Garrick Jacobi, CEO of Fully Promoted Idaho, and John LaRoy, CEO of Apparel Redefined, discuss branded apparel strategies. They talk about entrepreneurial challenges, building authentic brands, and navigating industry transformations. They emphasize the importance of resilience, perseverance, and a long-term perspective in entrepreneurship, as well as the value of confidence, innovation, and authenticity in driving growth and success.

John and Garrick also stress the importance of prioritizing customer success, measuring customer success as a barometer for business success, and building a strong culture and teamwork in a business. Additionally, they highlight the role of branded apparel in differentiating a business and creating a strong organizational culture, and the significance of understanding a business’s ‘why’ behind its ‘what’ in creating effective branded apparel.

Key Highlights

• Entrepreneurship journey, challenges, and lessons learned. 0:02
• Entrepreneurship, business growth, and customer success. 4:22
• Prioritizing customer relationships and quality service for business growth. 10:52
• Entrepreneurship challenges and overcoming failures. 15:31
• Entrepreneurship, growth, and team management. 20:31
• Branded apparel’s importance in building culture and standing out in a competitive market. 26:15
• The power of branded apparel to evoke emotions and create a sense of belonging. 32:00
• Industry changes, personal growth, and networking. 37:41

Presentation Transcription

Curt Anderson  00:02

Hey, hello there. Welcome to Apparel Redefined, and we’ve got a great, amazing, incredible guest. John, where are you finding these awesome guests every week now?

John LaRoy  00:13

I don’t know. I’m going in the right places, I guess. Now, but actually, I met Garrick at a conference called throat acts out in Salt Lake at the Robert Redford resort, which was amazing. But yeah, we met on I think day two, and a ziplining tour. And it was pretty cool. Well,

Curt Anderson  00:31

that’s fantastic. Well, Garrick Jacobi, welcome. Thank you for joining us today. I know you’re super busy as CEO of fully promoted Idaho. How are you my friend?

Garrick Jacobi  00:42

I’m doing good man living the dream every day in my life. Live in

Curt Anderson  00:45

a dream. So yeah, and you’ve got some great little banners behind you. So all right, we’ve got a lot to unpack lots uncover and just Could you share a little bit, just your background, we’re gonna slide into your entrepreneurial journey. And we’re going to dive into your company what you guys do, but just give us your give us a little tidbit before we went live, but just share a little bit what’s going on from your background?

Garrick Jacobi  01:07

Yeah, like I mentioned earlier, my study biology in college, I thought I was going to become a pharmacist and somehow became a screen printer. You know, written standard origin story for a college. Attendee right. No, I, I remember, I was literally standing in the pharmacy one day. And I was I was counting pills. Um, because that’s what you do. And you’re a technician, you count pills all day, I was I was basically like, illegal drug dealer. And I’m sitting there counting pills in. I just had this like moment where I’m like, I don’t want to count pills the rest of my life. And so the desire to like help people out with their health and fitness was was it kind of lost its luster a little bit. Because it’s a lot less glamorous than what you think once you’re actually in the pharmacy. And no knock on pharmacist, I think that they serve a great purpose. And they study a very difficult education to get to where they need to, but I just didn’t see that in my future. So my dad called me up one day and said he wanted to buy a business. He had been laid off for the first time in his life. But he got a nice severance. So we went in on a business called EmbroidMe. We’re 5050 partners on it. And it was it was the worst first year of my life for like, all things that I could have possibly encountered. I got that year, Forbes had like a top 10 most stressful things you can do. And one of them was starting your own business, which basically, even though we bought to resell, the business’s best year ever was $150,000 in six years. So for most business people, you imagine that’s not a very profitable business. And so we had, we had an uphill battle, but on that list, it was like starting a business, buying your home, getting married. Having a child I think those were like the top four things. And in that year, I did all basically in about a year and a half. I did all four of those things. So I got married. And then by the end of that year and a half we were pregnant with our first kid. Yep. So obviously started a business and bought our first house. So I had really I had like dark hair and all it like started to go gray and that first year when I was 21.

Curt Anderson  03:45

Really well Derek you know what we’d like to say? You’re an overachiever. How’s that? And you know, like for the top 10 list, and you don’t knock off one of them you like hey, I’m gonna plow through all of them. So we can

Garrick Jacobi  03:57

I definitely was like Challenge accepted. Let’s do this. Challenge

Curt Anderson  04:00

accepted. I love it. Alright, well, let’s keep going. So first year, and what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Is that correct? Yep. So, so keep going a little bit less. So you survive the first year. You know, a giant pipe in here real quick. Do you remember your first year in business? Do you remember? Did you have any any similarities to what Garrick went through?

