Michael Nemeroff is the CEO and co-founder of RushOrderTees, a family-owned and operated eCommerce custom apparel company. Founded in 2002 when Michael was a Junior in highschool, RushOrderTees specializes in quick turnaround times for anyone from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Over the past 18 years the company has focused on improving its processes and is currently the industry leader with its state-of-the-art design studio and quality guarantee.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
My brother, sister, and I became entrepreneurs out of necessity. Our parents had a successful business which was seriously struggling when my siblings and I were very young — I was 8 years old at the time. After a 20+ year career in the fashion industry, they lost everything to the point of bankruptcy and an eventual shutdown. Our house was being foreclosed on because they could no longer afford the mortgage. Sometimes, we would come home from school and there would be a sheriff’s notice of foreclosure on our front door. It was the scariest thing to try to understand at such a young age. When you don’t know where you’re going to live or how the family will support itself, it’s pretty motivating.
What are some sacrifices you’ve made to get to where you are?
Growing a business is easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Sacrifice goes hand-in-hand with entrepreneurship.
My brother, sister and I all sacrificed school for the business. We sacrificed fun, time with friends, socializing, college, traveling…etc.
I wasn’t able to graduate from high school because I barely attended due to the demands of our business. The only time I set foot on a college campus was to sign up for classes, but at the final step, I asked the person enrolling me if I’d have to pay if I signed. He responded, “Yes, of course.” It was at that moment I realized I had to make a decision — go to school or stick with my family. I remember dropping the pen on the table right there, apologized, and walked out. It was one of the scariest things I’d ever done. I’d have to leave my family and the business behind and I couldn’t do it.
What does the future hold for you and your business?
We are going to focus on what we do best at RushOrderTees— high-quality t-shirts and apparel delivered exactly when you need them. We also recently acquired one of the fastest growing college & greek custom apparel companies in the space, SouthBySea.