John LaRoy, CEO of Apparel Redefined, discusses the significance of reputation equity with premium branded apparel in marketing strategies for small businesses, emphasizing the importance of understanding the target market, creating unique experiences, and fostering a sense of community through premium branded apparel. He also highlights effective branding strategies, including the need for alignment between marketing spend and the brand’s value, and the role of sustainability in storytelling and branding. John talks about the challenges of balancing eco-friendliness with cost-effectiveness in the manufacturing industry, with a focus on the apparel decoration sector.

Key Highlights 

• Branded apparel’s role in building reputation equity for businesses. 0:02
• Marketing strategies for small businesses, including branded apparel and social media. 8:48
• Branded apparel for small businesses and its impact on marketing. 12:43
• Marketing strategies for premium brands, including storytelling and alignment. 17:18
• Sustainability in the apparel industry. 23:17
• Apparel industry trends, print on demand, and sustainability with CEO of Apparel Redefined. 29:00

Presentation Transcription

Curt Anderson  00:02

All right. Hey guys, we’re here with CEO of Apparel Redefined John LaRoy. John, how are you my friend?

John LaRoy  00:08

I’m good, Curt. How are you?

Curt Anderson  00:10

I’m doing awesome. So hey, we’ve got a great conversation. And we were kind of, we were jamming last week. And we’re talking about some different topics. And we started talking about branded, really your reputation equity and through brand, right? So we want to talk about building your reputation equity with premium branded apparel. So I’ve got a bunch of questions prepared for you. I hope you’re sitting down, you’re ready for this. So let’s dive in. What role does branded apparel play in building reputation equity for businesses? And why is it just so mission critical for today’s market,

John LaRoy  00:44

but I think everyone can agree. And what we’re wearing today, I think kind of proves it, you know, growing up in the suit and tie world that was my dad, and everyone that I knew, you know, you, you look different by what tie you’re wearing and color the suit. But other than that, it was pretty, pretty similar. There really wasn’t an opportunity, essentially, to advertise who you are and what you work for other than the standard paper business card. So with the advent of a more casual workplace, and the ever present marketing, your shirt, your T shirt, your polo your quarters, whatever it is, is now a canvas to promote your logo, which is a representative of your brand is a small piece of your brand, but it’s a big piece. Most people are visual visual learners, and seeing that logo starts to convey a message inside your brain about what you either perceive or what you’ve been told about that certain brand person what have you. So yeah, long story short, as the workplace becomes less formal. The opportunity for brand conveyance through apparel is really that first additional impression that you get, as a business salesperson as business leader, what have you, when you go into a place of business, or someone sees your, your apparel? That first impression is very key, you know, as much as you don’t want to talk about stereotyping. It’s an innate human construct that we all go through, you know, positively or negatively. It’s helped us survive, you know, throughout all of Homo sapien history, you have that that stereotype that instantly says a good bad, whatever, and, and a reaction. So it’s really important. It’s really important. Yeah,

Curt Anderson  02:38

I gosh, I couldn’t live that more. So, you know, for small businesses out there entrepreneurs can be nonprofits, schools, sports teams, you know, making that great first impression, especially on a business side. So say, you know, if you’re in the service sector, you’re servicing somebody’s home, or somebody’s coming into your business, like you said, You’ve got one chance to make that great first impression. Let’s dive into the next question I have for you, what are some key factors for si entrepreneurs, small businesses, when they are designing premium branded apparel that resonates with their target audience?

John LaRoy  03:08

Key factors is consistency. Right? You know, I think everyone has a web presence. Now, obviously, that’s what brought us together. But you should have consistency of look from your web to your physical world. In terms of logo messaging, color, color is a big component of it, you know, the brain associates certain feelings with certain colors. So if you automatically are conveying a sense of trust, because what you see on the website, on the business card on the mailer, that comes to your house, whatever it is, it should align with whatever the brand or logo it is, that you’re you’re wearing, if not, there’s going to be a disconnect, and then your brain will automatically start associating distrust with that, even if there’s nothing to distrust, you’re going to inherently feel that that emotion. Secondly, is function, right, you know, like you said, service company that’s coming to your house, probably not come in and, you know, a full button poplin with a tie, you know, I mean, it’s, that guy should probably be in some type of moisture, moisture management, wrinkle free, easy care, that coincides with the function of the position or, or job that they’re willing to perform. But then also, you know, on the backside of it, keeping it clean, durability, all that type of stuff. So we have a marriage of function of the garment. Plus the logo conveys a really good look.

