Billy Thompson and Randy Choi created Thompson Tees because they suffer from hyperhidrosis or excessive underarm sweating. Both men were always buying new shirts because they got stained so quickly. Choi even had surgery to try to correct the problem. Nothing worked for them, so they spent several years developing their patented “Hydro-Shield sweat proof technology” to make their lives and millions of others, a bit less sweaty.
Now, Thompson Tees is a market leader in an arguably new niche market. More than 3 percent of the population suffers from hyperhidrosis, so the market is there. The secret is an integrated sweat proof barrier that also facilitates evaporation, so when you wear Thompson Tees you look and feel dry. So far, they sold over 90,000 units and they grew 100 percent year-over-year since starting the business in 2012 . At $25-$35 per shirt, they aren't sweating sales!
The two men made a commitment to keep manufacturing in the USA, despite numerous offers to bring manufacturing overseas to China. Choi is a garment industry veteran who has seen first-hand how foreign garment workers are treated. He didn't want that for their brand, so they make everything in the USA. The shirts are a blend of cotton and bamboo and they feel they are not only supporting the U.S. economy, but delivering a superior product.
The business is poised to double revenue in 2017. That means they need money to fuel the growth and an investment from a Shark would help.
My Take on Thompson Tees
I don't suffer from hyperhidrosis, but if I did, I'd own these shirts. Everyone has seen someone walking around with sweaty pits and it looks nasty. Even people who don't have the condition might want a few shirts for when they are exercising or working in hot weather. I could see a Thompson Tee or two in my drawers in the future.
I am a sucker for companies committed to manufacturing in the USA, too. If more businesses committed to making things in the USA, we'd all be better off.China exploits cheap labor and wrecks the environment, just so the world can have cheap goods. There has to be a way to bring more manufacturing back to the USA. Politicians and big corporations aren't going to do it, it will be entrepreneurs and people who care about quality of life as much as they do about the bottom line. For these reasons, I'm in.
Will the Sharks Sweat it Out?
There is no question that Thompson Tee has a superior product. They are the only player in the game right now and if they expand quickly and intelligently, they will be a $100 million company in a few years. The Sharks ought to recognize this and will smell blood in the water.
Daymond is always a target when any apparel company is in the Tank, but he's all about manufacturing in China. He could offer advice for a slice of the Thompson Tees pie, but he'll want a big slice. Mark could take a flyer too, especially if he can be a hands-off investor. He likes smart entrepreneurs who can run with the ball. Mr. Wonderful and Robert have interests in apparel companies and Lori will like the mass appeal.
Any Shark could bid and I suspect there will be multiple offers. The question is, will Billy and Randy accept.