This couple started their T-shirt business from the garage, now designing for the U.S. army

Abu Mubarik November 02, 2022
Photo credit: miamiherald.com

Black couple Rose and Tony Jean are the founders of T-shirt Mayhem, a business they started from their Kendall home garage.  The company is into designing T-shirts and uniforms, according to the Miami Herald.

Before launching Mayhem, Tony worked for a T-shirt company and was also into designs when he mooted the idea for him and his wife to start a business together. Rose came up with a business plan following thorough research. They also had a family member based in Haiti join the team to help them with funding. As part of the structure of the company, Rose became the salesperson while Tony focused on production.

From a humble beginning, they have expanded the business into one of the thriving business spaces in South Miami. One of the company’s first customers was the church. Now they have the U.S. army as one of their customers.

Tony revealed that the U.S. army contacted them in 2017 and it was from the contract that they secured that they used to build the company and spend more time with the family.

According to the couple, the company gained success from referrals. The couple explained that due to the quality of work they do, recommending their work to others was very easy.

Like many Black-owned businesses, Covid-19 eventually disrupted the nature of their business. According to Tony, the business was growing before the pandemic. However, “after Covid-19 hit, business surpassed what we thought would. I haven’t been able to keep up with certain jobs, so Rose would have to help with at certain times,” Tony told the Miami Herald.

“Although business started to increase when COVID-19 emerged, when that caused people to go into isolation due to the public health risks, things ceased with our company,” Rose added.

This led Rose to found StartUP, a business incubator at FIU. “That bootcamp-style training gave me information, resources we needed and directed me to financial help from the Small Business Administration. Then as the pandemic waned, we’ve had so many customers calling,” according to her.

Juggling between running a business and managing the family has not been easy for the couple. According to them, they had their first child when they launched Mayhem. Tony was working for another company when Mayhem had just started.

“I had to juggle going to work, handling our business and then our child after he was born. I had a choice to make between staying at my job or leaving, and working with our business full time,” he said.

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