Custom Apparel Shop Teespring Lays Off Staff, Exits Providence

Following last summer’s restructuring, custom T-shirt shop Teespring has laid off under 10 percent of its workforce and is shutting down its Providence office entirely. The company had around 300 total employees ahead of the layoffs, but not all those who work in Providence are out of a job, we understand. Instead, some have been offered the opportunity to relocate to Teespring’s San Francisco headquarters, its newer Seattle office, or its manufacturing site in Kentucky. A few more may be remaining in Providence, but will no longer work from the shuttered office.

Teespring’s staff was informed about the office’s closure a few weeks ago by way of an internal announcement. Based on earlier news reports and comments from sources familiar with the matter, Teespring may have had a staff of 122 in Providence before last summer’s restructuring, which was then reduced to 52 around June 2015. Now its Providence headcount is nearing zero.

Backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures and others, Y Combinator grad Teespring had helped put Providence’s startup community on the map. But anecdotally, at least, we’ve heard that the company hadn’t been very active in the community for some time, and in turn, had somewhat fallen out of the limelight locally, as well.

From what we’ve been told, the exit from Rhode Island is not about the expense of doing business in the town that gave birth to the startup thanks to efforts from Brown University grads Walker Williams and Evan Stites-Clayton. Instead, it’s about giving the company the ability to operate more efficiently.

The company wants to focus its resources around three key areas: engineering, marketing, manufacturing – represented by the teams in San Francisco, Seattle, and Kentucky, Teespring told us when confirming the news.

“Teespring is planning to close its Providence, R.I. office. This is the last phase of our consolidation that started last June, as we complete the co-location of teams in San Francisco, Kentucky, and our new Seattle office,” a spokesperson said. “It’s also part of our effort to aggressively grow investments in engineering, marketing, and manufacturing which are located across those offices,” they added.