We can’t talk about our story without talking about our leader, so we’ll do both.
In the early 80′s, John Anton, a newly crowned Sun Devil was not quite sure about where his future was headed. In pursuit of a Marketing degree and armed with an entrepreneurial spirit, a whim and a soon to be maxed out credit card (the first of 67), John decided to print 200 t-shirts for an upcoming ASU vs. USC football game. Within 2-hours, John’s t-shirts quickly sold out. For the next couple of years, John became a permanent fixture at college events and became known as the campus t-shirt guy.
THE “REAL” WORLD
After graduating from ASU with his degree and pressured to “find a real job”, John lasted 3-months in the corporate world before returning to his t-shirt business. John’s renewed belief in his business prompted him to purchase his own screen-printing equipment and set up shop in his garage.
John’s HOA finally caught on to what he was doing and forced him to shut down his operation and “relocate”. I guess no one had home-based businesses back then. Unable to sell his house due to the housing market values, John took a huge gamble, rented out his house, sold his car and used his life savings to buy a 3,600 sq. ft. warehouse on Scottsdale Road in Tempe, Arizona. With no where to live, John promptly moved into Anton Sport’s warehouse.
Fortunately for John, his new living arrangements paid off because he got his first big break with an order to produce the official shirts of the PGA’s Phoenix Open. That order changed his life and his custom t-shirt & apparel business was off to a roaring start once again…
In the ensuing years, Anton Sport grew to include a staff of 40+ employees and a major expansion that tripled the size of the building to over 10,000 sq. ft. and John saw this as an opportunity.
As the surge in online sales continued, John hired a software development company to build a web-based design system. No more waiting for proofs. No delays for artwork revisions. John wanted the customer to be in complete control of the design process.
Finally, after numerous delays and sleepless nights, DesignAShirt.com went live and another one of John’s gambles had paid off. Today, DesignAShirt.com has printed millions of custom t-shirts and apparel for our customers all over the U.S.A. and will ship to anyone in the world. We look forward to welcoming you as one of them!
Meet the rest of the DesignAShirt team!