John LaRoy  04:21

I did. I mean, yeah, it was absolutely horrible. Again, I went to school for finance and entrepreneurship. But 2005 Six, when I graduated college, entrepreneurship was like just starting to gain traction as an actual course. It’s when it was still like in its infancy, sexy stages. And the best part of my college was in my second semester of my senior year, business owners would come in and just tell war stories. And it was like, This is what I want, right? And then you start doing it and it’s like, this is not what I want to do. You know, you know, some of the best advice I ever got is, you know, the waters really deep once you get in, and so as a responsibility and the responsibility as a business owner that you are now in charge of the livelihood of other people’s lives is something that, you know, I wouldn’t recommend on a 22 year old that you know, when I got involved in Garrick as well. Because Garrick you you did it even, you know, harder getting married, but I waited. I say I waited, someone decided to say yes to me. And that was 15 years later. And I you know, one of the things that I say is like, if you’re going to do this, and you’re either newly married, or, you know, thinking about getting married, like you have no idea what you’re in for, and either knows your partner as much as you want to communicate. So you got to have a really strong relationship. But yeah, it the ups and downs not knowing what to expect hiring, firing, and being 22 years old in charge of 40 year olds, 50 year old six year olds and like a you know, Hey, son, let me tell you this. And it’s like, what you say, you know, like, coming out of playing college hockey wanting to fight everybody still? wasn’t? It wasn’t the best recipe but yeah, you figure it out. You

Curt Anderson  06:17

figure it out. So alright, let’s dive in. So Garrick, sure. A little bit let’s dive into Fully Promoted Idaho. How do you make the world a better place? You do a lot with engagement. You do a lot with client employee retention. Building. Wow, how do you guys make the world a better place?

Garrick Jacobi  06:37

Yeah, I, I think we like to approach what we do just differently in general, because I think part of it has to do with with that younger childhood desire. Like I said, I wanted to be in health and fitness, I wanted to help people. And so when I got into this business, initially, I really struggled to define what that meant. And I had a really good business mentor that I remember, I was I was struggling, this was like our fourth year in business. And I really was, you know, is that typical millennial of like, I’m grasping at, like, what is making a difference, right. And one of our employees bought their first house working for us. And my mentor basically was like, you are making a difference, man, like that guy just bought his first house. And so you know, that just at a grassroots level, you know, that just being an employer to John’s point, that was really cool to say, Okay, we were able to impact this guy in this positive light. And then the stress of like, all these other employees, their livelihood, their livelihood rests on the shoulders of the decisions you make. That was pretty, that was pretty intense. So I really had to, to look at our business and figure out, okay, if, if a business comes to us, and they want branded T shirts, why, why do they want branded T shirts? Like, what’s the goal? What’s the purpose? Like? Yes, sure. Like, I think most businesses want to, to decorate their apparel, or put their logo on it, because they want to get noticed, you know, or they want to look professional. If you have a sales team, and they’re, they’re selling to their prospects, you want them to be clearly identified that this person works for this company. And, and it looks really nice. But beyond that, like what what really has become apparent to me is like, especially on the the t shirt side of the business, it makes you feel like you’re a part of a team. So when you’re when everybody’s matching, wearing the same gear, drink to have the same matching water bottles, like it makes you feel like you’re part of something bigger. And so we started approaching how we do business with that attitude in mind. Like, what, okay, yeah, you want to get shirts, but why? What’s the goal here? And so we’ve really focused on asking our clients a lot of questions, so we can dive in to, like, what they stand for. I like it. New customers are always kind of dumbfounded. We’re when we’re like, what are your core values? And they’re like, what, like, what does that have to do with T shirts? And it’s like, well, I really want to understand why you do what you do. Like even if you’re just a an aluminum fabricator. Like I want to know, why did you choose that? You know, what difference are you making with what you with the service or the product that you provide? Your clients. And so in doing that, it’s been really neat because, number one, we get to work with people who, who we’ve built really good relationships with. If I were to look at like my top 20 clients now, I would say more than 75% of them are the same clients that I started to to attain when we first opened up our doors. So I think being able to build those relationships and help those individual businesses grow in a in a manner that mirrors our growth. It was really neat, because to me, that’s how you measure success. If our customers are successful, then it’s going to be reflected directly into our own business.

