My husband came to me with a great business idea in the summer of 2009 before we were married in 2010.
He wanted to start a t-shirt company. He had clever inspirational ideas so we searched out printers and low cost plain tees to create sample shirts. He received great feedback once his first one was made.
I was so excited about this business idea. I just knew it would work.
But...it didn't work out the way we hoped.
We ran into roadblocks trying to figure out where to buy low cost, plain white t-shirts in bulk. It was discouraging when we spoke to printers about the price of printing. So, we let the idea rest. We just didn't have the money to print 100 units. We only had money for a few shirts here and there.
Throughout our marriage the t-shirt idea kept returning. It made a triumphant return when my husband lost his job in 2015.
We discovered online resources to create t-shirts where we wouldn't have to buy everything in person. It was literally like making something out of nothing. So, our first, profitable t-shirt was released on Teespring in 2015.
We didn't know a lot about internet marketing or Facebook ads so it was still very difficult to make the shirts available in a way that would be optimal for interested buyers. Besides, a countdown was not feasible for us as this was the way Teespring handled orders. Plus, the shipping was much longer than I wanted and we had to have a certain amount of buyers in order for the shirts to be shipped. So after our 4th shirt we stopped selling.
Our biggest mistake with selling on Teespring was not focusing on spirituality or inspiration compared to when we began. My husband's first shirt was about faith and when we were selling on Teespring we went with the clever t-shirt approach. That was the advice out there from all of the internet marketers, "make clever t-shirts."
I was blogging for extra money while my husband returned to work. I had another idea for a t-shirt but wasn't liking the platform that I wanted to use.
All seemed to be lost until I came across the perfect opportunity to have my shirts produced in a way that feels comfortable for us. I am able to sell efficiently online and in person. I work with a wonderful printing company that I trust.
My husband's business idea has come full circle. I create the t-shirts with feedback from him. His idea became our idea--we are one. And it is here to stay.
This is the journey of Lattes and Mamma T's Boutique.