Brothers Rashad and Kamard Johnson are the founders of the multi-million-dollar commercial tire empire, GTT Commercial Tires, headquartered in Richmond.
Rashad, the elder of the two, worked in a variety of industries, including sheetrock, seal coating, and paving. He would later become an inspiration to Kamard, who grew up seeing him always attempting to be his own man and essentially blaze his own trail. The two brothers first ventured into a car dealership and it led them to start GTT Commercial Tires, according to thetruckingentrepreneurspodcast.com.
Rashad recalled how some of his trucker customers would frequently complain about how difficult it may be to get tires for their commercial work trucks in his prior line of employment with passenger-vehicle tires. This gave the business motivation. Currently employing about 17, the business provides services throughout I-95 from North Carolina to Southern Maryland as well as in Hampton Roads.
From the shed of their backyard in 2016, they started what would later become a multi-million-dollar commercial tire empire with just seven tires. In 2018, GTT Commercial Tires made sales revenue amounting to $317,000 and quickly grew it to $4.6M in revenue at the end of 2021, increasing customer volume, revenue volume, and employee volume.
“Daily we do about 30 trucks, so on a weekly basis over 200,” Kamard told wtvr. “The growth has been unreal. From six figures to seven figures year over year, and now we are on pace for eight figures.”
Despite the success of their tire business, the Richmond-based brothers said there is still room for growth.
“Seventy-two percent of the goods in America are moved on a tractor-trailer or some sort of commercial vehicle,” Kamard said. “In order for them to roll, they need tires. Despite it being a plethora of tire stores there are still not enough to meet all of the needs that are there.”
Kamard is delighted at the moderate success he and his brother have chalked in the business world, particularly growing up with not a lot of role models.
“For us, two young brothers from an urban community with not a lot of role models if you will — to not only, not take the entertainment or sports route and to actually get into business for ourselves and to be moderately successful in doing so, I feel like it really has opened our eyes and our perspective,” he said.
Rashad and Kamard Johnson grew up in Southside Richmond in a single-parent household. They were raised by their mother.