Curt Anderson  10:20

Yeah, that that’s how you measure success is your customer success. Like what an admirable trait, you know, what a admirable benchmark, maybe you just dropped a ton of great nuggets there. Garrick you know, asking great questions, you know, creating that environment of everybody on the same page and fighting for a cause. absolute love that, John, we talked about this a lot, you know, you love sharing, you know, what your brand promise, and I feel that’s tying in exactly what Garrick is preaching, and how he’s built his successful business? what’s your takeaway?

John LaRoy  10:52

Yeah, I mean, you hear this a buzzword a lot this time here, or just this time here? I mean, usually, you know, people talking about Be your authentic self, or be yourself, you hear that a lot, right? And what does that actually mean? Versus how can you be actionable on that? And I just think, like, in the limited time I’ve met Garrick, when you start hearing people that you don’t know that know, you say that same thing, you know, talking to someone other fully promoted franchisees that don’t really know our relationship, but resonating the same things that Garrick talks about, and then they’re communicating things to their customer trying to lead their franchise in the same way that Derek is, speaks volumes about what Gary has done in his franchise community. But yeah, I mean, measuring your customer success, as a barometer for your success is perfect, because without the customer, I mean, the old adage a customer’s always right. Not necessarily right. But the right customer should be right most of the time, right? And that’s, that’s what we really try to look for when growing relationships with clients that we want to work with. Because as a contract decorator, like working with someone like Garrick, not all gehrig’s are, are the right fit, you know, what are they looking for? What’s valuable to them? Is it solely based on price? Is it more based on relationship? Is it I say, what I’m going to do and do what I’m going to say? And what’s that worth to you? And Garrick has that same responsibility to his clients. So there’s such a dynamic there. And I talked about this all the time. It’s like kind of like the last frontier, right or last horizon where it’s relationship based sales. It’s not what have you done for me tomorrow? Or today? Or yesterday? And how cheap Can you do it, and I might never see you again. And that’s kind of where it gets frustrating, where you go above and beyond, like you always do for every client or action. And it doesn’t, you’re not necessarily expecting it to be reciprocated. But you want some loyalty, right? Because the way I operate is I fully give trust day one, it’s up to you to break that trust, and that you know, whether it’s my friends, family, whatever it is, I do that same thing with a client, you know, if they’re the one saying like, Hey, I’m not the type of guy that every order is a cry wolf. And I must, you know, I gotta have a rush. And then every order in the next three weeks is a rush. It’s like, Come on, man, what are we talking about here? Like? And then we have to look at the process and say, are you just not entering your orders on time? Or is it truly you have 14 people come in for a rush? You know, it’s like, what’s, what’s the truth here. So a lot of different avenues I covered there. But yeah, being authentic in terms of what your commitment is to your customer, what your commitment is to your internal customer, your employees, they have to have consistency, you know, because you can’t be everything to everyone, but you need to be something of value and uniqueness to not only your employees, but your customers as well.

Garrick Jacobi  13:56

And to your point, John, like, what I found is when you focus on the relationship and the quality of the service that you’re providing, and you make that the priority number one, the growth just comes naturally. So yeah, I’m, I’m the first one to push, you know, an intense sales program, I love sales. But if you just do a really good job and you provide quality service, your customers it will be your best salespeople. So it’s a really natural evolution of business growth when you when you take things and kind of slow it down. We’re just society like tells us like you always have to have this growth mindset. And I’m not against having a growth mindset. Of course I have big goals and I want to grow. But if you lose sight of of what got you there, and you don’t hone in on the really the quality aspect, that growth is always going to be stunted and you’re just going to be growing to grow.


John LaRoy  14:51

Now you hear that a lot when you especially we interact with like that mid level company that went from like 25 to 50 The 50 to 100. And you talk to the employees, and they say, yeah, it’s just not the same place I worked at, you know, where it’s like, you have all these levels of bureaucracy and you lose what a relationship with your boss, with your co workers, just getting stuff done. There’s so many other levels of things that need to happen and really becomes a blocker rather than an enhancer. And yeah, I feel like the best companies stay, like with a, a small business size mindset, but executing large scale business plans.

