Mike Spangenberg built State Forty Eight out of community pride, and instantly had lots of customers. | RGR 062


Some entrepreneurs start in a business they’re passionate about. Mike Spangenberg started a business around his passion.

Growing up in Arizona, he noticed there wasn’t anything representing his home state in a positive light. So in 2013 he and a partner started State Forty Eight, an apparel company that’s all about Arizona. Know what kind of difference it can make to build a community around your business?

Do the math: When they started, they were the first business to use some version of the name “state 48.” Now there are more than 100. And Mike was there first, seeing a need, filling it, and building a brand around Arizona pride.


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mike spangenburg state forty eight


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| Rise Grind Repeat 062 |

The more your revenue grows, the more you need to grow your team. The more responsibilities you have the more pressure like
On today's episode of Rise, Grind, Repeat, we talked to Mike CEO state forty eight. Talking about how rare it is to be an Arizona native, and how building a brand around community. It's just a good thing. Start writing and kick it off. Mike, thank you so much for joining us on another episode of Rise, Grind, Repeat. I'm excited for this. Because I mean, I've noticed before we even started working together just your work ethic, just what you guys are doing as a brand, how much you guys are tying into community. And I think that's something that a lot of brands really miss. They say they focus on it, but their actions don't lead to it. So I'd love to kind of dig into how you kind of started state fory eight where it's kind of gone your journey through it. Just kind of kick things off. I'd love for you to introduce yourself and kind of what's a little bit of background on you personally. Thanks
for having me. Now, we're off have a formal interview even though we talk every day, but Mike Spangenberg, co co founder of state forty eight. State Forty Eight was started in March 2013. It's really started a couple of years even before that, and then really the reasoning for it personally is I was born and raised in Arizona. You know, growing up here, there wasn't anything representing Arizona in a positive, fashionable way. So that was like my thing back going back to school shopping, even as a kid in elementary school, like that was my favorite thing about school. So I always love clothes. You know, my mom could even vouch for me, I would lay out my, my outfits and stuff. So I've always, you know, had passion for the fashion industry, right. So, but knew knowing there was a business out here that was just again representing Arizona positive, fashionable way. You know, back then it was the three 410 Walgreens shirts that were representing AZ It was like, it used to drive me crazy because it was, you know, no, no disrespect. It was a corny t shirt. It wasn't. there's a there's a reason why so many people live here and I was again, very passionate. Where I'm from very proud, you know, had a lot of, you know, tied into a lot of sports because, you know, Stephen business partner at the time, you know, we grew up my dad was our T ball coach. And, you know, we'd always go to Cardinal games at Sun Devil Stadium, and most of the fans were the opposing fans, and I used to drive us crazy. So it's funny how that came, that relationship came together as like, you know, Steph and I grown up together. Working together in the hotel industry. He knew I wanted to start a clothing company, living together at the time, he created the name and then we just went for it and got his younger brother involved, who's our self taught, he's a self taught graphic designer and third partner. And then we really just went for it. So in a nutshell, that's kind of like the why and the how it started. But it's, it's cool to see when you mentioned community, how strong local community has become right, like back then. It was just a word when we were just, we were doing First Friday events when it wasn't the coolest thing to do. So we take a lot of pride in that we were that first company, you know, now you see I mean I think our attorney said there was 50 plus sate forty eight companies now we're the first company ever start sate forty eight so
there was only one when you guys started and now
we're the first company ever start state for us that name right and now you see state for a refrigeration and all this kind of stuff so so it's cool that so many people in our are growing up from Arizona they care more about Arizona and so many people that come here like my family that were born in New York they you know, came here to go to school and now I love it and then no one wants to leave right for the most part so so yeah, that's kind of the why in house for you started that's
cool. I mean, you found a problem in the state from a fashion perspective and then fill that void and it's kind of cool that I mean, you started the only name and now you got people not only in the clothing industry but other industries kind of following suit. I know I mean, for me to say it's cool but I'm sure it kind of
we're positive group and we try to you know, focus on the positive only but it does get frustrating when you spend you know, a lot of money on attorney fees to police your marks and the people letter you know, blatantly infringing that's frustrating but we just focus on what we can do and and we know we were the first company to start and but anything i think it's it's it says a lot more about Arizona of like so many more people are just proud of where they're from and I just want to you know keep it in Arizona and and start a business here and they love the name and
just kind of you know make the best out of it
now there's not too many Arizona natives here it's a it's
it's becoming so much more popular and I always like tie in sports of like we get a bad rap of like better rap of you know Arizona being so Fairweather and you know how many you know bandwagon fans and all that kind of stuff? Well we and you few comparison New York or Boston for sure. Of course I but we haven't had generations grow up here like when I was in high school, I felt like I was the one dude that was growing up in Arizona and now you see like, you know if I speak at high schools or whatever, and you ask them how many from Arizona majority of the rooms from Arizona so I think it's just like we were just behind on actually like having generations grew up here. Love it, you know, make an impact in the community and do their own thing.
