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Making the World’s Best Shirts

This is a somewhat selfish episode because this guest makes my absolute favorite shirts in the entire world, and I wanted to learn more about the inner workings of the business. Ryan Light is the CEO of Pistol Lake, a men’s apparel company that was founded in 2012 with the goal to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. at a reasonable price—and with really amazing quality. Ryan is not the founder of Pistol Lake, but he was brought in by the founders to run the company, and he has lots to share about the challenges and benefits of hiring a CEO and what he has learned in the role.

Listen in as we talk about the challenges of making clothing in America and creating realistic digital creative to convey what the product is really about. Ryan also shares how Pistol Lake designs their shirts, how they’ve harnessed the power of word-of-mouth marketing, and how he beat Stephen Curry in a game of HORSE.

You'll learn:

  • The story of Pistol Lake. (6:55)
  • The process of making your own line of fabric. (9:40)
  • The hardest part about making clothing in America. (12:45)
  • How Pistol Lake sells online when consumers don’t have the tactile experience that really sells the product. (15:20)
  • How they have built discussion around their product on Reddit. (17:20)
  • The challenges of putting digital creative together. (25:30)
  • How Ryan’s compensation package is set up and his advice if you’re thinking of bringing someone in as CEO. (31:55)
  • Some of the lessons he has learned in his role as CEO. (35:10)

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

(With your host Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel.com and Ryan Light of PistolLake.com)

What Was Mentioned

Ideas Worth Sharing:


“We’re always learning and experimenting with new things.” – @ry0n
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“Up until last year, word-of-mouth was how 99% of people found us.” – @ry0n
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“Once people touch our product, our re-purchase rate is through the roof.” – @ry0n
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