So many people ask me this, so here it is... Back in the early 80's, t-shirts were the craze. I bought a machine and did them for a while until we started our family. We never sold the t-shirt press as I thought maybe some day I could "use it."
Our second grade daughter played traveling soccer. Believe it or not, we started out selling personalized sport pins and yes, Christmas Tree Ornaments. My husband (middle school teacher) and I (successful Nail Salon Owner) would set up at the soccer tournaments that our daughter was participating in during the summer months and sell our personalized sport items.
I branched out and started selling at Pop Warner Football Games. A Cheer Coordinator approached me and inquired if I would consider selling my items at her town's Cheer Competition they hosted. A Cheer Competition? You mean, they have a contest to see who cheers the best? For real? What would they buy?? We had never heard of anything like that.... After all, I was a Soccer Mom, and then became a Volleyball Mom, but never a Cheer Mom!
Sport Kids, Ltd. started in 1996. The Cheer Coordinator told me if I could offer Teddy Bears, I would have a big business. Teddy Bears in a cheer outfit? I devised a way to imprint the team names on the front and the cheerleader's names on the back with the help of my Apple Computer. (pre laptops era) I traveled around the country and sold them in Texas, Florida, KY, SC, and many other states. At some cheer events we would imprint over 200 in one day. All three daughter's helped at different times, so it truly was a "family business."
Once we started accepting credit cards, I found myself working day and night to keep up. The Teddy Bears turned into more and more items and then apparel. Cheer, Dance and Twirl Moms kept buying..and buying....The rest is history.
Fast forward. Our two daughter's, are now in their thirties and the youngest is 29. We are Grandparent's to the cutest, little, two year old boy who lives in Baltimore. My husband is still teaching. My brother does the designing and helps me run the business along with some seasonal help. I still have the original t-shirt machine (Trusty Rusty is older than all of our daughter's) which works just fine. It is our back up machine just incase my fancy, expensive one would break. I haven't given up selling the Ornaments or the Teddy Bears... And that's our story.....
Debbie, Gary and Mike