So whenever you were starting, you're working at a hotel. So it sounds like this is kind of a side hustle.
Yeah. Well, at the beginning for sure, first couple years. So how do you balance that? That was that was very challenging. Again, I spent 15 years in the hotel industry worked my way up from cleaning dishes at 15 years old to become a GM. So learn to lie love people love service. You know, that's what we take a lot of pride in customer service. So that translated well over sate forty eight. But yeah, I mean, again, when we first started, we were all working full time jobs for the first couple of years, then we gradually, you know, being smart about it. Stephen went full time first and Nick went full time, then I went full time last and then we've we've grown a team. So I think that was a, you know, that you hear a lot of times just go for it. Go for it. Yeah, that sounds great. And, but there's a reality to that too. So you have to be smart about it. And you know, we invested 1500 dollars in this business. So we didn't have those extra resources and we can just go into You know, starting a career, you know, different career, you know, right off the bat, right. So that was one thing only regret I ever have is I wish we would have started in high school where you didn't have all those responsibilities and salary and benefits. And it was it took longer to leave. But that was our journey and grateful for it because you just appreciate it that much more an interior question of like that, how, how is that? You know, how challenging was that? I mean, I remember him in a hotel industry or hospital and she was very demanding, right? You have to, you know, you're working 1012 hour days, sometimes five, six days a week. It's very labor intensive. So, but I absolutely loved this is my missing my calling in life is my passion. But so I'd work 1011 hours a day, you know, days of the hotel, go home, eat and then go to the shop and a lot of times fall asleep at one or two in the morning in the chair. And I just did it all over again. You know, you just got used to going to bed at 2am and waking up with it. Now. Thankfully, that is not the case. And you know for years, we've been full time and just so grateful for everyone helping us But now you actually you know realize you had to have that work life balance and I know I always tell you that too but so now I try to be in bed by nine o'clock sometime okay with that right so like getting that good sleep because you have to be fresh and I do do prefer to start early so so that was that process and it just feels like yesterday sometimes but very grateful for the process.
How did you guys decide who was going to go full time first and what was the thought process there?
Yeah, so it was more just on the on the flexibility right? Like I was an operation manager hotel Stefan's working he just had more working with us at the hotel and he just had more flexibility to be able to leave leave that job and then we again we did it kind of like a part time basis. Right so Stephen went and then Nick was had more flexibility to do it to especially where they're at in their in their careers. And then I went last but even in that in that process, because the hotel was like family to me right so they knew ultimately I was going to do stay for a they knew It wasn't, there was no secret to right. But they were cool, but I saw their same responsibilities. But after a year, I worked three days at the hotel it allowed me to and even doing that was like, Man, this is amazing for concentrating four full days on safe work and having like more kind of that balance in life and stuff. So you know it that's how it goes, you put more you know, you The more you put into something, the more you get out of it. And that was, you know, it was always scary to, you know, even for me to go full time for everyone to go full time. But you quickly realize the more you dedicate and commit to your company, the more you're gonna get in return.
Yeah, and I mean, how much you give is predicated on how much love and passion you have for it. If it's, if it's a struggle to get out of bed, you're gonna snooze for an extra hour, cut it out an hour earlier, whatever it may be, but those hours that I mean, it's tremendously ROI positive, especially if you string together a couple days, weeks, months,
quarters, a lot of the day I was still working on stay 40 even at the hotel, I was already given the much the most respected boss why they want to take advantage of being there and working on Safeway. It was just like, I absolutely loved working on it and you celebrate the small wins as you go, but 100% right, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. But I think nowadays to the entrepreneur, like, I know kind of perception is like, you know, everyone's a multi millionaire, it's a sexy thing to do. It's I always tell people like, temporary, your expert, you know, you better be super passionate about what you're doing. And you better be, you know, solving a problem. And that was kind of like, how it worked out well for us, because we were solving a problem Arizona needs something to represent in a positive way. But also like this, I know for sure, this was like my colony life. So I was like, man, I was willing to sacrifice, you know, going out or doing certain things or spending money here or there. Because I wanted to put all my energy in a safe 48. So that was like the challenge of like, man, I wanted to be full time like from day one, but you just kind of have to be patient.
The expenses add up and when you start especially what you guys are doing, I mean, you got inventory. I mean, here it's it's it's a lot of just time and so It's, it's, you know, we don't I mean, other than cameras and stuff like that, but I mean, it's, it's a lot that goes into it and then you got to start thinking about how am I gonna pay rent and all that type of stuff. I mean, it's a lot to balance, oh,
you quickly realize how expensive it was to run any business. I mean, right the things even, you know, the perception to like, you know, even if selling a 25 $30 sure, people I think that sometimes that's so expensive, and that's, you know, their, their opinion, but there's a lot of expenses that go into the cost of goods, whether it's through th t shirt, your screen printing, your, your printing supply, I mean, your all the material that goes into your advertising your labor, like if you really break it down, like you need every single dollar. So, you know, especially attorney fees, you know, late there's so much like labor obviously, the more you grow a team, the more so there's so much expenses that go into running a business sustaining a business. So yeah, you definitely need every dollar and it's important to be mindful of that.
Yep. And over the years, I mean, you guys have grown like crazy mean 10s of thousands of followers. I mean, it's you have a diehard fan base. I mean, everyone, anytime you guys post there's nothing but love getting there though, I mean, what were some of the struggles? What was the biggest struggle that you guys have faced or biggest hurdle that was just like, I don't know, you know, we still want to keep going or I mean, even at the desire to keep going, was there ever a time when you're just like, you guys got hit pretty hard with something or
No, I mean, thankfully, you know, I get that question a lot. Have you ever think about you know, quitting or personally No, like, I mean, we've we've always just try to figure out what the next thing is right and and get celebrate small wins but to your question, I think the with the more challenges now is just is beyond the you know, you know, hit you get, get to the reach of the people that are following you to look, you know, the passionate, you know, people in your community, with Instagram and social media, all that changing, like it is hard to reach your audience, right. So at the beginning, you know, if you had 100 followers, you're hitting 100 followers and, you know, that's, that's but you know, one thing we always focus on is consistency. I think that's important for anyone starting anything like No, you're gonna start off with, you know, again, I think people focus too much on the following, but more of like the content and like really creating a community, who cares if you have a million followers would have 100,000 of them, you know, don't even care. Like, you know, I mean, like creating that genuine community. So that was always our thing is like, just being considered sincere and consistent. And that's posting daily. You know, I remember when we first started, we'd have those. And everyone wanted to be a part of every single piece of the business, right? I remember, we'd have discussions on what we were gonna post, like, every day, and I was like, Oh my god, like, we all of us were like, so I was like, this is a nightmare. So it was just cool. Like to see how you grow and, and kind of grow into different roles and, and then you delegate and you know, just make sure you put people in the right roles. And at the beginning, it's, you know, everyone's so hungry, and we're all stepping on each other's toes. But you know, really to create a business you got to realize what people do best and put them in their own roles and and then grow the team and, you know, make sure you ask for help.
And that's, I mean, that's something We're going through now is one carding process. And I mean, all digital stuff is there's so many variables and nuances, and that's we're trying to do is create roles who does what? Because you get too many cooks in the kitchen and it's just like, one it takes that much longer to make a decision in two, it's just like, Is that the right decision? So, I mean, how have you gone about trying to delegate and being comfortable with it and knowing that, you know, it's still gonna be on brand, it's still gonna be on point.
Yeah, I mean, I think again, for the first couple years, we were spinning our wheels and we learn what to do, what not to do at the beginning, because again, like, you know, at the very beginning, we didn't really determine Yes, Stephen or Nick was the graphic designer, and we had our expertise and stuff so but we never really sat down and determined what everyone's gonna focus on right and then as far as like, as we started to grow, that's when we when I became in the in the CEO role that was important for me to create processes job descriptions, like really lay out expectations like really form business, right like You can only you can only wing it for so long and we did weird we did that for several years and we're very organic and everything and that's what I get most excited about is creating that actual you know business and again the job descriptions and the processes and all that kind of stuff because you really got a more automation the better the more people can focus on like, Hey, this is what you do well, this is what we expect of you and you know, thank you for helping us and then we could everyone else could focus on their own role so that's what's really helped us continue to grow is just really determining everyone's you know, strengths and then just you know, putting the right people in place and growing the team in the right way because that's one thing I take a lot of pride in. It's just everyone that's on our team now have some time we've had some type of relationship with them in the past right I mean, we got connected with was that call and you know, it's just you could you could tell stories on every single person who works with us, and you get to know their work ethic and they got to be just as passionate about the brand as you are, you know, designers and everyone So it's that's been the most exciting part most rewarding part is to be able to, obviously employ people but then see them help us grow because it's not. It's not just me. It's not just Nick. It's it takes a it takes an army.
