Case Study

Real Thread

Envy helped Real Thread break into a new tier of online retail.

Mark Kendall Drew Powers Matt Schultz

Project Details

The Client

Real Thread shirt printers in Orlando, FL

The Real Thread team

Project Goals

  1. Reduce time spent generating quotes

    Real Thread spent thousands of hours per year generating manual quotes. A system could save their team from tedious calculation as well as give users the power to adjust options and see pricing in real-time.

  2. Give users the power to design shirts

    Competitors’ sites offer drag-and-drop shirt builders for users to see their designs before continuing. Envy could build that, no sweat.

  3. Let the site handle itself

    Real Thread relies on Salesforce for many aspects of their business, from customer outreach to quoting to supplies. If the website can tap into that, Real Thread can just do their thing, and the website will automatically have all the latest products and customer order info.

Research + Prototype

First Steps

Real Thread had already started the design process with Drew Smith (who handled design for the project), but needed Envy to complete the interactive picture.

The initial application state, pre-Envy

Rebrand by Mackey

Meanwhile, Real Thread was planning the ol’ one-two punch by releasing a new identity along with the new website thanks to the high-level talents of Mackey Saturday.

Real Thread’s rebrand

UX Consultation

Envy provided UX consultation, working with Drew Smith to take the shirt builder experience to the next level both visually and interactively.

Application wireframes
Design + Build

Rails +
Salesforce +
Heroku = 👍

Real Thread’s entire product catalog is now fully online and fully up-to-date via Heroku Connect. Users can browse everything Real Thread offers, and Real Thread keeps it updated it in Salesforce—the same place they manage their inventory and business operations. Convenient for everybody.

Live Shirt Previews

The biggest questions when designing a shirt are Which fabric? and Which color? Real Thread’s new builder allows users to upload artwork and see their artwork instantly on any color imaginable without having to wait for Real Thread to design & deliver mockups. We also performed some image optimizations to deliver Real Thread’s shirt images 5.5× faster.

Complete Customer Control

Envy hooked up Real Thread’s order approval page—complete with high-res mockups—to their live pricing structure managed in Salesforce. Customers can request free revisions, chat with the Real Thread staff, and also refine their quantity & options and see the total cost update in real-time. All before they’ve paid a single penny.



Customer Response: 100× faster

It used to take 24 hours for Real Thread to deliver quotes. Now the quotes are instant—all it takes is 15 minutes from a client to decide what they want.

60 Hours Saved / week

Real Thread was able to meet the need of 2.5× the number of customers with the exact same staff and workload (they delivered 1,011 quotes in May 2016, up from 404 one year prior, with no personnel changes). For them, this is roughly the equivalent of 60 man-hours saved per week. And their quality of service was better, to boot!

Data-informed decisions

Thanks in part to Ruby on Rails’ scalability and platform flexibility, Real Thread has been able to tap into analytics platforms like Optimizely, KISSmetrics, and Heap on a granular level. This new level of insight has helped Real Thread better understand their customers’ online interactions, improve their customer service, and increase conversions in the process.


Any challenge that might stand in the way of your idea will be solved by Envy. The communication process is bar none.

Jordan Schiller, Director of Growth
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