Curt Anderson  15:31

I agree. That’s a fantastic point. So you know, with that being said, Derek, You’ve piqued my curiosity, you kick off that first year, when your worst years, you talked about the Forbes list of stressors, and you decide to check off all of them? How did you transition out? Did you you know, you talked about your why, what a wonderful celebration that an employee get their first mortgage or bought their first home. That is just such a huge accomplishment. Anything that you want to share for maybe young entrepreneurs, maybe your younger self, how did you go from that terrible year up to you know, getting some momentum where now people are buying homes that work for you?

Garrick Jacobi  16:07

Man, the struggles continued, I’ll tell you that. Like, I mean, I did everything wrong. Like everything wrong. Like I said, that first year was rough. And we even though we grew, you know, it’s ironic, because in hindsight, like, there’s a lot of things to celebrate. But man, did I do things the hard way, I mean, I struggled with alcohol during that time, to the point where finally it was just like, I have to quit. I mean, my wife, my wife basically gave me you know, an ultimatum, like, a, this is a slippery slope that you’re going down. And if you don’t stop this, you’re gonna kill yourself. And I can’t be married to someone who who does that. And it was kind of a unique thing, because I was a highly functioning alcoholic, I would say, because like I said, we still managed to grow our business year over year over a year. But in 2016, I quit drinking. And that year, we grew our business 149%. So it was the biggest growth year we had ever had. And, I mean, I don’t think there’s any, I mean, the scientific response would be, I was very clear headed. And so my focus was very narrow. But I also got better at being a leader, I think I would say I was a pretty toxic leader. In the beginning, I had a pretty strange relationship with my dad during those first couple years, because we’re Italian. And like, we like to yell a lot. So we would just yell at each other, we’re both have the same exact personality. So like we wanted, we had the same goal, like we wanted to be successful. But we would just yell at each other. And so my dad actually ended up getting out of the business, which was hard, it was a hard thing. Had to fire my mom, at one point during all this, like it was it was rough, like I’m telling you like, everything that you can imagine that could go wrong in a business, I probably did it in those first, first four years. But there, it definitely goes to, without saying that, like if you put your head down and just work, you can work your way out of those slumps. And all of those failures. Were just another learning lesson. So I was like, Oh, we’ve seen this before. Anytime, something like that would come up again. We just had a different mindset of how we attack that. And so being sober, being focused, all those things definitely led to me becoming a better leader. And I still am learning a lot. I think surrounding yourself with people who want to support you and help you grow is the next critical component of that. So when I when I ditched the booze, I also Admittedly, I did see some some people in my life that were, I would say, toxic that were influencing me in the wrong way. And it was, it was crazy. Man, we we had 11 employees in 2015. And we went from 11 to five in 2016. And we grew 149% with less people. So I think just surrounding yourself with the right kinds of people who who can encourage you because I needed that encouragement. I needed someone to say, you know, Hey, man, we’re gonna get through this, like, I’m gonna stay here tonight. We’re gonna knock these hats out. And I literally remember like, like sleeping on the couch in our showroom. Because we had to knock orders out that had to be done the next day. And, and it was hard. It was really hard. But all of that got us to where we are today. So I honestly, I mean, I could probably live without some of the struggles. But if I wouldn’t have gone through those things, I definitely don’t think I’d be where we’re at today.

Curt Anderson  20:01

binominal point, I couldn’t agree more, you know, all those those failures, those mistakes, those hiccups, you know, we’re all human. And we stumble and trust me at my age, we never stopped stumbling. And first of all, I want to thank you for your, your honesty, your candidness, your vulnerability of sharing, you know, you’re sharing a lot of the challenges that you face. And we all face, you know, we’ve all faced those one way or another, whether we went to MIT or not, John, what are some of the challenges or your takeaways, some of the challenges that you want to share from your entrepreneurial journey?

