We will be featuring small businesses with big dreams and aspirations to help others – in different ways.
As we network throughout the community, we find so many interesting and knowledgeable individuals that are on a mission to help their client. Mark Kean is another individual that has a lot going on! Not only is he running Runback Apparel, he also runs along with his wife, ShopWoodstock.com which we featured in one of our other Small Business Profiles.
We have been fortunate enough to see how Your Oxford has evolved do a few designs for Mark and Runback Apparel during the busy curling season. We have been in awe of how awesome these teams look in their clothing on the ice!
Find out how he started his business, Runback Apparel in this month’s Small Business Profile.
Background about your business – what you do, what you provide, how long you have been in business
Runback is a brand dedicated to the curler. Since early 2013 we have been providing curlers with high quality custom designed performance apparel. We use a process known as sublimation to transfer high quality digital graphics straight into polyester based fabric.
Sublimation allows us to create vibrant visually appealing garments that not only look great, but feel fantastic and perform extremely well. We pride ourselves on our customer service, turnaround time, incredible designs, and functional products.
Your business background – Does it run in the family? Education? History?
My entrepreneurial spirt has always been strong. As a child I would hang around with my Dad at the family business, Scott Bus Lines, learning the tips and tricks to running a successful company.
I graduated from Marketing & General Business in 2010 from Conestoga College. Then in 2013 I started Runback while still working at the Hamilton Spectator as a District Manager. In 2016 my wife and I also became the owners of ShopWoodstock.com
What advice would you suggest to aspiring business owners?
Find something you love and are passionate about. Owning your own business can be tough at times, but if you really love what you do the good times will outweigh the bad times.
Where do you see your business in 5 years, 10 years?
In 5-10 years I see Runback as an even stronger name in the curling world. I would love to have it involved in further product lines to offer our customers the full package. We have a lot of amazing customers who we really love working with. To offer more to them would really help us create a brand that the curler can be proud of.
What has been your most successful marketing tactic?
Email newsletters have been a great marketing tactic for Runback. I’ve also used social media successfully, though not nearly to it’s full extent and word of mouth. Having the Runback brand on TV to a National audience also helps to sell some extra shirts and jackets.
Who inspired you to go into business and why?
The family business at a young age inspired me to go into business. I loved the idea freedom and ability to control my own hours. What I put into the business is directly related to the success.
If you want to take advantage of Mark’s expertise or you need your own sublimate clothing, be sure to give him a call – it will set you a part from your competition!