We had the good fortune of connecting with Ben Snedecor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ben, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
While I was in the Navy, my friends and I spent most of our time busting rust, tugging lines, and chipping paint in the San Diego shipyards and out at sea. We’d get off base whenever we could to explore all the mountains, surf breaks, bouldering spots, and cheap burrito joints in the area. Work was, well, work. And adventure was mandatory.
The idea for a “better graphic T shirt” started because I couldn’t find shirts that I actually felt confident to take on all these excursions up and down the west coast. Pretty much all companies selling tees are using cheap, cardboard-feeling fabric outsourced overseas, including most of the big names in the outdoor gear industry. I knew something had to be done to change the game.
To solve a problem that it seemed like no one else was paying attention to, I started printing my own designs on super comfortable tri-blend T shirts that were also manufactured in America. My buddies loved them, and I decided to make this idea happen for real. So after I finished my contract with the Navy, I moved to San Francisco and set up an online store while also chasing a bachelor’s degree on the GI Bill.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Theoretically, my business should be the easiest possible model to start and scale, and it’s still very difficult. One thing I’ve found makes the whole process easier is working on one aspect of the business at a time, although there are a lot of times where you have to juggle lots of moving parts. But what I’m talking about is how I optimized and finished my Etsy store first to start generating some initial sales, then moved on to building a platform on Depop for more exposure, then got an initial foothold on the Instagram, and now the main project is finishing up our first commercial and other front-loaded content for the holiday season. I like to get one arm of the business running at a time.
I’d also like people to know that the objective of Anywhere Shirts is really to build a positive culture around the best all-in-one outdoor, fitness, and casual graphic t shirt on the market.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I currently live in San Francisco but having lived in San Diego for three years, here is where I’d go. -After scouring the city for the best takeout burrito, my friends and I have unanimously concluded that it’s the Cheesesteak Burrito at Los Panchitos on Midway Boulevard. Give it a shot.
-For nightlife, the whole block in PB that has Shore Club, Firehouse, and Alehouse. Lots of great times.
-For outdoor excursions, if I had to choose just one spot, I’d say the climbing grotto in La Jolla by Children’s Pool. It’s not Google mapped nor should it be. It’s just a spot on the beach where my friends and I found some awesome rocks for bouldering, and people are sometimes out there skim boarding a spear fishing. If you go, please keep it clean. From 21 to 24, that was my playground.
-For surfing: Do your own research, the locals will hunt me down if I go public about the best spots. If you’re a beginner, just go to Tourmaline and work your way up.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My thanks goes to my friend Jeff Poindexter, who I’ve been collaborating with since I moved back to NorCal after getting out of the Navy this year. We’ve been boys since we were five and now we’re collaborating on complimentary projects. He’s got a photography/cinematography hustle called Midnight Boardwalk Productions which everyone should definitely check out if you want some quality sci-fi styled self-portraits, @midnightboardwalkproductions on Insta. We’re currently working on a commercial together for Anywhere Shirts, for one thing.
The books which have had the most impact on me as far business, are probably Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, Primal Branding by Patrick Hanlon, the E Myth: Revisited by Michael Gerber, and The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.
Facebook: Anywhere Shirts
Other: Depop: AnywhereShirts
Me and Ethan Witkop in the skiing one. Me and Carson Williams in the one where I’m wearing the green shirt. Me and Jeff Poindexter at the gym.