John LaRoy  20:31

Yeah, I mean, you started with how you and your dad started the company. I was curious if that was still going. We’re kind of like doing everything the opposite of what you did. I never fired my mom. But I fired my sister. That was an interesting couple years of Christmas. But yeah, I just hired my dad, my dad, similar corporate sales, but with many different companies for 35 years, and not totally ready to retire and can sell and, you know, it’s an interesting dynamics. I was something I’m like, I don’t think I could ever do this. But he has a lot of knowledge and ways of doing things that I don’t totally do. And I’m open to giving it a shot. And yeah, he’s doing really well. But I did have a partner that was a family friend for 14 out of the 19 years, I’ve been doing this and yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s It’s difficult. It’s very difficult. But again, like Eric said, every time you think that, like the walls are closing in, and you don’t know how you’re gonna get through this. You know, like, you just can’t, you know, it’s it’s stressful. Don’t get me wrong. But yeah, I wouldn’t trade anything that I’ve gone through for where I’m at today. And this industry is Garrick well knows it’s not a get quick, get rich, quick scheme, you know, what I mean, isn’t definitely a long play. And in today’s society, with immediate gratification, and back to the entrepreneurship, where everyone focuses on the beginning, oh, good for you, you’re starting a business and then the end the exit, but no one talks about the 99.9%, the messy, middle, right, where, you know, warriors are made and businesses are made and relationships are made. And tough decisions in decisions, all the anxiety, the sleepless nights. But every time you meet a new challenge, you just kind of be like, this is something that I know we could get past with a great team, you know, and again, our industry and Kurt, you that where you focus in manufacturing. It’s not where the American economy is headed. Unfortunately, you know, like, let’s get real about it, everyone’s going to try and do more with less. And Derek’s done a really good job with that. But it’s hard to do. Now, there’s new tools, AI, all different things. But at the end of the day, when you’re making a product in our industry that really hasn’t had a ton of innovation in the last 60 years. In the last five, there’s been a lot, but you still need people. And you need skilled, talented people to do their job, and do it well and do it consistently every day. I’d be nothing without my team. I mean, my team is absolutely phenomenal. We have seven leaders that have been with me, all of them more than seven or eight years. And, you know, I’m a tough person to deal with, you know, I’m Italian and Irish. So I got when you’re talking about temper, man, yeah, for sure. I get it. But yeah, it’s, it’s about having a great team, you know, coming from an athletic background. I just knew whatever I was going to do, you know, I wanted to stay close to team sports and being in a business for yourself with a great team is a closest thing to being back on the field, you know, coming into work every day as I come in the locker room, you know, I mean, like, you get to come into the best part of being an athlete is come in the locker room. Bullshit, and then I go out to practice getting the work done, then, you know, having a beer or a drink or a pop after, you know, but whatever. Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s been it’s been a ride and nowhere near Are we at the end of the ride, you know, we’re just in the middle and excited for what’s to come. Yeah. All right. Thank

Curt Anderson  24:26

you both been very inspiring on all fronts here and I want to I’m going to go off road for a quick second. I want to dive into next branded apparel. So I want to talk about exactly what you guys do at your company Garrick that 149% I can’t let that go 149% growth, but cut your staff by over 50% I you know, I had a similar situation 100 years ago in my in my my entrepreneurial journey. Profitability is what I’m hearing Can you can you just share a little bit about what did it take to get rolled up company 149%? What did it take to, you know, minimize step be more efficient with staff and to grow profitability? What did that transition look like?

