Interesting story, heh. I got started designing tees back in high school for bands and school clubs. And by "design", I mean crappy colored pencil sketches on printer paper that the screenprinters were somehow able to make tshirts out of. In college, I came across Threadless and tried my hand at digital tee design. Those designs, too, were all pretty hideous.
As time went on, my designs finally started getting better and I became more familiar with what went into the tshirt making process. In 2006 I dove in headfirst and started Linty Fresh, my own tshirt line.
Things were slow at first, but with a lot of hard work and tons of research into marketing and branding, I was able to quit my day job a couple of years later and run LF full time. I traveled around the country doing shows and selling my swag, and it was a blast.
In 2009, I had the chance to move to China and improve my Mandarin. I fell in love with the place and I'm still here, two years later.
I currently run Linty Fresh (based in Georgia) from here in China and have started marketing it here locally as well. It's been quite an experience. Last year I started a documentary series on Vimeo called "Life in the Middle" all about my experiences here. I also started a monthly comic strip based on the same concept that is being published in a Chinese/English magazine here.
Aside from those projects, for a time I was designing and producing custom apparel (like wool coats and tailored suits) for customers overseas, but the headaches involved have forced me to take a hiatus for awhile.
I blog about a lot of this stuff, too, specifically when it comes to the cultural differences between China and the States and the interesting things I've learned along the way. I also analyze marketing and branding from time to time, as well as cataloging some of the processes behind design and running a company. You can read it here.