Going Full-time!

June 16, 2010 | 49 Comments

Two years ago I was just graduating college and searching for my first full-time design job. At that point the thought of starting my own business was a dream, but I had no real plans for it. Fast forward to today and that dream is becoming a reality. I’ve spent the past two years working as a full-time designer at a agency here in Burlington, VT and slowly growing Ugmonk on the side. Despite a lot of late nights, busy weekends, and hundreds of trips to the post office, the journey has been awesome, and I’m so glad that I decided take that first step to launch my brand. Now almost two years after putting my first 200 shirts up for sale, I’ve resigned from my job, and I’m taking the next step to follow my passion and go full-time with Ugmonk!

A huge thanks to everyone who has supported me and taken an interest in what I am doing. Every one of you that has purchased a shirt, recommended Ugmonk to a friend, or posted a link to his or her favorite new release has helped me get to this point. It’s humbling to know that thousands of people all around the world are wearing the designs that I’ve created, but it’s also what motivates me to keep creating. You guys have made this all possible and I’m very grateful for your support.

So what does this mean for you, the Ugmonk faithful? It means I’ll be able to focus entirely on Ugmonk. I’ll be continuing to release more new tshirts, hoodies and other new products. I’m really excited to start executing on many of the ideas and concepts that have been floating around in my head, but have suffered for lack of time. The extra time will also help me to keep you in the loop with what’s going on with Ugmonk. I’ll be chronicling my journey and sharing insights, sneaks peaks, and inspiration here on the blog, so be sure to check back soon or subscribe via RSS

Thanks again for your continued support!

-Jeff Sheldon

  • http://jarkkolaine.com Jarkko Laine

    Congratulations, Jeff! I haven’t ordered a shirt from you yet, but I’ve been lurking around your blog and site for quite some time. Looking forward to what you dream up next — and I guess this would be a good time to buy a shirt too :)

  • http://www.mayakalabic.com maya(animacia)

    Congratulations for dream come true :) for you and all your hard work. it’s inspiring for sure.

  • http://www.awakencompany.com Anthony

    Jeff, Congratulations man!! This is so awesome to see you’re going full time and well deserved!! I know you’re going to do wonders with your company and I wish all the blessings on you that you can handle!

    Keep up the phenomenal work!

  • http://www.jakemize.com Jake Mize

    Congrats, good luck!

  • http://www.mattconvente.com Matt Convente

    What a milestone! I can’t wait to see the new designs that will come out of your full-time effort, and I’ll be sure to pick up a few. I’m wearing my & Then I Woke Up shirt right now!

  • Sjors

    Woohoooo! I’m the proud owner of an Ugmonk t-shirt and Hoodie and i love them both. I can’t wait till the new designs come out.

  • nico

    Congratz! Keep up the excellent design! (and superv service)!

  • http://benbodien.info Ben Bodien

    Congratulations, Jeff! I love all the tshirts I’ve bought from Ugmonk, so I’m really looking forward to seeing more output from you!

    Are you at the stage yet where you could get regular post collections rather than having to go to the post office?

  • http://alexandermillar.me Alexander Millar

    Congrats! I’m really stoked to see more products. You’re living the dream my friend.

  • http://do.fm.cr Luis Salazar

    Congrats! Many blessings! I wish you all the success and prosperity you dream!!

  • http://www.ugmonk.com Jeff

    Thanks everyone! Really appreciate your support and am excited to make the transition.

  • Ryan

    An Inspiration man, good luck.

  • http://yellowelm.com/blog/ Yellow Elm

    Jeff…super exciting! can’t wait to watch how Ugmonk grows. your story is realyl inspiring : ) —betsy and melissa

  • http://aditya5.wordpress.com adi

    great!!! whatever i just read is really inspiring!!! Can u tell from where u gather knowledge about textile?

  • http://www.uniquedesign.it/ Unique Design

    I wish you a good luck, Jeff! For what I’ve look since now you have a lot of potential and great design skills! I love your website, how simple it is and how effectively it works! Naturally I also love your tshirts and hoodies! I’m planning to buy soon your “Math problem” and “Easier said than done”.

    Keep up with the good job, I hope you’ll have succeed in this business!

  • Wilder

    That’s awesome news, Jeff. What a timely blog post. I just sent you a message the other day asking if you were able to focus exclusively on ugmonk. Now we all have the answer.

  • http://www.dreamcastle.ca Brian Self

    YEAH! So excited for Ugmonk, cant wait to see what comes out next! :)

  • recane

    Thanks mate for this post, it gives me the envie to launch my own brand too!
    Thanks mate for all the shirts on your site cause the designs are awesome!
    Thanks mate because I know now that launching a brand is doable!

    Thanks Jeff and long life UGMONK!

  • http://www.wearfluent.com Mike Convente

    Hey Jeff, hope things are well since our coffee meet up in January of this past year in Burlington. The threads are looking as sharp as ever, and congrats on deciding to go full time! There is nothing greater in this world than building something from the ground up, and especially when it is your life’s passion. Hope to see you around sometime in the future. If you’re ever in the Philly area, let me know, I can show you around (shoot me an email – you should have it in in the admin section for these comments).