Garrick Jacobi  25:11

Um, it was tough. It was, it was a lot of delegation trusting guys to do certain jobs, I would say, in the beginning, I’ve micromanaged a lot. And again, similar situation, I had a mentor, say, Hey, man, like, pay this guy, what he’s worth, and let him do his job, you know, hold them accountable, and give him reasonable expectations. But you can’t sit here and tell these can’t hover over these guy shoulders. And as a young leader, in particular, you know, when you’re 25 years old, like, you think that you know, at all, you know, and it was quite the opposite. And so, when I stepped back and, and really trusted people to do the jobs they were hired for. It allowed me to focus on the part that I really enjoyed. And similar to John’s team, sports background, I’ve been an athlete my whole life, and, and I really started looking at it, like I was coaching at my team, you know, who are my role players, I’m a basketball nut. So it’s like, okay, if I know this guy is my point guard, and this guy is my center, then like, Okay, this guy is really good at defense, okay? How can I help each person really excel at their strengths. And so my focus really dove into really honing in on those strengths. And empowering people and making sure they had all the tools that they needed to be successful. And so then it was neat, because we became incredibly efficient with the tools we had most fully promoted don’t do their own production. In fact, I’d say less than 5% of them do. We were unique in that sense, because we were doing screen printing, we were doing embroidery, we were doing vinyl graphics, like we had a small team, and event even today, we only have 13. Guys, you know, there’s so we’re a really lean machine. But everybody has a role, everybody has a responsibility. And those are continuously being defined and defined and chiseled. And to John’s point, like, I very much feel like we’re still in the infancy of our business. Even though the barometer for fully promoted success, we’re at the top. So it’s, it’s neat, because we have a unique opportunity to Yes, the leading our particular brand, fully promoted and to help be an encouragement to other franchisees. But at the same time internally, I mean, if you were to ask my team, you know, we have a much bigger goal than where we’re at. And they’ll tell you like, we’re not even close. I mean, they’ve bought into that mindset, you know, the downside to this now is because, like, John, we have some leaders who have been around for over six years. Where we run into issues probably more than anything is like as we bring on new new teammates. Man, if you don’t fit in with the culture, you stick out like a sore thumb. So it’s both a it’s a strength and a weakness. I think it’s a strength in that when you have a really solid culture, you can really just kick ass, you know, but when you bring someone in and they like, it’s, it’s almost like immediate, like, you’re, you’re knocking, we liked you in the beginning, but you’re not going to work out here, you know. And I think that goes to do with any team, right? Like you see it, you know, again, being a basketball nut and look at the Phoenix Suns, right? You got all these freakin rock stars on this team. And yet, they can’t even make it past the first round of the playoffs. And to me, that’s not a coaching thing, right? It’s just a matter of making sure the role players are in the right positions. And I’m not going to pretend to know that I know anything more than these these professionals who who make decisions like this on a daily basis. But when I look at that, and I if I had a team just full of really solid screen printers, for example, it would probably be hard for them to collectively, just all do that same role, because they’re all really good at that one thing. Fortunately, we have guys who are really good at screen printing guys who are really good at embroidery guys were really good with customers. Or my brother, for example. He’s been he’s literally my longest employee. He’s been with us since day one. He is he’s a rockstar when it comes to client success, you know? And so just leaning into each person’s strengths and weaknesses. I think that’s, I mean, that’s a very scalable approach, whatever size business you have, whether it’s five employees or 500. You got to lean into those strengths and then get a stay in your lane. Like the amount of times I want to go and help with things. Because I’m a control freak. It’s like nah, I don’t I don’t need to do that, you know, so, and I’m still learning. Well,

Curt Anderson  29:59

well, you’re very Are you wise in your early entrepreneurial journey? For sure. Let’s dive right in. I want to hit this with both you guys. Let’s talk about branded apparel. So let’s get into your expertise why you guys are on this planet, how you’re just delivering your awesomeness on a daily basis. So Garrett, just say, just share a little bit. You know, why is branded apparel? You know, you’ve mentioned it multiple times creating that culture, you know, and it could be the hat, it can be the mug, it could be the t shirt, you know, why is branded apparel just so important to build up that culture at a small organization, nonprofit, Business, School, whatever it might be? What do you think?

Garrick Jacobi 30:38

Man, John, I’m gonna steal that line from threat X. I can’t remember what that slide said. But it said like, and I’m paraphrasing, but it was like, in in a competitive world, which is branded apparel. The only thing that separates functional differences is brand. So regardless of what industry you’re in, that really stood out to me from that particular conference. And we joked around about how I was drinking liquid death at the beginning or still drinking it. But you know, that guy literally picked like the most saturated market, which is bottled water, and figured out a way to stand out amongst that crowd, right. And I think that regardless of how your feelings are about that particular brand, no one can argue that they’ve successfully found a way to stand out and separate themselves from standard bottled water. And I think that that’s why branded apparel is so cool. Is that like, if you can really dive into a business’s goals and their why behind the what, man like that’s it. That’s why understanding their brand is so important. It makes our job really easy once you once you know that.

Curt Anderson  31:49

That’s right, understanding the why, John, we talked about this a lot you love using that line on? Oh, Gert, have you heard this from John? No, the brand promise. John, what’s your takeaway here?


