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 gave up 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. Our example can be extreme in terms of the things you may have to sacrifice, but just understand that sacrifice it comes with the territory.
What does the future hold for you and your business?
We are going to focus on what we do best — high-quality t-shirts and apparel delivered exactly when you need them. We also recently acquired two business. One is the fastest growing college & greek custom apparel companies in the space, SouthBySea. The other is a great blank reseller called TheDealRack and we have big things planned for both brands.