    -Mike C.

  • http://www.flickr.com/denlinkbarmann denlin

    its really cool to see someone do this because its also a dream of mine, ever need an employee, ill be waiting lol

  • http://blog.koelleart.com Koelle

    Jeff, huge epic congrats, such great news. Very very happy for you, man. I have yet to purchase one of your beautiful tees (shame on me) but knowing this will be your true livelihood will make it even more enjoyable to support the great stuff you’re making. Onward!!!

  • http://www.ugmonk.com Jeff

    @everyone: Thanks for all of the comments. It’s awesome to have support from so many people and to know that I am inspiring others with what I’m doing.

  • Patrick

    I’ve been eyeing on the shirts here too long enough. I’ll be graduating from college this coming March and that means I’ll have my own money to shop online! You have minimalist style I’ve been looking for, see you March!

  • http://www.respiromedia.com Respiro Media

    Jeff, this seems to be one of the best decisions you could make! I believe that we all have to invest in our dreams and courage is part of this investment. Congrats for making the step! I just love to wear your t-shirts! :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/khsheehan Kyle Sheehan

    Hey, congrats Jeff. I can’t wait to see what you do with Ugmonk now.

  • http://www.ev4n.com ev4n

    I wish you the best of luck Jeff! I hope this turns out really well for you.

  • http://jasminerclark.com Jasmine

    Keep them coming. I love your designs :D
    More colors. I would love to have a purple Ugmonk shirt. :)

  • Dave

    Jeff, capital awesome for going out and doing your thing. Most of us live lives of quiet desperation, never getting to do what we really love. As (I assume) one of the few people in Australia with several Ugmonk t-shirts, congrats from my part of the world on pursuing your dream. I get heaps of comments from people wanting to know where I got my “…and then i woke up” T, and I happily tell them. Please let me know if I can ever help extend the Ugmonk footprint here!

  • Derek

    That’s really cool Jeff. It’s so great to see an established designer make the jump to the less-established self employment. Wish you all the best and if you keep cranking out these quality designs, UGMONK should do well.

  • http://www.ugmonk.com Jeff

    Thanks guys!

  • http://javaboisblog.blogspot.com Javaboi Fresh

    You are an inspiration to us all Jeff. Thanks for emailing me with all the advice on getting the business running correctly!! May all of you business and personal endeavors prosper expeditiously and may you continue with the success that you deserve.

    – Javaboi

  • Bob

    Good work Jeff,

    I’m yet to order from you, but I have my eye on a couple of designs that I will be ordering soon, and I’ll be sure to check back on a more regular basis now that your will be focusing your time on new designs.

    Loving your work.

  • http://www.hemingwaystudios.com Julie C

    Hi! I just happened across your blog and wanted to say congratulations from one designer/artist to another, its always great to see someone realizing their dreams!

  • Zubair A

    Congratulations Jeff!

    I am looking forward to some new designs. I am grateful that there are designers who put as much soul as you do in their designs! Also, don’t forget to release some more “Behind The Scene” posts.

    I can’t wait for the 2nd Anniversary Shirt!

  • http://www.paperockit.com Sara


  • http://www.liveanime.org helium

    AMAZING, i have two of your t-shirts and love them! cant wait to see what you come up with ^_^

  • http://holadavid.com/ d.

    Despite the fact that I DO own more than one brand t-shirt in DIFFERENT colors, people seem to remember me by anything yellow… specially the Ugmonk “Big 5” yellow tee.

    So when I decided to create illustrations/icons of all my friends to be used as door tags for their college dorms, I also decided to create one of myself. lol

    Check it out: http://getinspiredmagazine.com/design/david-trujillo/

  • http://www.tshirttheory.com t shirt theory

    hey congrats! what an accomplishment. obviously all of your hard work has paid off. your designs are always fun, creative, and fresh. keep it up!

  • http://cureapparelco.com Kelly

    Congrats! You’re an inspiration, Jeff!

  • http://blackpearlinx.blogspot.com/ Wolf

    KICK ASS! and mad congrats for all you do. Knowing this is where you’re at, and good at it, that’s the shit. So here’s to you —-> get a drink and smoke a spliff.

  • http://markpeckart.com Mark Peck

    I am in the same position as the beginning of your story and hope to achieve half of what you have… your site and designs are awesome inspiration

    keep up the good work!

  • josh

    really, really happy for you. just got my shirts last week. let me know if you ever wind up in portland, or.

  • http://www.ugmonk.com Jeff

    Thanks for the continued support! You guys are awesome!

  • David

    Jeff, I would be stoked if you could make a skin for my iphone!

  • http://www.bugsyrocker.com Bugsy

    Congratulations! Hopefully I can get there too one day. You do some fantastic work, keep it up.

  • Nolan

    Fantastic shirts you have here. I’ve bought 4 and I participated in the sticker photo contest which was fun! Keep it up! Congrats on the success!

  • http://www.danielfischer.com Daniel Fischer

    I love the brand. Keep up the great style man. You’re great. Oh yeah, the shirt quality also is what drew me in. Love the work.

  • Terry

    Happy for you. Your story made me smile.

  • miro

    You are my inspiration! I Thank You for That!