Cameesa: A Threadless where customers are also investors

Ever wanted to be an investor? Why not start small with something like cool user-designed T-shirts? Meet Cameesa.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

It's no secret I'm a fan of Web T-shirt shops. This time last year I rounded up 20 different online shops that specialize in selling the cotton wonders, but few of those were as interesting as Cameesa.

Like many online T-shirt operations, everything on Cameesa is designed by freelancers who submit their stuff with the hopes of making a buck and getting some recognition. These designs (once approved by human editors) go into a pool where shoppers can pick out a shirt they want; the only catch is that they've got to invest in it so Cameesa can scrap together enough money to get it printed.

Designs have 31 days to get funded, and any investors who fund a failing design get their money back. If a design is completely funded, the 20 benefactors get the first run of the shirt and a small cut of future sales. The designer gets $500 and a free print of his or her shirt. From then on, anyone who comes by Cameesa can freely purchase that shirt like they would any other shop--seeding the dividends to the initial investors.

The shop currently has three shirts that have gotten over the funding hump. Meanwhile, the upcoming pool is filled with a handful of really good-looking designs that can be sorted by date or what needs the most funding. Because of the slim selection I'll still likely stick to places like Neighborhoodies which pumps out 200 new designs every month, and Shirt.Woot.com which has a new shirt every day for $10 shipped. Neither of those have nearly as cool of a business opportunity for the buyers, though.

Artists and shirt investors can make a buck or two off a hot design with Cameesa, a crowd-funded online T-shirt shop. Cameesa