Ilene Glickstein, Entrepreneur
People Wear Me Out
FJ: What led you to create your company?
PWMO: Like any good wife, I blame my husband!
He saw how hard and how many hours I was working for other apparel companies for only a small 10% commission, and he said: “you are doing all the work, open your own place.” So I did. People Wear Me Out (PWMO). Glad I kicked around for a while beforehand, though, because it took me ten years to find the right fit for a screen printer and embroiderer. And I always told my graphic artist that someday we would be working together as a team. And we are!
FJ: What was your vital driving force to become an entrepreneur?
PWMO: I like getting things done right, with the highest quality, with the best customer service. I didn’t see it in the other places I was at so I decided to open my own. I give a lot of credit to Amway. I know, weird plug, but they taught me how having a dream can lead to a successful business if you never give up. I never give up.
FJ: What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
PWMO: Gosh really? Hm, I love being my own boss. I am a social butterfly and love attending various networking meetings to get my name out there. Getting to go to networking events and mingling with other business owners after hours is always a fun way to end the day.
FJ: What are company’s three goals?
PWMO: My first goal is to rent a bigger shop with the latest equipment and have employees on the payroll. My second goal is to give back a percentage of every dog tee and dog hoodie sold. And my third goal, right now, is to launch a workout line called BULK MATERIAL. It would be nice to be as big as NIKE and to have athletes promote my brand!
FJ: What challenges have you encountered?
PWMO: How much time do you have? Of course, trying to put the right team together to run like a swiss watch and believe me that’s not easy, but you know in your heart when you find them. Also, moving out of the house or garage and finding a shop to share with my screen-printer. It took us a year to find a shop, and it was so worth the wait.
FJ: What thoughts would you give to others who have similar aspirations?
PWMO: Never give up on your dreams because dreams do come true. And, finding the right fit is vital in any business. Make sure to hire an excellent team that will work closely with you and will get the job done right. But it isn’t easy. Always remember you learn by your mistakes.
FJ: What are your responsibilities as a business owner?
PWMO: It’s a small operation, and I wear every hat (embroidered, of course). I’m the marketing, promotion, sales, HR person. It’s 24/7; it’s exhausting, and so totally worth it.
FJ: Why will customers stay or repeat business with you?
PWMO: Because I have the BEST customer service, you will ever find. I’m honest and go above and beyond with all my customers. Where there is a will, there is a way. I will go out of my way to get what they are looking for. If I am unable to, I am honest with them, and I know that I tried everything in my power to make it work. If I am unable to help them with their order, I will refer them to someone who will take care of them as I would.
FJ: How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?
PWMO: Another great question. It’s a tough field. But I’m sure most are. I market my business by joining a category protected networking group. I have been in 5 different networking groups, and I’ve met awesome people who have helped me grow my business. It takes a village, right? I’m always getting out there and attending new networking outside of where I work. Instagram Groups has been the most successful because I can sell my products there and direct them to my website to purchase.
FJ: What is unique about your business?
PWMO: Me! And my vision. I am all about quality. I don’t want anyone coming back in a few months because what they purchased wore out too soon. I find only high-quality brands of all types of apparel from the various vendors with which I have wholesale accounts. I make sure to wear it first and see how it washes. I have my husband try the men’s apparel to make sure it fits and washes well. I will email all my customers a spec sheet telling them what the garment’s material and the size
chart. Everybody’s body type is different; I work to find the perfect apparel fit for everyone. I want you to look and feel good in the apparel you purchase from me. If you would like to try on a sample shirt or hat, I probably have them, so just come to my shop. If I don’t have a sample of what you are looking for, then I will order a sample. I also find unique promotional products that you will not find anywhere else. I want to help brand your name so people will remember you when they receive your giveaway at an event.
FJ: Who inspires you?
PWMO: My daughter and husband because they are so on top of trends on social media and are always giving me ideas to make my business unique. They are the BEST in finding new apparel and sayings to put on the garment. Their ideas to grow my business are so inspiring. Without both of them, I would not be where I am today.
FJ: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting, what would it be?
PWMO: Never talk bad about anyone because if you do, it will come back and bite you in the butt.
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