Hello, my name is Brennan Ryan. I am a small business owner that made a decision to go into business for myself 13 years ago. I was a teacher (and coach) for my first few years out of college, but I wanted a change, and floated around for a few years until I decided to go out on my own and started my company 513 Promo. We get for businesses anything they would get with their logo or branding on it, like their promotional products and imprinted apparel. I work from my home, and this has allowed me the flexibility to maintain a long career coaching high school, college, and youth sports on the side, and getting to spend quality time with my kids. Don’t get me wrong, as a small business owner I have to put in a lot of time, especially since I am the sales guy, the customer service guy, the business operations guy, the art guy, the billing guy, etc. But it never feels like work since it is my own thing, and I am not stuck with an exact rigid schedule. It allows me to be able to not worry about taking official vacation days or time off if I want to take my kids to Kings Island for a few hours or take a trip somewhere. However, if you ask my wife, the downside is I still am always answering emails and phone calls even when I am “off”, because if I am not able to keep up with their orders, I run the risk of missing deadlines for my clients. And working from home and getting business calls, there is always the struggle of keeping your kids from yelling, fighting, making all kinds of noise in the background. It seems the only time someone yells out or starts crying is right when I am on an important call, it never fails. But it definitely has been the best decision I ever made, to go out and do my own thing. The toughest part is probably the up and down waves as far as no steady income during slow times, or when customers are late paying their invoices, but it seems to work out in the end.
A few years ago, with a friend of mine, I started a secondbusiness called Ryco Sportswear. We have our own line of custom dye sublimated sportswear apparel. We sell our products to schools, teams, and clubs, and also to distributors that then sell our products to their clients. Long story short, this came out of the mix of my experience in the imprinted apparel world, and my 20+ years coaching wrestling, and we decided to get involved with making our own line of wrestling singlets and other sportswear apparel, and it has grown from there. It definitely keepsme hopping, running 2 small businesses, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This brings us to current. With the essential shutdown of our country and economy, sales had screeched to a halt over the last couple months, like getting really ugly, as it has for a lot of us. But then last month we knew we needed to find a new niche in this current Covid-19 situation that we are in. We saw the demand all around for face masks. So, we started manufacturing our own line of custom imprinted social distancing face masks to sell in bulk to businesses. These are custom dye sublimated to have your own design, company logo, whatever you want on the masks. We could have never predicted how much this would take off. Businesses and people want and need masks for safety precautions, and they have loved the fact they can still brand their business on the items. Overnight we went from figuring out when sales would start again, to currently not having time to sleep to keep up with the demand. And recently we have had demand from police officers and other first responders for masks, as many of them do not have face protection. We decided to donate some masks with a unique first responder design to some local departments. But knowing that really isn’t enough to fulfill all of their needs, we decided to also start a GoFundMe campaign to see if others would want to donate so that we can manufacture and donate as many more masks as we can for more police officers and other first responders.
If anyone would like to contribute to the donation campaign, see this link below (and thank you in advance):
We also are currently looking for independent sales reps that would like the opportunity to work from home at their own pace and promote sales of our masks to more businesses. There really is a market for this immediately. This also could transition to further sales opportunities with our company down the line after things get back to normal.