Zac Sheaffer of Zamage Clothing, has been a business owner for sixteen years. Even as a kid, he was selling mixtapes and candy to fellow classmates. Upon graduating highschool, he opened up a tiny, 500 sq. foot business, where he sold white t-shirts, cell phone accessories and DVDs (this was when the iPhone was barely out and Netflix was still just a place to rent DVDs from). A year out from opening that, he partnered with New Era Cap Co, lining his store with well known products like New Era MLB, NBA, NFL, & NHL, which he says made his business seem more “legit” – and brought in a lot more customers.
Fast forward a quick four years, and he had managed to land a space 10 times the size, at 5,000 square feet. Zamage Clothing was booming with merchandise, including the brands Rocawear, Miskeen, Enyce, Akademiks, Timberland, and Converse. But this was 2008, and with it, the recession. Zac says he nearly lost it all but – thanks to entrepreneurial skills that Zac is constantly sharpening – Zamage Clothing stayed afloat. This included creative marketing techniques, staying focused on Zamage and not being daunted by Big Retail, and pushing through for his employees and for the customers.
By 2012, with the recession fading out, Zamage Clothing launched its online store. Zac says this “turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.” This was around the time he started using Instagram – as his main marketing tool – by collaborating with bigger accounts for shoutouts. That’s how Zamage Clothing reached their 400k followers today. Zac gave some tips and advice for new entrepreneurs and those thinking of starting their own business:
Biggest Piece Of Advice? Do It Because You Love It.
“My biggest piece of advice to people who are going into business is don’t get into it just for the money. Get into it further because you’re passionate about it and when you get into it plan on being the best. If you’re not planning on being the best then don’t even waste your time…When you go into the business you always have the David and Goliath attitude: never look at a bigger company and say I can’t do it. Everyone possesses their own unique abilities and it’s your job to identify with yours and amplify them times one hundred…Out of the sixteen years I’ve been running my business I don’t feel like I worked a day in my life because I love what I do and that’s very important. You have to work so hard and enjoy what you do and when that success comes you feel like you’re floating in air with such a big feeling of accomplishment. It’s a wonderful feeling. That’s when you truly are living your real life that you desire, and where all your creativity flows…and you’re truly destined to be who you are to be.”
“You have to be able to adapt over the years. I’ve watched it go from a brick-and-mortar business to an online business. Now a lot of brands that you would carry want to sell directly to consumers themselves so you have to get your own stuff manufactured. The business owners that lose it all are the ones that don’t know how to adapt. They think they can do the same thing with the same results. You must always be willing to adapt and you must always put in the research to figure out how to take a vantage of the next wave.” One way to stay ahead? Keeping up with your connections and attending conventions, which Zac says helps you know how to keep your business on the edge of what’s going on.”
“At this point in my life I also learned that having a daughter and fiancé, and the rest of my family, that you must try to balance everything. It sounds sad to say it but you have to schedule them all in, when you work, and your social time. Because at the end of the day, what are you really doing if it’s not to be around your loved ones. And one of my favorites is work hard, play hard.”
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