Curt Anderson  04:35

Yeah, just keep maintaining that professionalism or fun or again, whatever that culture message that you’re trying to communicate to the community. You know, if you’re targeting kids, adults, whatever, let’s dive in to speak in the community. That’s what I’m I love to dive into next, you know, you think of like the big brands, you know, the Harley Davidson and some different brands that you know, just, you know, for decades have done such an amazing job building that community. Let’s talk about you know, so for a small business So how does a premium branded up? How does premium branded apparel contribute to fostering a sense of community, especially like getting customers and in the employees, you know, to buy into, you know, the message that you’re trying to convey? It’s a

John LaRoy  05:13

great question, right? Because when you talk about brand, the bigger companies have such an advantage with the marketing spend, right? You know, how do you take whatever 66 times for someone to understand or remember a message, right? The amount of money that’s spent on marketing today, compared to where it was years ago, on an all out assault, you know, not just on TV, radio, now you have social you have, you know, still you have, you know, snail mail and stuff like that, but email marketing, there are so many ways they can get you. So as a small business that doesn’t have that type of budget, or reach or breadth. First, it really comes down to what do you do? And what do you say, right. And that’s the biggest reflection of your brand, because most of your vote, your business interaction is what you say, and what you’re doing with your customers and your employees, right. And then simply that logo, if it’s good, it’s just a reflection of what you’ve already done within your community, whether it be you know, your business community, your networking community, your client, community, and your internal client, your employees. So really, you know, like, people think like, if I started with this logo, that’s going to bring me all this, that’s not the case, right? Your your business operation as a core is your brand, right? And then the logo is a reflection of it. Now, some logos are better than other others. But really, it’s about what you do internally. So it’s more of like a grassroots effort from the small business side, about what you’re doing. And really, for me, your brand is really a relationship, that relationship you have with your customer, what is your guarantee? What is your promise, and it’s not again, just with your customers with your employee? So that’s where you really should start your focus. I mean, for us current, like, you know, we haven’t had any marketing or any branding, really, you know, we’re kind of the company that exists in the background, similar to you, I guess, that helps company, other companies build their brand, we do it through promotional apparel, corporate branding, uniforming, all that type of stuff. You guys do it through web presence, right? Seo, there’s a multiple, multiple attack approach on how to do it. But originally, it starts with what is your core values? What is your business? What is your promise to your customer, and then over time, that brand equity starts developing with the momentum that you’ve created as a business to kind of have that that logo be in outsource reflection of an internal commitment to your client, and to your employees? And why does it matter? I mean, for your employees, you know, I don’t want to get back into the psychology part of things. But like, if you think of like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, right? The most essential need humans have is to feel belonging to a community, right? And what conveys belonging more than wearing a uniform that someone wants to wear, not like your old high school uniform that everyone had to wear. But hey, I’m part of a team, I’m part of a group, and how do I signify that, you know, with a logo, right, and colors, and all that type of stuff that goes way back into tribal times. And that’s what they did to convey, hey, I’m part of this tribe, right? That’s essentially what we’re doing. You’re a part of apparel, redefine, these are our colors. Here’s your T shirt, here’s your department, your specific even getting down to a tribe within a tribe. It’s important, and once people feel safe, and they feel connected with a team, that’s when you really start seeing some, some, you know, some amazing things happen. Yeah, excellent, amazing that that power of, of just apparel, just a t shirt can do all of that. Yeah,

Curt Anderson  08:48

much, much more than just, you know, turn on a t shirt today. It’s that badge of honor. I just I couldn’t love that more. Boy, for folks listening, you know, hit that replay button. What is your promise, especially, you know, and again, whether you’re nonprofit, you’re a for profit, small business. You know, you think about civic pride, you know, we all root for our professional sports teams, you know, you’ve got your mug right there, or, you know, our alma mater, you know, we were talking about your college, you know, so it’s just, it’s taking that civic pride. And so I just I love that whether you’re a two person shop, or a 500 person shop, or bigger, you know, having that that sense of community is just so critical. Let’s dive into you know, let’s say there’s an entrepreneur out there listening, like, Gee, I really didn’t pay much attention to this. I didn’t realize how important this was. Let’s talk about measurement. How do you measure that impact? So let’s dive into what are some ways that somebody can really measure their branded apparel initiatives or that reputation equity?

