Starting a T-Shirt Company

Interview with Tracy Wright, CEO of

Tracy Wright is the Founder of Chicago based tee shirt company Executees. She started the business in October 2006. She talks about how she got her business up and running and how to utilize online social media.

Ever wonder how those online tee shirt companies get started? Want to run one yourself? Tracy Wright tells us how she got hers going.

Executees sounds fancy. What is it exactly?

Executees specializes in custom t-shirts made with Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED Elements.

What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?

I was mainly focused on my successful Real Estate business as an Illinois Real Estate Broker. When I saw the business start to take a nose dive, I knew I had to have a Plan B. Executees was born. However, Executees is not my first business.

What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?

I would suggest that you find a niche t-shirt market, thoroughly research the business, and know your target market. Plan and set goals for yourself and the business on paper.

How did you come up with your business idea?

While viewing an episode of "The Big Idea" show featuring two brothers who were successful entrepreneurs in the apparel industry, I decided to start my very own T-Shirt Company in 2006. Executees was born.

What outside resources were helpful for you?

SCORE, books, and especially my Father in Law Nathan Wright Sr. Over the past 25 years I have watched him grow his businesses, and I use to work for him in his printing business. He instilled in me what it takes to be an entrepreneur. To him I am very grateful.

For women entrepreneurs, what specific advice would you have for young women who would like to become an entrepreneur? Are there specific advantages, disadvantages to being a women business owner?

Women are goal oriented. Women mainly control where the money in the household is spent, so if women are your target market, being a women helps you identify with your target market because you can relate. That is definitely an advantage.

With the current economy facing tough times, what money saving tips would you have for a new entrepreneur?

There are a lot of free and do it yourself resources, including creating your own web site, printing, etc. One can also utilize free marketing tools, like Twitter, Facebook and Wordpress.

What has been very effective in helping grow your business?

Contacting bloggers to have our t-shirts reviewed, and host giveaways. This has brought us a ton of traffic and orders. The reviews go viral very quickly, and are very cost effective.

Thank you very much for your time, Tracy. Good luck with Executees!

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