People often ask me "Why did you start a t-shirt business?" I usually respond with a question asking them: "How many t-shirts do you own?" I've yet to get an answer to this question as most people have too many to count.
Mike Mancini - CEO - Designer Teez.com
A Very LONG History of Designer Teez.com.
Designer Teez was subliminally started back when I was a senior in high school when I was the captain of the hockey team and we wanted to have some t-shirts made for the players. We were doing a spin-off of The Late Show with David Letterman Top Ten List. We would have our team name on the front of the shirt and a top ten list on the back.
I decided to take it upon myself to go around to the team and have them make up the top ten list and then printed it up. I then designed a logo and drew it out on a piece of stencil paper and took it to a local t-shirt shop to get a quote. Then I had another idea. "Who else might want these t-shirts besides the 20 guys on the team?"
I went around school the next day with the images that I had printed up and told people that we would be selling hockey t-shirts. 2 days later I walked home from school and emptied a pile of cash out onto my bed. My mom happened to walk in when I was counting it and she immediately thought I was selling drugs. The next day I came home with another pocket full of money.
I ended up selling out the first order and had to place an additional order for more t-shirts and even a few sweatshirts for parents that wanted them. I think this was the beginning.
Fast forward 10 years - A friend of mine said that he wanted to start a t-shirt company making our own designer t-shirts. He knew about my past ideas and thought we could build on that. The problem was, we had the ideas, but to get all of these ideas onto shirts was going to be expensive because I had always contracted the printing of the t-shirts out because I didn't have the equipment to print them myself. So, I decided to start looking into what it would take to really start my own t-shirt business. I bought a one station - one color press and learned how to do it on my own. Then I got a website and the domain name, learned how to build it myself and we were off! Needless to say, the first few t-shirts were complete disasters.
The designer t-shirt business didn't work out in the long run, but I had learned a lot. I was doing it part time with my friend while still working my normal job. When we closed down the website I still had all of this t-shirt equipment just sitting in the closet.
Over the next couple of years, I would always think of a good t-shirt idea and finally decided to make some extra cash. I put the ideas up on eBay and started to get some orders immediately. They were just simple ideas that I knew that I could print in my spare time. The only problem was that I started to get a bit overwhelmed.
In August of 2007 I was working a normal day job and at night I would go home and work until the early morning hours trying to print and ship t-shirts. Pretty soon, this got to be too much and I decided to make a change to a full time t-shirt entrepreneur. The only problem was that I was married with a new baby boy who was only a few months old. Needless to say, my wife was pretty skeptical and I'll admit that she was probably not as nervous as I was.
November 28th, 2007 was the first full day of Designer Teez.com. It was a website with only 9 t-shirts. The website looked horrible, the images weren't the greatest, and I had no idea what I was doing trying to build an Internet business, but we were off and running.
What was Internet marketing? How do these search engines work? Why did I quit my day job to work twice as many hours to build a t-shirt business? I did have some experience in building a website and considered myself better than most when it came to navigating the web and learning how to use it to my advantage, but in the grand scheme of things I was completely inexperienced in the t-shirt business as a whole.
The questions would continue to mount over the next few days but what was about to happen, I could never have envisioned. Business exploded and we had to expand...new equipment, a new website, and a whole bunch of new t-shirts.
Here we are in 2010 with a new business plan dedicated to growth, inspiration, and the expansion of the customer service experience. We have sold tens of thousands of t-shirts and have learned something new about the customer service experience from every order and we will continue to do so with every future transaction.
I get comments sent to me every day asking; “Why don’t you have more t-shirts?” and statements like “You need more shirts!” This is something that we will be rolling out as time goes on, but our business was built on customer service and making sure that every customer is 100% satisfied. You can easily find 1000 other t-shirt websites on the Internet with more t-shirts than what we have, but we have built our business on the customer experience, and not on the idea that we have to make maximum profit on each t-shirt.
So please enjoy your time on Designer Teez.com as over the next several months you will continue to see, not only improvements and expansion, but a new kind of t-shirt shopping experience that you will not find anywhere else. This will take some time and you will see a lot of changes, but know that the same great customer service experience will always be available as this is what we built our business on.
Thanks for stopping by and please let us know how we can make your shopping experience better.
Mike Mancini - CEO