John LaRoy  09:42

I’ll start with my comments, but I really think there’s a question I’d like to ask, you know, because they’re, like I said before, there are so many different approaches to marketing now and pushing your brand that were not available 15 years ago, not even five years ago, right. So you have but that’s a good thing. You know, there’s a yin and yang with everything. Like, before these corporations would spend mega bucks on marketing, you had no idea really what that translated to your return on investment right? Now you can get really granular on your spend, on, you know, measuring your traction within a customer base. You know, the simplest, the simplest form is asking for testimonials, right? And asking for those testimonials at point of sale after the point of sale. You know, a simple survey monkey, you know, it doesn’t cost very much email campaign, get it out there and get in front of your customers. But then as you get into like a B testing on your marketing campaigns, you can really start measuring, you know, a small test to see how that works for you. And then kind of extrapolate on what’s working, what’s not. And these are all tools that are new to us in the marketplace. When I say new new to me, they’ve been around for, you know, at least I don’t think a decade yet, but probably approaching it, but they’re still relatively new. So even the tools within each platform, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or x, tick tock, they all have something because they want you to advertise and they will get you to advertise if you can measure success within there. But that’s that’s my opinion. Carter love to get yours now.

Curt Anderson  11:09

Yeah. Dude, you’re we were right on the same page. This is fantastic. Because, you know, you know, we’re you I’m a history buff. And so, you know, it’s thinking back, you know, as a small business owner, how did you break through? You know, you know, you’re in Chicago, you know, Ridley, you know what he did? He outspent the competition. You know, you and I always talked about, hey, how do we out teach the competition? How can we be educators like we’re doing right now. Right, Wrigley, if you studied Wrigley, he did an amazing job where he you know, he had billboards all over downtown Chicago, and he really aggressively he had outspend the competition to get his gum out there. You know, you think about what came to mind as you were talking Savannah, bananas, you know, I’m a big baseball fan. They just sold out Fenway Park. And so you think about, you know, the initiative, grassroots that you’re talking about, we’re today with my cell phone, and what we’re doing right here, this interview are alive, where, you know, it’s it’s understanding your target market that you and I always talk about? And where are they hanging out? And how can we get that message to them, try to build that trust that education, you mentioned testimonials or reviews, mission critical. That’s one of the best ways to get that social proof. But again, you know, with with social media, we can either ignore it, or online presence, or you can go all in and there’s, you know, I don’t know if there’s been a cheaper way, or means to really efficiently get your message out there, then we exactly what we’re doing right now. So I’m totally on the same page with you. Yes. Let’s dive into some. One more

John LaRoy  12:35

thing there. Yeah, please, please get the savannah bananas. It’s an amazing case study to really awesome watch on that Netflix series. Have you got some time to check it out? Yeah, I’m a baseball guy my whole life. And, you know, like, I was kind of like, What the hell is this? You know, it’s a gimmick, right? And like, who would liked it? But I’m starting to watch. I haven’t been with game, but I watched, you know, some of the concepts. And I’m like, they’re really successful in markets that don’t have a professional team, right. But the experience and I talked about this a lot with a lot of people like, the American economy is transferred for different times, like, from a product economy, to a service economy. And now like it was a blend of product and service and knowledge and experience economy, right. And like, Savannah, bananas couldn’t epitomize that more words, like, it’s a unique experience. Everyone’s pretty much been to a baseball game in our life. And that’s a good and a bad thing. But now, how do you do something a little bit different, and they’ve elevated the experience that’s unique every time it’s a little bit different experience. And they didn’t do a lot of marketing, but you went to that and you’re like, hey, Kurt, he’s we’ve been to a bananas game. And it’s like, no, you gotta check it out. You know, it’s two hours, it’s, it’s wild. I know if like your baseball peers might not like it, but just just go experience and like that, as a small business. That experience you have with your customer is your marketing. Yeah.

