, dozens of designs go up for voting, and 3-5 of those graduate to crowdfunding. Along with that, we have 20,000 photos submitted by our customers wearing their Betabrand clothes. Add those up, and we on our way to being the most content-rich clothing company on the web.

What's Your Day to Day Like?

As cliche as it sounds, no two days are the same. Part of my job is working with outside collaborators on their ideas and products to make sure that they're as primed for success in crowdfunding as possible. I also work with our design and photography team to make sure that prototypes are being developed on schedule, and that successfully crowdfunded products are being produced on schedule and on spec. And I get my hands dirty with release scheduling, online merchandising, and e-commerce analysis and planning as well.

What's on Your Desk?
Aside from a pile of cables under my monitor... Let's see.
  • Headphones - good for those times when I need to focus and crank work out.
  • Water Bottle and Inhaler - I compete in triathlons, and I make a point of getting out of the office 2-3 times a week to swim in the pool around the corner.
  • Post-It Notes - as much as I'm tethered to my computer, I handwrite notes and reminders a lot. The act of writing helps me remember things, I suppose.
  • A Massive External Monitor - great for working on spreadsheets, and also for watching Giants baseball games beings streamed online...
Out of all these what can't you live without?
Honestly, my workout stuff. Just spending 30 minutes in the pool de-stresses me completely, clears my mind, and makes me much more productive.

To learn more about Betabrand please visit: