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Lloyd Varando, Of Tees2UrDoor, On Overcoming Supply Chain Issues

If you knew Lloyd Varnado began his career in an environmental role with a chemical company, you’d be surprised to find out that he now works in the business of graphic tees. Though perhaps not the most apparent transition, Varnado and his wife, Maccie, followed their passion and have created a wildly successful t-shirt company from their garage in Texas, Tees2UrDoor. Like any entrepreneur, the Varandos had their fair share of highs and lows.

Turn on any news program today, and you’ll undoubtedly hear about supply chain issues, especially as we enter the holiday season. We lean into the expertise of Varando and Tees2UrDoor to learn how they’ve combated the problem productively.

Tees2UrDoor and Supply Needs

As the years passed in Varando’s entrepreneur journey, he leaned into the industry-specific distributors to supply his needs and demands. Tees2UrDoors’s diversification into the fashion apparel industry grew and Varnado started to understand the world of supply and demand. He jumped in full force during the pandemic. 

In his years of business, Varnado has consistently used the mentality of developing relationships and first to market to yield better returns. With fashion apparel requiring sourcing from the Asia Pacific during this time causing the depleting stock of distributors, Varnado knew he had to learn more about the supply chain business.  

Varnado spent countless hours meeting new factories and securing manufacturing time throughout this time. He then switched their metaphorical business hat and shifted into logistics, emailing about inquiries and arranging zoom meetings with domestic and international carriers. 

Varnado developed relationships with smaller companies to help pick up and deliver their inventory. Building relationships has helped and will continue with the demands.

What Tees2UrDoor Can Teach You

Varnado wants to propel other entrepreneurs forward who find themselves in similar situations regarding rising supply chain issues. First, he urges others to always be ahead of the season by a minimum of six months. If you do your research and become a leader–and not a follower–you will be confident and order what you need by setting the trend and forecast based on past metrics. It is better to try and sell what you have versus nothing of sale due to your product not being in hand.

Make sure you nurture and develop critical relationships on items such as logistics that you have no control over. Varnado says to look at what you can control, including researching and finding factories to produce goods. You begin with sample runs to evaluate the distributor’s processes, quality, and ability to meet deadlines and watch to see how they deliver. Varnado says it helps to pay a bit more for goods with some distributors to ensure that your production goals are being met and you’re happy with the outcome. 

Varnado urges entrepreneurs not to be scared to buy at least what they purchased last year. “Growth is gained on a solid knowledge of the business and the confidence of you or your staff to grow it,” he said. As a company, you’ll reap the benefit of having all your merchandise and staying typical to pricing and the model you have always used. Varnado has seen price gouging in this global chain shortage, and it infects your integrity.  

Lastly, Varando believes that a vital aspect of getting what you want when you want in business is to react. Always having cash available allows you to capitalize on opportunities when distributors have extra time to produce, especially as a way of preventing global supply chain issues from affecting your business. 

 

Olivia Liveng is a contributor at Disrupt Magazine and an award-winning travel, entrepreneurship, and lifestyle journalist and editor who relocated to Copenhagen from NYC. She has been featured in The New York Post, Fodors, L.A. Style Magazine, and Forbes.

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