Curt Anderson  14:04

No doubt, man. And I have a savannah, bananas baseball hat. I went on vacation, my family and we read a professional baseball game and a couple of people like, Hey, nice hat, you know, I mean, and you think, you know, so I grew up, I’m much older than you. I grew up, you know, as a big Harlem Globetrotters fan. And, you know, you know, in similar concept, and you know, I’m a big follower of the concept, blue ocean strategy. So, our entrepreneurs out there following us strongly, boy, if you haven’t read that book, I encourage you to go out and grab that. But as you’re saying, you know, the epitome of that blue ocean, what’s that blue ocean, you know, you can see the red ocean where it’s all bloody and other sharks are swimming, or try to create something unique and dynamic. And that’s exactly what the savannah bananas have done. And we can geek out all day on this. So. So again, for our entrepreneurs, nonprofits, you’re trying to get your message, build your culture, you know, like how it’s just taken that one step and it’s out every little step builds, the bigger cause the bigger culture, right? And it can start with what you how you dress, how, you know, dress for success, that type of thing, right? Let’s dive into some mistakes. Okay, you’ve been in this business for a long time, you know, great entrepreneur, what are some pitfalls that you would recommend for folks out there really to avoid where they, you know, maybe some missteps with branded apparel?

John LaRoy  15:23

Yeah, at first, I would say like, not understanding who your market is, whether that would be your employees or your your clients. You know, there’s a lot of trinkets, you know, in the promotional space. And we do a lot of that, too, that you think people might like, or you think that might resonate with them or get them to buy from you. And it can, but it’s really challenging in that in that space to stick out with a USB, or a pen or a piece paper, unless you already have an established relationship with that client to get your foot in the door and start with, you know, some decorated pens or a mug. It’s very difficult, right, and you might be sent spending dollars and not understanding the ROI on it, because it’s hard to track in that in that space. But if you can make something that inherently that person goes back into, to wear, and they don’t know why. But it feels good. It’s a cool logo. And then all of a sudden, it’s like oh my god, like I’m conveying, or I’m matching this unique experience, or this unique piece of branded apparel with that company. And and that’s the best form of advertising, you’re walking around your daily lives, you know, wearing wearing a t shirt of a company. I mean, you look at it, and it’s pretty, it’s weird to see, but people absolutely lose their minds at a professional game back to that more semi pro over a t shirt. And as probably, you know, a double x with a, you know, some wrong rendition of a company logo that they want to get rid of or logo, but it is amazing to see the power of apparel. But yeah, so back to some of the pitfalls, I would say. If you have a limited budget, which I assume that you do as a small business, we all do. Figuring out which and where those dollars can make the most impact. And then figuring out what happens after that that touch point is essentially that marketing and that promotional apparel is a touch point, what happens after that, right? What’s paired with that T shirt. So it’s not just a t shirt, or a quarter zip, or a pen or a mug. What’s the follow up? What, what is that pen? Or is that T shirt conveying about your brand that no one else has been able to convey with the same, same medium? And does it match with what you’re trying to do? If you’re a premium, you know, real estate agent, and you’re sending out a $5 T shirt that doesn’t jive. Right, you should be sending out, you know, potentially a rollback or a you know, a Nike or one of the premium lines that say I’m a premium broker, and I’m a premium, you know, here’s here’s $150, polo or whatever. But if you’re, you know, different side of that market, and you’re looking on the lowest cost provider of this, you know, then if you send $120 Nike quarters up while it’s like if they can afford to send this and what are they doing here? So, right, yeah, so it’s just it’s alignment, you know, and making sure that you you get the best bang for your buck and your marketing spend. Another pitfall is not understanding. I see this at the high school level and collegiate level all the time, they pay big bucks for a marketing marketing branding book, and they get their PMS color value. And they’re like, this is what my color is. And that’s actually not the color that they think because they’ve been wearing something or they have apparel created with a certain blue with a certain orange. But the branding guide says this is your blue, and it might be on paper blue and it translates to garment or to the physical world. That colors a little bit off. So always recommend you can have your PMS and that’s a really good starting point for what PMS

Curt Anderson  19:17

real quick chat for. Yeah, real quick for folks that don’t know what EMF stands for. What is that?