Yeah, takes a team. That's exciting. I mean, did you guys see great growth or more efficiencies after you started?
Yeah, we've had growth year over year for all seven years in business. So that's, you know, something to be very proud of, but obviously, we're at a point where we're trying to even take it to that next level. And as you know, some insights I mean, creating a foundation and you know, creating these different you know, revenue streams and license deals in retail and opening more doors and there's so much more we can do. Collaboration is a huge part of our business. So that's exciting is that the more you create a local, you know, passionate community, the more the more you can do. All right, the more people trust you, the more people understand that what your message is, is real and it's you know, clothing for all inspired by Arizona. I think there's so much more you can do and that sort of thing, too. We always want to be more than just selling t shirts and hats. We want to be that recognized brand of Arizona, and we just want to promote love all the time.
No, I love it. And I mean, one thing you mentioned is the collaborations. And, I mean, I assume I know why it started. But how did that get started? And what is the whole idea of collaboration?
Yeah, that's great question. That's one thing too, when you're starting a business, you got to be able to adapt, right? Like when we first started with, oh, just make these cool designs. Everyone's gonna buy all this stuff. And, you know, we're big sports fan. So like, of course, we always wanted to tie in sports even at the very beginning. We're like, you know, thinking of ideas, like how can we make like a Nash, you know, design but not being infringing went to Nash. So we quickly realized that's not the way we wanted to do wanted to make sure partnerships were were because we don't want to infringe and upset people and kind of rip people off and that's the last thing we want to do. So our first big partnership came with Bruce Arians, and how that came about was when he became the Cardinals head coach. We're like, man, let's make it like we kept thinking about how can we make a design of course, the popular thing is how Make it work with Fitz or Patrick Peterson, whatever it was like, let's make some for ba like he just seemed like the coolest guy in the world, right. And then Nick created a couple different design ideas, one being the silhouette of ba with the headphones. And this was 2014. And again, relationships are big and how we've grown. So like Brian, whoa, with Phoenix Fashion Week, we went through Phoenix Fashion Week, he knew Jake ariens, which is Bruce Arians son, the president of their foundation. Next, you know, we were pitching them designs, they loved it. And then next thing, you know, the Cardinals were the hottest team and then a foul and ba was the coolest coach. And what was really impactful on that though, is $5 per sure went back to the ariens Family Foundation, which helped neglected children so it wasn't just more It was a cool shirt and the BA was the cool coast Cardinals were winning, but it was more about helping the children right and that deserve a better upbringing so that that's what's I'm so proud of to stay for days, all these collaboration, all these organizations we get to work with. Again, it's amazing getting bigger impact not only, not all the time, it's a huge financial impact but just to create an awareness and just knowing like where our hearts are out, like we want to be able to make a difference in our community. So
some of the collaborations you do with I mean, Dignity Health, there's a couple other ones, but I mean, some of them that you do you actually take, you know, part of the profits and donate, right I mean, how
Yeah, so that's there's a couple parts of the collaboration process a lot of the majority of the collaboration process is b2b as you know. So you know, XYZ organization reaches out they want to do a collaboration, it's a minimum order, we create a co branded design ultimately they pick what they want and then we sell to them at a wholesale price which allows them to resell it, you know, generate profit or just you know, give it to their team members use for marketing whatever they want to use for that's majority of the collaboration now, you know, a lot of you know, then there's you know, several that end up on our website that makes sense, right, like Phoenix shown the hospital and we have to be strategic right? So if it's, we don't have anything right now on our website. It's benefiting or if it's a larger large, large organization that can can help promote it and push traffic to us and that that's where we make the bigger difference. So Phoenix Children's Hospital american cancer society, you know, working with, you know, Luis Gonzalez, hometown heroes that benefits first responders in Arizona. So being strategic of like, I work in this, you know, we work with a fiesta bowl that you know, has best wishes for teachers, fun, we have a shirt that, you know, supports teachers. So that's our goal is support everyone. And that's the difference of how why would end up on the website, or as it would just mainly be b2b. So it's no disrespect or anything to anyone that doesn't end up on the website or just a lot of no makes sense. We have to be honest with ourselves and say, all right, if we're going to take over logistics and order, the inventory and everything, are people really going to buy the shirt that are the masses that come to the website are going to be interested in a shirt so more than just the organization promoting it. So that's how we have to look at it. I wish we could say yes to everything, but we can't. So that's the kind of the difference of why something ends up why collaboration ends up on our website. Or, or if it's just b2b
