Michael Nemeroff is the CEO and co-founder of RushOrderTees, a family-owned and operated eCommerce custom apparel company.
RushOrderTees has specialized in hitting any deadline for custom apparel including t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, and more for the past 18 years. Co-founder Michael Nemeroff has worked in the family business since the age of 17. Now, he is the CEO and is aiming to take the business to the next level by investing heavily in exceptional quality and customer service. ROT further distinguishes itself from the competition by its “printer first” mindset, as the business was born out of Michael and his sibling’s screenprinting expertise.
What inspired you to start your business?
Fear and uncertainty. My parents’ business was failing fast. They were declaring bankruptcy and the house was in foreclosure. Starting a business with my siblings was the best way I could see to help support my family. We didn’t want life to simply happen to us ,so we did everything in our power to take control of the situation.
When was a time you came close to giving up?
We were bringing in about $30K a month in revenue after three very hard, long, exhausting years of working 7 days a week. The three of us were doing the selling, marketing, printing, designing, purchasing, shipping, cleaning, accounting and everything else all on our own. It had taken us a lot of energy and sacrifice to get there and we did our best to squeeze out every bit of profit — only to find at the end of every year we either lost money or were flat on the year. That kind of effort was unsustainable and there was no future in continuing to stay in this business without results.
We were all exhausted. I was 20 at the time, and decided I was ready to move on. But my brother forced me to keep working on it. I promised him I’d stay for a few more months, and that’s when we doubled down on our marketing efforts. Within a month, we went from bringing in $30K per month to $200K per month in revenue. Game changer. All the sudden, we were a million-dollar company. The growth was extremely challenging, but there was finally light at the end of the tunnel.The next phase wasn’t any easier to be honest, but it had a future and I’m really happy we stuck with it.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
This exact phase of the business. It used to just be my family and I running every aspect of it, so we couldn’t take more than just a few days off a year (and that was pushing it). Today, I am no longer day-to-day in any single department, we have pros handling every aspect of the business. I can focus on things that really move the needle such as company culture, talent, M&A, and innovation. It’s a really exciting time for RushOrderTees, SouthbySea, and The Deal Rack.