John LaRoy  31:59

Derek Garrick? No, I took that from made as well as good slide that I keep reusing. But yeah, I mean, it comes back to me on top of what Garrick says I, I support and believe, and also agree with everything he said, but also, you know, something we’ve touched on earlier and another podcast or is the whole sense of belonging, you know, like, branded apparel, again, the team aspect to tribal aspect, at the end of the day, you know, we are we’re primal people are primal people that that need to feel a sense of belonging to feel complete, it’s our most innate need, and what better way to do that thread wearing, you know, it sounds you know, everyone wants in their, in their quest to be different and stand out. There’s also a dichotomy of looking somewhat part together, you know, looking having some sort of similarity to be a symbol of your tribe, or your group or your team or your company, or your family, whatever it is. And that same feeling of belonging is conveyed in a million different ways, whether it be a logo, whether it be a color, whether it be a saying whatever it is, and we have that unique power, I guess, if you want to call it to be able to convey that through branded apparel, branded items, whatever it is, and give that person that feeling. You know, and that’s like a really convoluted way to say on the screen printer. It conveys the why. And this is what we talked about with our own team. It’s like, we make memories, not just apparel, right? And, you know, you never forget that feeling of what you were doing at your favorite concert or when you met your wife or whatever. Like, if you think back to that memory, you know what you were wearing? And we have we have a special part of that. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah,

Curt Anderson  33:48

Garrick, what do you want to add?


I was just gonna say it’s funny. I love that, like we make we make memories. You know, that line is so true. Like, when I proposed to my wife, it was literally the day we opened up the shop. So we had been dating. And I had just learned how to run it like a DST file. So I made this file that said, Marry me and it’s stitched out marry me on a piece of backing, right. So we literally still have that backing. So even though that’s not a brand, I mean, that just goes to show like at the very smallest, like entry level portion of embroidery, which I would argue is running so out, right? You’re like, like this, this is a memory that we still have in our in somewhere in our baby books or wedding books or whatever. But I mean, it’s so true. You know, I love that. I mean, you walk into your favorite restaurant and you see that dude across the room wearing the sports jersey that for the team that you hate or the team that you love, right? So I have that guy’s a jerk. Not talking to him, right? But But if he’s wearing that seem you like you like immediately you have this opportunity to just go up and have a conversation with him because of that brand. Right crit and my

John LaRoy  35:08

wife absolutely hates that, by the way. Like in Chicago anyone wearing Oh yeah, no, I get your pain. You know like, Oh, we’re in Chicago, you know what I mean? Yeah.

Curt Anderson  35:18

Well, you guys, you do have two legends behind you who I absolutely love. So Jack, I’m looking over your shoulder, you know the great Vince Lombardi. And then Garrick if you just move over a little bit, we see the famous man, that was my hero back in the 90s. Right, Michael Jordan. So you guys might be Johnny, Ron, you’re a little guy for Michael. No,

John LaRoy  35:37

I mean, man. 98/8 grade. And yeah, I mean, we were too young to like, really, truly appreciate it. But my cousins are all like, six, seven years older than me like, but we got to experience it again. Like, you know, like the city was on fire during the Jordan era. And then my post college experience with the Hawks, you know, in our little three out of five year run, it was it was really cool, really lucky. So

Garrick Jacobi  36:00

that that picture in particular, is my favorite picture. Because I’m I remember I rewatched this game just recently, and this is when Jordan was standing at the free throw line. And he looks over at Patrick Ewing. And he’s like, Hey, Patrick, you know, when he closes his eyes and drains that free throw. And, and I love that, that just that photo and what that means in that moment, and, and it is totally one of those things like sometimes you just got to close your eyes and just be a little bit cocky. Right? And, and I think having that attitude of confidence is so huge and whatever you’re doing, so that’s why we pick that one. Oh,

Curt Anderson  36:39

I think having you know, in there’s having that firm belief in yourself, you know, you can, you know, Michael Jordan Knight, you know, there’s a lot of humility with him, but just boy hit that unstoppable confidence. And it certainly paved the way. Let’s wind down. I know, you guys are running big companies, and we need you’ve got things to do. That’s last question for you. Garrett. What are you super excited about moving forward with your business with the industry? What do you what do you got there?


