The "I have no time" 15 second version:
We create, source, or produce apparel and gear for firefighter and other service organizations. We love it when organizations let us help them raise money. We're more stubborn than most people we know at getting things right even when its painful. You'll probably love our stuff. You'll love that it helps good people out. Thanks for caring.
The "Wow, these guys are really interesting, cool, hip people that I should know more about!" version:
"Why don't you just have someone provide that service?"
That's pretty much how it started...Me (Paul, pleased to meet you.), now one of the cofounders of Heroic Supply, not being able to keep my mouth shut about something that was bothering me.
I'd been wondering why members of our benefit association were buying so much stuff from outside vendors when the association was selling the same items to raise money for them. It was worse than throwing money away...It was tossing money into the wind instead of supporting your own people. It made zero sense, and I have a painfully low "Stay Quiet" threshold for items of this nature when they affect my friends.
I'd been doing a lot of learning to code, building demos and apps for firefighters, and tooling around with online commerce on my off time. Shanon, my partner, who had come from the printing world to fulfill his dream of being a firefighter, was using wholesale printing to fund his desert racing habit.
Our association leaders (we're both firefighters) were talking about spending exorbitant amounts of money on a new website to do a better job of selling our items. They were discussing the trouble with moving the vast amount of inventory we had in multiple shipping containers and the time consuming nature of fulfilling the orders that did come in.
Turns out they loved the idea of a service that did all of this for them. It just didn't exist. Totally unbelievable.
Shanon, not typically the optimist between the two of us said, "Well...I guess we could do it." He had me at "I guess" because I figured if he believed in it even a little bit, we could probably do it X10.
You know those stories where some guy has an idea in a garage, partners up with a really smart guy to create a product or service, and the next thing you know they're both gazillionaires, and buying football teams?
Yah...Not one of those stories.
Turns out. Its incredibly hard to do it all well, at good prices, while raising money for others, and create a sustainable business.
It went from "Yay! Let's save the world!" to "Man...I'm exhausted." fall 2015.
We're just that stubborn, though. (Just ask our wives.)
We've learned, kept on keeping on, and really just got a clue and started going after consistent and sustainable singles and doubles in lieu of swinging for the fences on everything so that we could keep performing for our customers.
It's started to really work.
We continue to improve our turnarounds on items, keep a steady eye on customer service, and are raising significant amounts of money for several causes and organizations while growing a sustainable business.
So...We're tired but good. We're hiring staff, buying equipment, duct taping cell phones to our ears, and making it all happen. We've been asked to expand our roles in fundraising and uniform provision for more and more existing and new customers, our off duty shirts are in high demand every time we put them up, and we're ready to take on a few more large organizations.
Most people seem to love our stuff and come back for more whenever we make additions. We hope you will, especially since you were nice enough to read this whole "about" story, and we're usually helping somebody raise money.
If you've ever got a question, comment, or suggestion; just drop us a message using the tab below on the right. We'll get right back to you.
Thanks a lot for supporting us.
Paul From Heroic Supply, 2016