makes sense? Yeah, the Bruce Arians stuff that's, that's exciting. I mean, I'm an Arizona native I love sports you got you guys do a lot with the Diamondbacks as well, which I mean, that's tough MLB it's like can't license anything? I mean, how have you kind of how did that relationship start with all the different sports teams, I wanted to start with Bruce and
Bruce Arians gave us a ton of credibility and they've become like family now. And that's and that's that's so been been so cool part of the agreement is that we're going to get involved with all their golf tournaments and all their you know, all their events, and you get to network and meet people and develop relationships and, you know, still provide those shirts and so it was really became a family and that, you know, the show was ending up on, you know, Monday Night Football and it was just kind of all over and all those big events that BA in the foundation would put on next thing you know, the Diamondbacks took notice and, you know, add medium and Allison and they blew us away. And next thing you know, we're working with IMAX and the sun's and it just kind of all like started working together, right and it came to coming together. And that's I think that's what's so important. And again, what I mentioned earlier, just like celebrating the small wins, because everything seems like a huge leap. Like, it was a big commitment, you know, to partner with the Diamondbacks. And then, you know, next to everything just kind of gets a little easier and easier and more realistic once you actually go through it and learn like, Okay, this is what we should, what we should do what we shouldn't do, like, you kind of gotta go through that. But that's when we grateful again, that's why it all really stemmed that beginning relationship with Bruce Arians, because it just gave us a ton of credibility and, and that's, that's the thing everyone wants to work with people they like, and they're easy to work with. And that's what we also take a lot of pride on is like we want to make to make it as easy as possible and want to add value as much as possible.
There's so many things that you have that crease that network, I mean, has the collaborations kind of did that open the the, I guess, sense of community because then you guys pushed community very hard. Was it the collaborations that started that or was that always the passion early on? or?
Yeah, I mean, I think the ultimate goal again, at the beginning was just, you know, promoting Arizona in a positive fashionable way. Again, this is where we're from is just like that hometown pride. So That's where it started. And then it really developed into, you know, community is is such a, you know, popular word to say right now. So we always try to, you know, actions speak louder than words and and those actions are working in all these different organizations, you know, donating, you know, again, it's not always about money, I wish we could just write checks, but we were not in a position to do that. So, how can we create, you know, a custom design that people you know, like, and that could work out for both parties, right. So, I think Yeah, just the, the more we are working with different organizations, the more impact you're making, and that's what's turned, you know, really stemmed us to create our own foundation, which we just got approved this week on Monday, actually, so we'll have some exciting things coming to do our on our own. But yeah, that's that's kind of how it transition is just like working in different organizations and knowing like the impact you're making, and even hearing it you know, all the positive feedback from the community in the organizations you work with is just saying like, wow, this is what he you know, did offer to T shirt. And I think that's, we have to remember sometimes, like, we sell t shirts and hats, but it's so much more than that. Right? So
fast forward to kind of the present time. I mean, with everything going on COVID everything. I mean, it's retail has been hit really hard. stores have to shut down, which I mean, you have two locations. How have you kind of you mentioned pivoting in real time and all that. I mean, how have you kinda, how's day 48 handled COVID and, and,
and whatnot. It's It's, uh, I've been so proud of the team during this time and just being able to pivot like you said, because at the very beginning when all this started hitting it, oh, wow, this is scary, you know, and then, but my mindset and our goal is like to always just make the best out of something right? Like you can complain and dwell on something forever by something else, someone else is gonna get ahead of you. Right? So, you know, immediately probably took a day or two to really like make sure the team was good understand, like, Hey, this is our plan moving forward. The last thing we want to do is lay anyone off and thankfully, we haven't had to any if anything, we've actually hired since since COVID. So or during this whole whatever you call it, right. But we, we launched a mass campaign that really kicked off the time like, you know, as soon as things started happening, we're like, Okay, this I feel like the mass trend is going to be the reality right? So we started, we printed 200 masks and just include in every online order, and it was, oh my god, just blow it just blew up right and then so these last couple months, like, really forced us to just be more creative and put in have to emphasis on pushing more content online and just stepping our game up because that was a huge opportunity for us to improve our online presence. And obviously, you know, EIC has been a big help for there. But it's just forced us to just be better, right? And just be more strategic, like, what are the next five holidays coming? What designs can we do? What are the next five partnerships? So it's like, that's where my mind's always going. I'm like, wow, you know, we did a very successful massive campaign is still going on, you know, texture and hard sharp. There's a lot of good things that were happening in these last couple months. And I'm just like, Alright, what's the next five things to do? So you always got to be planning ahead and you always got to have that pipeline filled otherwise, and that's my role. And that's what I love to do is just like, you know, make sure we don't become complacent or, or lose sales or anything like that. So you're always just trying to figure out like, what could we do next