John LaRoy  19:24

Yeah, it’s not certain time of the month, right? Pantone Matching system. So if you ever walked through hardware store or Home Depot or whatever, and you see all those color swatches for paint, it’s actually it’s essentially those little chips or those little slots. That is the color if you flip it over, there’s a number back there which tells us as a decorator what color you want. So if color is really important to making sure that your color is dialed in with your provider of print, and then also your logo, right? It makes it very difficult on people like us if your logos not dunwell Now we have the services that can can do that for you. But there’s words in the industry like vector png.ai, that’s a digital graphic representation of your designs are going to be expanded and contracted without distorting your image at the highest resolution possible. So making sure you got that taken care of as well is a really good starting point. And it’s foundational, because once you have that, then you can put that anywhere in everywhere without having to go back to a graphic designer or whatever, because you have your digital assets, as we call, ready for production.

Curt Anderson  20:34

Right. Couple of great points there that alignment. And again, I’m going to go back to what you said earlier, you know, what’s your promise, you know, so as you’re trying to decipher, and I’d say, for our friends that attend trade shows, you know, we’ve all gone to the trade shows where there’s swag everywhere, and everybody’s trying to be the most unique, you know, person in the room. And the fun swag, you know, it’s really, you know, you’ve mentioned this repeatedly, understand that customer, understand your solution, understand your value that you bring to the market, that’s going to help you avoid a lot of those pitfalls. Let’s dive into storytelling. Okay, your brand can actually tell a story, you know, hey, Company was founded in the 20s, or third generation or whatever it might be, what are some great situations, examples that you’ve seen on how storytelling can really tie in with your premium brand?

John LaRoy  21:21

Yeah, it’s, it’s a really appointment. There’s so many examples out there, like the first one. You know, and it’s hard, but the stories don’t develop overnight, it takes time. And, you know, for example, like, if anything a Coleman, right, Coleman, Coleman makes camping equipment, camping gear, but they also make apparel. But if you were gonna go hike up Mount Everest against a Coleman jacket, you’re going to take a north face jacket, right? And like, just that story that just the name and little logo, the mountains conveys to that customer. is powerful, right? And it’s been delivered over time over marketing. Now, like in that same example, if you have Patagonia, you have north face in that same space, you know, now it’s like, okay, like, they’re both conveying a similar message, which one has more brand equity with that specific customer? And it might be geographic, right? You might be saying, hey, North Face has got this part of the market, this United States or world cornered and Patagonia has got this and that, and that happens, right? Same type of thing. I mean, like, we were just at this conference and Guy Raz, you know, he was there talking about some some entrepreneur stories, some marketing story, Eragon and, you know, the liquid death guy, like, it’s an amazing story. And, you know, failed 1314 Maybe, I think, mostly 18 times. And, you know, his business mentor essentially said, Hey, find a space where it’s not as competitive, right? And you can really stand out very easily. He goes, I got it. I got and I’m coming back bottled water. And he’s like, do you not listen to a frickin word I said, he’s like, that’s owned by Nestle and Coke, and you’re never going to be able to crack it. And he’s like, Yes, I will. And, you know, up until like, this conference, I thought liquid death was like another seltzer beer. Yeah, I had no idea. It was just water. It’s just water.

