I’m Mark B. and I founded First Amendment Tees Company.
I’d like to give some background on our company and explain how we got to where we are today, because I think once you hear our story, you’ll understand why we’re a company you can trust and why our t-shirts are superior to all others.
You see, sometimes the things you don’t plan for turn out better than the things you do.
Let me explain.
In 2010 I had a job working in a management position in a large manufacturing company in Erie, Pa. I’d spent the majority of my career in manufacturing (almost 20 years), but I’d always had a streak of entrepreneurialism in me. That year, it had become too difficult to ignore; I just wasn’t sure what to do with it at first.
Until one morning that year when I woke up and said to myself, “Self. You are going to make t-shirts. And they are going to be better than any t-shirts you’ve bought and worn before. You are going to take control of your own destiny and it’s going to be the best decision you ever made in your life.”
And then I quit my job, told everyone my plan and never looked back.
Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t easy. Everyone thought I was crazy – my girlfriend, my family – and they all tried to talk me out of starting the company. My dad even tried to convince me to go to work for the family landscaping business. I think they were actually worried about me.
But I knew this was something I wanted to do – and not only wanted to do – I knew it was something I could do. I felt it in every fiber of my being, down to the marrow in my bones. You get the idea.
Long story short: I proved I wasn’t crazy and that I’d found my niche.
The business was breaking even in just two months, and in two years we’ve grown from a single-man-operation in a 400 sq. ft. basement to a business of nine employees in a 4,000 square foot store located in the heart of downtown Erie.
How did this happen in an already saturated market, you ask? I attribute it to several factors, but mostly our unique company philosophy. We believe that clothing is a legitimate form of self-expression, and that it should make you look and feel amazing.
I didn’t just want to make t-shirts. I wanted to make premium t-shirts. T-shirts that were durable, soft and more form-fitting than traditional tees. I wanted thinner, softer necklines, longer length and rich, vivid colors that wouldn’t easily fade. I wanted a product that wasn’t junk – a product that was better than what competitors were offering. I did a lot of research and compared different materials, equipment and technology. I asked questions and listened to customer feedback.
As a result, you’ll only find premium t-shirts on our website, from top brands like Bella, Canvas, Next Level, Gilden and Anvil.
I didn’t stop there. I was obsessed with great design. I taught myself Adobe Photoshop and hired a talented graphic designer to help me create unique lines of shirts that customers would love.
I also knew it was important to give customers the ability to design their own t-shirts and custom clothing for specific events that looked great and could be produced on demand. And not only did it have to be easy, it had to be fun. It took off. Our ability to produce any quantity of custom clothing, from one single piece to 1,000, in a ridiculously short amount of time at a price lower than our competitors has proved to be a successful business strategy.
We’re one of the only companies locally that has the state-of-the-art equipment needed to specialize in direct to garment printing, which is the process of taking a digital piece of artwork and printing it directly on a piece of clothing. It’s extremely fast – as fast as 10 minutes for a shirt – and it looks fantastic.
Today we’ve grown into a full-service digital design company, boasting a highly qualified, trained staff that specializes not only in direct to garment, but vinyl and heat transfers, silk screening, embroidery, and sublimation. We’re fanatical about getting things right. We have customers located all over the world and every single one of them is as important and valued as the next.
From crisp designs, to quality garments, to making sure customer orders and information are accurate, our goal is to make the customer experience fun and effortless.
Bigger, better, more, baby.
We’re keeping up with the latest technologies and printing equipment available to be able to offer our customers the best product possible. With the launch of our new website and e-commerce platform, we hope to streamline and improve our customers’ online shopping experience 100 percent.
We’ve also just launched a new online custom t-shirt designer, to allow customers to quickly and easily create custom clothing. We actively seek customer feedback and make changes and improvements accordingly. Stay in touch with us – we love making friends. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and sign up for our emails to get awesome discounts and special offers.
Why are you still here? Go shop and have fun!