and the wind that guides the ship. So the facemask stuff I, I love the approach that you guys took because I mean, a lot of people immediately went to Alright, we're gonna sell mass, we're gonna sell mass, where you guys kind of took a different approach and actually included it with every purchase. Have you guys gotten any feedback from customers and all that? I mean, are people appreciative of kind of that approach? Rather than trying to capitalize on I mean, obviously it's gonna drive some sales but but it's not not immediately profiting off just the mask itself. I mean, yeah,
I think that was, that's the thing. We always want to try to do something a little different. Now that's not like, totally outside of the box. include something Yeah and an online order but I will say that we did start you know this before every single organization and every you know, had their own mass which is great cool, like, right it's just a facemask cover that relay let's try it and then it's been super successful. So really it's been overwhelming amount of positivity and now like we most people, a lot of times now we have ad running that you know, masses included. A lot of times people don't even we post about it organically but a lot of times people are like pleasantly surprised when they haven't, you know, mask included in their order so says a lot about they're just grateful to be you know, I'm just grateful for everyone purchasing from Safeway during this time and obviously more people are on their phones and ever more people are at home and so that's why we've been strategic on just getting more content, more options, listening to what people are saying and, and just, you know, adapting as we go. And
that's something I love. I mean, work with you guys just listening to feedback. How can we kind of change you the process messaging, whatever it may be? I mean, just quite a few companies right now. There's lower saying and they'll, they'll get the feedback but don't make any changes. And that's
why I personally love like manager social media because I love hearing the comments right away, man, if I heard 10 different people saying we need more, we need men's tanks again. Okay, well, now we're gonna offer men's tanks like, you're, no, you're dumb not to listen to your community that are supporting you that like, of course, you're gonna hear a lot of random stuff, right? But you got to fault you got to pay attention to trends, and if it's important to, you know, engage with everyone and just show love and, but more importantly, listen, like get their feedback, you know, if we're going to do this, are you Is this something you're interested in? Right? It's not about us, it's about the people that are gonna support our brand. So that was one thing we struggled at the beginning it was, you know, we were, you know, very, you know, prideful and stubborn almost and be like, man, we want to I want to make this as Stephen, Nick and I are totally three different people, as you know, and it's just like, I want to make this you know, I want to make this. It's not about us. It's what sales is what people say so, so we we We take pride in listening to what customers are saying.
And when did that click?
Like, I was like, No,
no, no, we're doing what we want to do. I mean, appreciate your feedback, but they weren't due to, you know, maybe we should.
That's what we've always listened to and appreciate if you guys don't get me wrong there, but it was just like, we were just more focused on like, what, what we wanted, right? And it was just like, it's not about us, not about us. And I think just as you grow like it is important at the beginning to have a clear vision because you don't have that strong community, you know, supporting you and giving you that feedback, you know, so, but, you know, having, I think what, what really cleared up for us is just having our regular weekly meetings, you know, if that was every Tuesday at 9am, we don't miss that and then if there's any frustration or anything built up is we air it out right here again internally, and then really just let that let sales let numbers tell you what, what makes sense. Of course, we have to be the ones creating too creative and, you know, being mindful of what else is out there. And what can we do different? What you what you, you know, you always gotta pay attention to trends. But I think it's so important to make sure you listen to your community because they're the ones supporting you. It's It's It's pretty, pretty simple.
I'm excited just personally here. I mean, it's like, just hearing what you've been saying on identifying roles, departments, meetings and all that literally the last like two weeks, we've been focused on that crazy different departments who's leading it, and then having more regular check ins and stuff like that. And so I'm excited to see if we can kind of follow suit on that and see the efficiencies from there. But something that you keep mentioning is trends and data. I mean, how much has data played a role in your guys's growth? I mean, is it something that that you see is important?
