Shirt Pickle’s website allows customers to create unique, high-quality T-shirts featuring their own text, images and art. Thomas Pickles came up with the idea when he worked as the general manager of an embroidery and screen printing company. He found that many customers either wanted such a small quantity of shirts, or had artwork that required so many colors, that it wasn’t cost-effective for either the screen printers or the customers. Pickles soon realized that he could serve this niche market through his own small business. He researched the direct-to-garment printing process and began to envision Shirt Pickle.
Pickles left his corporate job and took advantage of a New York State program that allows small business owners to collect unemployment while they are launching their business. That program led Pickles to SCORE.
Pickles worked with SCORE mentor Frank Uhlman. He says, “An important part of our startup was to secure initial funding. As this was a completely new company, our Business Plan was integral in accomplishing this. My mentor Frank helped make sure I was set up for success in that regard.”
Pickles advises other potential small business owners, “Everything costs more than you project it will! Plan responsibly, then add 25% when you are creating your budget.”
After launching in 2015, Shirt Pickle has increased year-over-year revenues by 47 percent and is projected to finish 2018 with a 58-percent increase. In January, the company moved into a bigger space and purchased equipment that doubled their production capacity. Pickles plans to hire his first two employees by the end of the year.