Real Thread produces innovative, retail ready custom screen printed apparel using water based & discharge inks for superior quality. Original founder, Dru Dalton, started his first printing business in college. Like most students, he needed a way to fund his “fun” activities. Bartending wasn’t his thing, so he started printing t-shirts in 2007. It wouldn’t be until 2009 that he would start Real Thread and decide to exclusively print using water based and discharge.

In this episode Dru discusses how he built a digital operating system for Real Thread, the struggles of getting that system implemented, and how it’s changed the game for their business.

Links from the Episode:
Show Notes:
  • How Real Thread started [1:45]
  • “If it’s not chaotic something might be wrong” - struggles of scaling [3:40]
  • The importance of building a custom system when you want to create a specific experience [4:40]
  • How Dru focused on what mattered most when developing a new system for Real Thread [6:50]
  • What Dru would say to himself looking back on building a custom system [9:10]
  • How did Dru’s employees pushback on his decision [10:50]
  • The challenges once development started [14:20]
  • The difference between a good and a bad developer [16:00]
  • Launching before it’s perfect [19:00]
  • How has the new system improved the processes at Real Thread [21:14]
  • Technology is for every business and the best will use it to improve [23:16]
  • Dru’s 3 tips on creating a faster, stronger, and more reliable business [23:45]


Our podcast music is titled Oh God by The Soldier Story.

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