What got you started in it? That is, what interested you? I was serving in youth ministry in the early 1990’s and going to college to get my degree in graphic design. When the pastor at the time asked me to design a shirt for an upcoming waterski trip, I was hooked from that day forward. The next thing I knew my best friend Mike Millet were in business together and we were staying up late printing T-Shirts for all types of church events and local businesses in our area. You can read more here about the start of the business.
What are the goals of the business? Spiritual? Practically just a business?
We have 3 goals for the business:
1. To serve churches with our God-given talents with free artwork, and reliable service.
2. To be become the premier supplier of apparel for churches and para church organizations in the United States.
3. Create a profitable business to be used as a tool for the Kingdom of God.
What is your favorite part of your business? I love to serve ministries with free artwork. Free artwork is my favorite!
What products are your major sellers? T-shirts and Sweatshirts are our biggest sellers, that is the product churches buy from us. What sets us apart is the free design by people who understand ministry and the friendly and reliable service that goes along with everything we do here.
Do people at our Church, or Rocky Peak where you attended before, know you were in the business? Yes, my first customers were from the Church at Rocky Peak. We supplied about 90% of their printed apparel at the time. We still work with them to this day!
In all the years you’ve worked there what has been a highlight achievement? From a ministry perspective I think launching MinistryGear.com was a big step for us because the web allows us to serve so many more churches. From a business perspective I think surviving 2009 was a big one. The funny thing is that we launched MinistryGear in 2009 because of the financial meltdown. God is so good!
This past year, what has been the biggest achievement? We launched a brand new MinistryGear website and have added over 150 new designs. We are just about to launch a brand new VBStshirts.com website as well.
What have been the most difficult customers? For the most part working with believers is great, as it should be : ) However I did have a church that ordered $3,000 worth of t-shirts, and then deny that they ordered them. They never paid. So now everyone has to pay upfront.
What are the biggest challenges? When clients order 100 shirts for an event, then they need 1 more right before the event and we just can’t get the shirts to them in the timeframe needed, or at the same price as their original order. It may be physically impossible to do get the shirts there at the same price but we all still feel responsible for letting someone down. It also bums me out when we create a design for someone and then they take it
What are your future business plans? God willing, I hope to launch a site specifically for Children’s ministry t-shirts and designs. A site for Schools is also in the works, we currently do a lot of work for many of the private and public schools in our area and would like to expand that market.