Take a plain white tee. No, not the band. The plain white T-shirt. Would you pay $110 for it? Would you pay $55? And you’re sitting there saying, what craziness this? Don’t these come in packs at the discount store? But it’s all about the imagination and the ability of any given person to look at something as mundane as the plain white T-shirt and imagine a world out of – what you do to it. Then acting on your imagination.
Jeremy Parker was out of film school, thinking about possibilities for a top notch business school – Harvard or Stanford. He imagined those vaunted halls of ivy pretty much chewing up and spitting out a humble film school grad’s application. What if he just started a business and ran it? Isn’t that the best way to learn?
Just his imagination drove him to pursue a business idea where T-shirts would be transformed with original work from a famous tattoo artist – Marco Serio. The shirts that looked like a tattoo from front to back sold heftily at $110 until news of a certain recession began to circulate. Enter grinding halt. Enter slashed prices – $55.
We like what we imagine came next. If prices continued to drop what would be the point of being in business? Where do originality and creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit go to die once everything is reduced down to the dime store model? And just for the record we love dime stores. But we like creativity better.
Parker arrived at a creative marketing plan to hitch his fortune to the DOW. If you buy a shirt for $55 when the DOW is 8200 and two months later the DOW is 8000 – you get a check for $10. Sales have been healthier since. Additionally, like many new entrepreneurs Parker is giving to charity. We love his approach so we’ll give him the last word.
“I spent months of my time sending emails to hundreds of stores, where maybe two of them responded, with a “send over your material again.” And always be pleasant–people always say “nice guys finish last” but many amazing things have happened to me and my company from random encounters where I was just being pleasant and friendly.”