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Hack To Start
Episode 143

Jeff Sheldon

Designer and Founder of Ugmonk

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Music

Jeff Sheldon is the designer and founder of Ugmonk. Jeff started Ugmonk as a side project to serve as his creative outlet from his day job as junior graphic designer. Several years in, Jeff reached a tipping point and decided to go all-in and make Ugmonk his full time focus - growing the product line from t-shirts to other new items with a unique sense of style and minimalistic design. 10 years later, Jeff has shipped his products to over 67 countries, has spoken at conferences like 99u, been featured in publications like The Great Discontent, and launched charitable campaigns that have helped to provide over 50,000 meals to kids. Jeff joins us to share his story, what motivated him to launch Ugmonk, what it was like building the company in the early days, how he know when it was time to go all-in, some advice on building e-commerce brands, where the name “ugmonk” comes from, and much more!

Main Objectives For This Episode

  • Learn more about how Jeff got into design and startups
  • Learn more about what it was like going full time on Ugmonk
  • Learn more about what it was like building a million dollar brand
  • Learn more about how Jeff has leveraged Ugmonk to create several charitable campaigns
  • And more!

Episode Overview

Jeff Sheldon is the designer and founder of Ugmonk.

Jeff started Ugmonk as a side project to serve as his creative outlet from his day job as junior graphic designer.

Several years in, Jeff reached a tipping point and decided to go all-in and make Ugmonk his full time focus - growing the product line from t-shirts to other new items with a unique sense of style and minimalistic design.

10 years later, Jeff has shipped his products to over 67 countries, has spoken at conferences like 99u, been featured in publications like The Great Discontent, and launched charitable campaigns that have helped to provide over 50,000 meals to kids.

Jeff joins us to share his story, what motivated him to launch Ugmonk, what it was like building the company in the early days, how he know when it was time to go all-in, some advice on building e-commerce brands, where the name “ugmonk” comes from, and much more!


Some Of The Questions We Ask

1:46
Where are you from and what did you study?

2:24
What was your first design job, and how did you create the opportunity to work there?

2:57
What were some of the biggest lessons you learned earlier on in your design career?

4:22
Today, you’re currently the owner of Ugmonk. For those who may not know, do you mind giving us an overview of what Ugmonk is?

6:20
What was it like transitioning Ugmonk from a side project to a company?

7:51
Coming up with a unique and memorable brand name is often challenging. How did you the name “Ugmonk” come about and what’s the meaning behind it?

10:35
Based on your experience creating Ugmonk, what are the elements that make up a successful brand?

15:43
Giving back is something that you’re extremely passionate about and have used the Ugmonk brand to help raise awareness and money for charities. Would you be able to share with us your experience creating and launching the “Ugmonk Gives Back” charity drive?

18:00
What was your day-to-day role like working on Ugmonk? What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in the industry?

22:10
What are some of the most recent apps that you’ve really loved using recently?

24:13
Do you have any recommendations on some great content that you’ve come across lately?

25:21
Do you have any last thoughts or personal mottos that you live by that you think others should know about?


Here are some of the most important links and resources mentioned throughout the show.

Twitter Handles & Websites

Jeff Sheldon on Twitter
Ugmonk on the web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

Devices, Apps, and Books

30 Tools We Use To Run Ugmonk
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Lightroom
Dropbox Paper
Signal vs Noise
Rework
Essentialism

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