Curt Anderson  23:15

So I’ll send you the podcasts. He was on guy res, like a month or two ago is a fascinating story. And I didn’t I just as you’re saying, I was at I was at a show thing in Miami. And we were at like a, it was like a food truck, you know, bunch of food trucks or whatever, and somebody wanted water. The only water I could buy was a can of liquid death. I have a picture of a woman that was in this conference with us and she’s holding this liquid death and really, it’s just water. Yeah, that guy is absolutely brilliant doing hundreds of millions of dollars because of a brand in an unserved market that he that he targeted and went after. But

John LaRoy  23:51

I mean, look at this right here like I’m not a liquid death customer. Right? I don’t know if you are, I’ve seen it. I didn’t understand it. But then I heard this story, just a story. And I’ve told the same story to probably 10 people and who knows those times all the time people but like his his story is almost more powerful than his brand and his brand is very powerful and say what comes first the chicken or the egg right? It’s a brand actually comes after the story. You have to have story for the brand to evolve right. But yeah, it’s it’s is it’s great that like it perfects you know, when you have these conversations, you always tell your story or story story. And it almost gets a little exhausting, or it’s like I don’t really people, I don’t think people care about my story. And that’s how I’ve been operating for 1819 years. And I think some people you know, you have to get out of your own head. Let people decide if they like your story. You don’t have to decide either way. Yeah,

Curt Anderson  24:46

dude, great comment right there. Let other people decide if they you know, like, let’s you know that word assume, right. We just always assume I do it all the time. You know, and I just I wish I did. But just you assume something. Are you assume this assume that that is a I take he the back to liquid death? And we’ll move on to the next question. You know, he was targeting the folks that were drinking the, you know, we’re like, yeah, the monster drink something. And you know, there were like 90 degree weather and he was like, well, they need water, but they don’t want, you know, great, great story. Let’s dive, let’s slide in. I know, we got man, we could be here all day. Let’s talk about sustainability. Okay, let, obviously that’s huge. Especially, you know, God bless the younger generation, they’re really embracing this part and heavy. What role does sustainability play in the production and the promotion of premium branded apparel? From what you’ve seen?

John LaRoy  25:39

A lot. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s definitely two opposing forces, because sustainability is not, I mean, I think anyone in a manufacturing setting Kurt, any of your customers, sustainability is not eco friendly, or it’s eco friendly, but it’s not economy friendly. In terms of cost effectiveness, it’s becoming better, but 1015 years ago, when we started getting chemicals, on our supply side, the production side, you could do it, but it was probably 10x, the cost of the other stuff, right. And it was like, this won’t be adapted until it’s brought down to more of a reasonable cost, which it has, and in our industry specifically, right. And we started doing that stuff a long time ago, not so much for the client facing reasons, but more internally, you know, we we have, you know, 60 plus people that are, you know, producing our, our work every day. And it’s important to me that people are safe and are using, you know, stuff that’s not harmful to them. And that does translate to the other side to the customer as well. Because, you know, you can be confident that if you are selling that to your end user, and the end user values that, that it’s actually actually acted upon, and actionable. Because so many times you see these empty messages. And there they go on proven, you know, and I’m not going to name some big industry names, but all they do is convey their commitment to consciousness and sustainability. But what are their actions? Like, there’s difference between words and actions? And the words are there, but the actions not, you know, because we see it and it’s like, okay, you know, you can’t you can’t fool the guy that the company that’s doing your stuff. But yeah, it’s it’s interesting. But yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s crazy when you think of the number two, I think, culprit or filler of landfills, is what would you guess, Kurt? Gosh,

Curt Anderson  27:47

my first game was diapers. Yeah. What is it, it’s apparel,

John LaRoy  27:54

you know, like the American American and global consumer is buying more and more apparel, which is good. But it’s also going to waste, you know, whether it be wrong, or this or that. So, we’re finding ways and people within the industry to take that recycle it and turn it into new new stuff, just the same way, like liquid death cans, you know, but yeah, there’s, there’s a massive focus on it, because there needs to be, but it needs to be done in the right way. You know, there needs to be a focus that actually goes back, you know, beyond the words into the action, right? Because other than that, you’re a hypocrite. And that’s one of the things I cannot stand. And you can feel it, you can feel it, you could talk to people and know when they’re real or not. And I feel like company messaging you can feel when it’s real or not. And there’s, there’s, you know, it’s an uphill battle. But it’s something that, you know, should be done, and mainly for the fact that we want our we want our employees to be surrounded by stuff that is not harmful. Right. Exactly.

Curt Anderson  29:01

Make those future generations proud as a father of young kids, right. So all right, and that all right, let’s start I mean, we could be here all day, we’ve got much more to cover over the weeks ahead. Let’s go here. Looking ahead. What trends do you foresee or what what’s what are you really excited about when it comes to you know, your company premium branded apparel? What’s on the horizon for you?

