Thad Allender is a design and product entrepreneur based in New York. He specializes in e-commerce development for community-driven companies.
Background & Education
Thad Allender hails from the small town of Protection in western Kansas, a unique place that has shaped his values and interests. Growing up amidst the Great Plains, Thad cultivated a passion for the arts, nature, and history.
He pursued higher education at the University of Kansas, earning a degree in journalism in the winter of 2002. Following his graduation, Thad embarked on an adventurous journey to Chiapas, Mexico. He immersed himself in the local culture, living and working with a Zapatista community in the Lacandona Jungle.
Thad’s interests also include BMX. His teenage years spent documenting BMX led him to the world of photography and established his lifelong path as a visual communicator.
2022 – Present: Co-Founder/CEO/CTO, EcoHome
Thad currently leads EcoHome, a new SaaS platform designed to aid homeowners with estimating home building and renovation costs, and connecting them with reliable local contractors. It’s the ideal solution for anyone navigating the complex world of home renovations.
2017 – 2021: Founder/CEO/CTO, Visual Society
Thad created Visual Society to simplify online selling for photographers and artists. Through drop-shipping, self-fulfilled products, and marketing automation, Visual Society addresses specific challenges faced by creatives. The platform was acquired by Format.com in 2021.
2007 – Present: Founder/CEO/CTO, Graph Paper Press
In 2007, Thad launched Graph Paper Press, revolutionizing tools and designs for creatives using WordPress. By offering a simple way to build photography websites with fully-integrated e-commerce capabilities, Thad attracted 500,000 users and achieved over $1M in revenue within three years.
2007-2008: Multimedia Producer, USA TODAY
Prior to founding his companies, Thad worked as a multimedia producer at USA TODAY where he created online interactive stories on a wide-range of topics, including President Barack Obama’s inauguration, religion, and health care. His side project, Graph Paper Press, eventually led him to leave after a fruitful and memorable year.
2005-2008: Director of Photography, Lawrence Journal-World
Thad was the director of photography for the Lawrence Journal-World from 2005-2008, where he directed a team of photographers and visual journalists responsible for all the photographic content for “the newspaper of the future” (as described by The New York Times, 2005).
Clients & Awards
His photographic and multimedia work has been commissioned by USA TODAY, NPR, National Geographic Traveler and The New York Times. A few of his projects won national awards, including the Associate Press Managing Editors Award for Online Convergence – Mining’s Legacy: A scar on Kansas and NPPA Best of Photojournalism – First Place, In-depth Web – 24 Hours in the E.R.
Thad lives with his wife Abby in the Catskills in upstate NY where they work remotely from the woods, enjoy gardening, raising chickens, hiking, biking, cooking and swimming.
- Change is inevitable. Adapt.
- Demos, not memos.
- Don’t forget the neediest.
- Well done is better than well said.