Little Earth Productions was created in Ava DeMarco’s backyard by her partner, Rob Brandegee, 23 years ago. Today, they hired 35 people to assist with the production of sports apparel for over 170 teams within the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and NCAA.
Little Earth has changed tons over time, consistent with DeMarco, but she and her partner never imagined the business would expand such a lot.
Little Earth Productions has come an extended way from its inception, when it was funded with credit cards and therefore the couple took out three mortgages on their house, to this, when it holds a number of the foremost sought-after licenses to manufacture sports apparel for fans.
Little Earth Productions was founded in 1993 by Ava DeMarco and Rob Brandegee with an easy aim in mind: to make fun, well-designed products that made people smile.
While the merchandise line has evolved since then, Little Earth continues to make customers proud of special, well-designed, and entertaining products.
What began as a home-based company, with a young couple making fashion accessories out of recycled materials like inner tubes, license plates, and bottle caps, has grown to become the number one manufacturer of licensed fashion accessories and apparel for professional and college teams. Little Earth now has NFL, MLB, NHL, NCAA, MLS, and ARMED SERVICES permits.
From the famous Terrible Towel of the Pittsburgh Steelers to purses, scarves, hair accessories, and chosen apparel pieces emblazoned with team colors and logos, our products allow fans to bring solidarity into their daily lives.
Today, our vision and ideals remain equivalent as they were when Rob and Ava were making purses in their backyard.
Customers of Little Earth are part of a culture – a fan community – but they are all special individuals who want to express themselves in their own distinct ways.
They require items that are both high-quality and trendy, while also allowing them to express their support for the teams they support.
That is the theme of Little Earth. Sharing something with the remainder of the earth. Making connections with other individuals.
Making the planet feel a touch smaller and happier. cash in all available tools, he said. For instance, I serve on the board of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence in Pittsburgh, which provides advice and services to companies ranging in size from small entrepreneurs to established $100 million enterprises.
Make an attempt to network with others and without an agenda. You never know if someone you meet could be ready to assist you or how you would possibly be ready to assist them.
Be honest about the size of your market and the way you propose to hit it. A gentleman once approached me with a business concept that he claimed had one billion customers.
Since it had been a commodity that car owners could use, his reasoning was that all car owners in the world were potential buyers!
Maintain a healthy blend between hope and realism. You want to be ready to advance your idea while hearing “no” over and over, while still taking note of those “noes” and changing your approach to enhance your idea.
We are constantly looking to expand and adapt so as to satisfy the changing needs of our customers. which necessitates assembling a team capable of broadening the knowledge domain.
Rob and that I want to roll around in the hay ourselves, but we’ve learned over time that you simply have to recruit great people with more experience than you in key corporate areas.
We are a vertically integrated business, which suggests that we handle everything from product creation and sourcing to style, distribution, manufacturing, and fulfillment.
Now, the majority of the team we have here is qualified in areas where Rob and I have little experience, and as a result, the business has grown far beyond what it would have grown if we had focused on directly overseeing all aspects of the corporate.
Another important lesson I’ve learned is that more sales don’t always equal more profit, and it is important to preserve margins when expanding your business.
Also, the old adage “inventory is the silent killer” is true – over the years, we’ve learned to examine our inventory more analytically to ensure it’s turning enough to keep the money coming in.
My partner, Rob, is usually checking out new ways to expand the business into new product lines and distribution, while I’m very logical and immune to change.
So Rob brings in ideas, and then I assess how they’re going to impact our operations and profitability. We do an honest job of balancing one another’s calls in this way.
In addition, as our customers and therefore the industry changed over time, we had to reinvent the business.
We discovered that, even if you personally adore a line, you should frequently branch out to other products in order to keep the business relevant and growing. We’ve always been hospitable to new possibilities.