John LaRoy  29:24

I think, print on demand, you know, like we used to call Justin time, you know, back in our college days, but like just in time apparel is something that is not new, but the execution of it is ever, ever changing and getting better. You know, the old way of doing things, especially if you’re an emerging brand growing brand, you’d have a warehouse somewhere in the Midwest with all your skews and all your sizes already printed and stocked. And it was a massive commitment upfront of resources, time, space, all that type of stuff and you didn’t know what was going to happen. Are you gonna have winners, you’re gonna have losers, you’re gonna have a segment of the market you didn’t expect to buy, like, you didn’t know that every guy that was buying your T shirt was a size medium, when you expected it to be an XL and I are always out of medium. So the print on demand space has really allowed so many people like, again, like the American economy, another transition is the gig economy. Right? You know, 15 years ago, you never would have gotten a car with a stranger. Now people do it every day, you know? Yeah, technologies in, you know, allow that to happen enable that to happen. And the same thing is, you know, there are so many different ways and abilities and people and things selling merch, but how do they do it? Well, and how do you do it with the minimal amount of risk and most my reward, and this, this vertical for us has really allowed that to happen. And a high quality, right, you know, like, we’ve been in the industry for almost 20 years, in a specific vertical screen printing embroidery and the oldest vertical, really in apparel decoration. And in the last five to seven years, you’ve had major advances of a new technology that really can get a screen print feel and durability, because that’s essentially what people like, hey, I want screen printing. Why? Because it feels great, and it lasts long. And those are really good things. Because if you want to build a brand that’s built on stability, durability, quality, and feel, these are things that you need to consider. And previously digital was not able to do that. And now we can. There’s a next frontier that we’ll get into later, that digital still has to kind of conquer, but everything’s an evolution and it will get better. But the where it’s at right now, for that specific vertical and market is phenomenal.

Curt Anderson  31:52

Yeah, that’s fantastic. You know, it’s not a revolution, it’s an evolution. It’s just, you know, in, you know, I was a logistics guy in college 100 years ago, and you know, just in time boy, he was just like, just, you know, hammered that just in time. And like you said, that’s a huge component for staying. Sustainability is just not making waste, not making products that people don’t need. And so that alone, I commend you compliment you. And the team at apparel redefined and how you’ve made that commitment there. Let’s start writing down. John, I know we’re going to we’re going to pick up the sequence and we’re going to be putting out all sorts of fun information. Can you still see that TV over to your left up there? Yeah. What’s once you read that quote to us?

John LaRoy  32:33

screensaver came on for a second, here they come? What does this winning is a habit. And second, winning is a habit. Watch your thoughts, they become your beliefs, watch your beliefs. They become your words, watch your words, they become your actions, watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Well, so

Curt Anderson  32:56

and who? Who happened to say that? It’s

John LaRoy  33:00

Vince Lombardi. That’s my son’s namesake and one of my personal heroes. Nice.

Curt Anderson  33:04

Awesome. Well, John, let’s close out on this party thoughts, words of wisdom for folks today? Would you like to leave us with

John LaRoy  33:13

gratitude? I’m really thankful for this opportunity. Kurt, you and your team have been phenomenal at b2b retail. And pushing me you know, it’s like, everyone needs to be coached, right? I don’t care who you are. Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, everyone’s got to coach you’re never at the top. And there’s always a part of your game, your business your life that can improve. And if you ever think that it can’t, you’re, you’re very wrong, and you need an ego check. So yeah, I just want to say thank you and keep pushing, you know, there’s there’s always there’s always there should always be a want to be better, no matter what you’re doing. And the reward is the journey.

Curt Anderson  33:58

The reward is the journey. Well, thank you my friend again, here with John LaRoy, CEO of apparel redefined. And John, thank you for just sharing all this wisdom and just, you know, lots of strategies for competitive advantages for folks out there. And we’re going to keep these conversations going and we’ll close out for today. So thank you very much for listening.

John LaRoy  34:18

Thanks for Thanks, guys.

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