Yeah, no data has been its facts, right. Like, I just love facts, like you eliminate a lot of opinions. And by I mean, you've obviously been a huge help and get it getting our CRM rolling and all that. So again, for several years, you know, we didn't have the right reporting and everything that really now With you know, our reporting says I pull up exactly how many you know shirt so I can look at year over year trends I can our p&l is up to date. So that is so important. The more you grow, you need those numbers right at your fingertips if you want to make that next big decision, right? And you decision you want to, you want to base your, your, your decisions off of facts. And that's, that's so important. So if anyone's listening, start that get all your stuff figured out at the very beginning, because we winged it for several years.
But you guys win the well. I mean, don't
get me wrong, I still use numbers, but it was just not all the data was there. Right. And that's and that's an you know, it's just so important.
No, I love that. It's it's, I mean, before starting this was at ASU and we had a director that just wouldn't look at data and just be like, no, I like that. Let's run with that. And it's amazing how many I mean, as I talk to more businesses, how many businesses just make more subjective decisions rather than let's look at the data and see what we
get wrong. You know, not just because data tells you one thing doesn't mean you know, So you have to do but at least you have information at your fingertips and you can have a, you know, a honest, effective conversation with the team and be like, you know, someone, I think you should do this. But okay, we've sold eight this year, like, this is not something we need to be focusing our energy on. So that's where it kind of just helps out. So I think, but it's just so important to base your decisions off of fact. So
as we kind of look towards the future, I mean, you guys are doing collaborations quite a bit. I mean, your online sales are growing. I mean, you guys are growing. What are you most excited about? More in the short term, the next six months? I mean, is there something you're currently working on? Or what what are you most excited about for the next six months
ready to launch our safe 48 Foundation? It's very exciting. Really, again, want to stand by what we always say is community right? And we really want to make a bigger difference and having this foundation 501 c three is going to help us do that. We have a lot of things cooking and we have a travel club that we were getting ready to launch we've prior to COVID. So that's not going to work out yeah. So I'll be on hold but opening more doors right like Our location in Chandler has been very successful, we have a location at the church on downtown Phoenix but opening more doors, we you know, it could be easier for people to shop still a lot of people want to touch feel it, like retail is, is a different game now. But if you have a, you know, a cool space where they can actually have an experience there and you can you know, manage, I guess it's your crew that you know, are taking care of people, I mean, Stacy's a rock star at our headquarters and everyone on our team is always gonna have take pride in customer service. So if you can control that, that's what that's what I'm excited for. It's very could be very profitable. And I think just opening more doors and venturing off to different things is gonna allow us to grow more license deals, we have our credit card with one AZ you know, hopeful for a license plate option mistake
or something was that with Aidan
obviously, a part of that is you have to have 501 c three so, so there's a lot of big stuff you're always always working on but in the short term, just really like making sure always team's good and again, like I was touching on, like, that's been the most kind of exciting part for me recently is just having those one on one conversations I here's expectations, like, you know, just making sure everyone feels empowered and like, I don't want to person myself or Nick or you know, working with the designers, like, we're not gonna do justice if we're micromanaging or like having to be involved in every single thing. So it's just like, hey, you're, you're on this team for a reason. You're amazing. Like, here's your expectations. I think it's important for people to understand their role and like, Why are you always gonna explain why right? But that's, that's been the coolest thing is actually like really creating a business and a corporation. And I just having those different pillars is what, you know, so many people ask, how are you going to get outside of Arizona, you know, or how are you going to keep growing I'm like, man, we're not even scratching the surface yet. If there's not only we're not reaching everyone, there's so much we're doing we're gonna be doing so much more than just pride products and products always be our core right but like I just mentioned, travel club Foundation. Opening more doors, you know, licensed like there's so much more opportunities out there for
that's a lot to toss around because I mean everyone always wants to expand nationally globally and everything like that. But if everything is so sate forty eight it's like, well, maybe instead of expanding outside of the state lines, how can we just find different business opportunities and revenue lines within Arizona and keep hitting on that that Arizona drum?