Garrick Jacobi  37:08

Oh, man, you know, I, the the future is really bright for this industry. I think that, that there’s so many cool business owners out there that that are in this vertical, that that threat X conference in particular was was a really neat experience for me, because it did, it inspired me even more. I mean, I I’m like a sucker for motivational stuff. So like when I go to that, those kinds of things, selfishly, it really is for my own personal development. It’s like, hey, I need, I need to hear these things. And I need to be motivated constantly. And what I left from that there was an economist who spoke and it was neat to hear some of the things that he had to say about our economy, and whether you agree or disagree with what he said, it just it, it was interesting to see what’s going on and how many people probably more than anything, how many people are actively trying to grow what we do. And to see some of these organizations come together and actually want to, to, to do things to make us more innovative, you know, John is a great example of someone who didn’t like the system he had. And instead of waiting for someone to go out and just just create this system, he created his own internal process within your software in particular, which to me is, I mean, for a long time has lacked now there’s some cool, there’s some good software companies out there now doing some things in our space to make it better. But, you know, in the, in the contract world, before I did any decoration in house, or at a higher level, I should say, we outsource everything. And even to this day, we literally just started using John after meeting him at at threat x for some jobs that we we don’t want to do in house. And you know, it’s cool to see that system that he’s built and how it works on the on the user experience side of those things. And I’m just excited to see number one, my hope is that I can contribute to that in some way. Because again, that’s the mind making a difference, you know, bug that’s inside me, but to see other people do it, that’s just inspiring as well. So I’m excited to hopefully see John at more conferences and continue our friendship and those are things that just motivated me to be in a space where this is unlike like I said I actually had a background I thought I was going to be a pharmacist and to to feel some of those same feel good feelings, but it had way different way. It’s pretty neat. I think that’s special.

Curt Anderson  39:51

So many awesome takeaways in this conversation man. I’ve learned a ton Garrick and I just really admire respect. You’re you’ve talked about the Wow, you’ve talked about how you know you’re an avid learner constantly seeking to be your best at you know, you’re you’re conquering, you know, you shared very vulnerable, your shared the alcohol situation, dude, my hat is off to you. That is such congratulations, such a massive accomplishment. John takeaways for you from this conversation with our friend here? What are your thoughts?

John LaRoy  40:22

Takeaways? Yeah, I mean, I just really appreciate both your time. I know, this is a new thing that we’re doing. And I’m really having a lot of fun with it, you know, getting to talk to a lot of great people and get more of their stories. But yeah, I mean, in terms of where I’m excited about the industry, I think there’s a massive turnover happening, right, especially in Garrick space, like the promotional side, the franchise side, it’s kind of the changing of the old guard, right like that, that space was occupied by, you know, really great individuals and really successful businesses, but that Boomer era of that, that, you know, category is, is on its way out, you know, not dying, but just out of the business, why, and there’s a lot of young professionals coming in with a different mindset. And opportunities to expand because it was very, very siloed, you know, and in everyone, I’m guilty of this as well, you know, where you come from a competitive background, and it’s like, I’m going to beat everybody. And I’m not going to tell everybody about it, right. And it’s like any secret that I have, I don’t want to share I don’t want to talk about I’m afraid someone’s gonna steal it, I’m afraid this and it’s like, opening up that mindset, where it’s like, if you’re able to share what you’re doing, and talk about what you’re doing, and help others along. You’re being genuine, right? And you’re being authentic and you’re being real, and people can recognize that and you don’t need to help everybody and not everyone’s a customer but you might be speaking to someone that could be a great customer. If you never take the step to make that conversation or do that type of stuff. You’re putting you’re putting a lid on your on yourself as a personal you know, as a person and and also as a leader and and also as a father a parent, so you always got to get comfortable being uncomfortable is what I said. So yeah,

Curt Anderson  42:15

totally comfortable being uncomfortable. I love it. So Garrick just were wind down. So in the link below, we have a link to your website to your LinkedIn profile. Any other place that people can find you to connect and learn more about you.

Garrick Jacobi  42:28

Instagram, of course, come on, man, you gotta hit. That’s like, that’s where it’s at. Right? Absolutely. So we will definitely fully promoted Idaho.

John LaRoy  42:38

absolutely loves media company too.

Curt Anderson  42:42

Right. Yeah. Real quick. Your media mentioned that one more time. What’s your media company at

Garrick Jacobi  42:47

misfit media? So that’s our that’s our next fun project. We’ve been doing that for about three years now. Nice. Awesome.

Curt Anderson  42:54

Well, hey, we’re gonna wind down first off, we thank you. We applaud you. We commend you just keep absolutely crushing it with everything that you’re doing. Just love it. We’re here rooting you on to massive success. And next time we come back and you come back on, we can’t hear about the growth and just how you’re out there crushing it. So John will we’re going to be back here next week. And so guys, thank you for joining us and you guys, everybody. Have an awesome awesome day.


Garrick Jacobi  Thanks, guys, guys.