Yeah, I mean, that's always the most common route. You're only in Arizona. Yeah, there's a lot of people and I'm not that I'm not that naive person to say Oh, if you only hit 1% or 10% of like that but like knowing what's in our database now growing our email growing our social like, there's so much more opportunity and if it turns into you know, franchise play where here's a model that works in Arizona, but you find passionate people in other states too. You know, that's that's something that's on the radar too, but like our passion is Arizona and that's the only thing that makes sense right now. So there's just so much more opportunity to grow in Arizona
blurred vision. Now you're lying keep going down. It says we kind of kind of wrap up I mean, There's a lot of clothing brands have just exploded I mean with drop shipping ecommerce. I mean, there's a lot of people that are doing doing it trying to maybe struggling I mean, what would be your biggest piece of advice for anyone that's kinda starting out they want to start their own brand don't really know their vision, but I mean, what what are some ways that
a lot of fun like, I even got off the phone, my, my buddy this morning and he was asking advice. He just started a clothing line that is, you know, focused on sobriety is amazing, right? And but it's just, it's so cool that like, remember, when you first started, we had no idea what we're doing right? I had no one to really lean on. And you just have to learn that kind of stuff as you go. But now it's been amazing to be able to, you know, give that that knowledge and pass on that knowledge who is I want people to show love for Arizona even if it's a similar there's similar brands around sate forty eight I think that's awesome. I think that's what always gonna drive us that much more. But I think to answer your question, you got to be solving a problem. I was going to separate you and for us that's our community aspect right like We the collaboration side of the business a lot of times until people really get to know who we are don't even understand it, right? Like anyone can find incredible graphic designers that make cool designs, but partnerships, relationships, that's huge, right? We're not about the transaction. Like, I hope everyone you know, feel confident that anyone who's worked with us would vouch for that too. And say, like, hey, how can we add value? How can this be relationship if it's two years from down the road? And we did 50 shirts? Or do you like what else could we do? Right so like, that's, I think what separates you want to work with people you enjoy to work with and good people and as again, as that's, that's the biggest thing is just solving a problem and you got to be passionate about what you're doing. Don't just think you're gonna start making millions of dollars by by making a cool design because even if you have a cool design, like our logo, in my opinion, like it is still so you know, there's so many challenges every single day, it's so much harder to continue to grow right. And make sure you're taking care of there's so much parts parts of the business that you could fail on, you know, if you don't do it, right,
you just know on the head. It's a Some people start stuff and just want to do it to make money rather than Alright, how can I use my passion and figure out how to solve a problem and that's what's always gonna go. And I think that's just I mean, outside of just fashion and stuff like that. It's, it's knowing what you love doing and how can what your passion is solve a problem. And then and then run with it. Because if you're not doing that, you eventually you get to a point where you grow, where there's a lot of things, you got to take care of that, that isn't just selling or building that product, like the accounting and staffing and all that. And if you're not loving it, all that stuff you're not going to do and then
more money, more problems. And that's just means like, the more your revenue grows, the more you need to grow your team, the more responsibilities you have, the more pressure like now having a team, you know, almost 15 not all you know, seven of the seven those team members are full time but like they're relying on save for a that's like that's a big, you know, it's a lot It weighs on you. So I'm constantly like, you know, always thinking about how we could do better and improve and yeah, definitely there's so much more expensive if you're not in in this for the right reasons of course you want to you know make money and sustain a business but a lot of times takes a years to really get to a point if you want to do it the right way if you want to you know be selfish and take the money that and whatever you deserve you deserve you deserve that but if you want to work hard just for but not grow the team and take it to another level you always got to be thinking of the business first put money back in and that kind of stuff. So yeah, the the mission has to be there
I appreciate the opportunity and helping you guys out I mean, it's it's fun seeing your passion, the team's passion I mean ever seen a group of people at a company that just love the brand and want to help the community out so much more and so it's fine I mean, you guys are gonna just continue to grow like crazy. And I mean, we're Yeah, and I mean, when it comes anyone that might not know who you guys are, I mean, how can they find you? How can they find stay? 48 where can they find out we're
we're all over the place on on social media. She was asked for it. That's all spelled out. No, you and the 40. But yeah, stay for a calm. They'll show like other reasons. retailers that sell our stuff and our locations, but our social media is is consistent what's on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and kind of make it your kind of you know, customize it to every every channel right to so hopefully you'll see us on on ads and such but yeah, we have our headquarters in Chandler if you ever want to come in and see us in person, see the product. That's where we're at, but stay 48 stay for you calm is where you can find us.
Cool. Well, I appreciate the time. appreciate all the insights. excited to see where you guys go from here.
Thanks, buddy.

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