Oprah’s favorite tees, Executees,worn by Oprah’s senior production and audience team during the taping of Oprah’s farewell season, is a premium T-shirt brand that launched in 2006.
Creator Tracy Wright made her successful transition from real estate to blinged-out tees.
“I was already doing well in the real estate business. So, financially I was ready, mentally I was ready, because I was still learning the [real estate] business,” Wright says.
Rolling out connected with the entrepreneur in Chicago to learn more. –songine’ clarke, intern
How did you get started with Executees?
As far as business creation, I decided on a name, I went and incorporated it, did a trademark, and started a website. I decided I wanted to go into the T-shirt business, but I decided to go into T-shirts specifically using Swarovski Crystals which puts me more in a niche market. … I started doing trade shows, farmers markets, expos, I was everywhere.
When Obama’s presidency rolled around, that’s what really got my name out there to a larger audience, because we did Obama T-shirts, so that kind of put me on the platform to move the company to reach more people.
How has the Oprah connection helped your business?
Oh, that put me on a whole other level, of course. … I’m very appreciative of that, and I think that opens a lot of doors that I wouldn’t have been able to get into.
What business advice do you have for aspiring business owners?
Don’t be afraid to reach out to people, and sometimes you just have to give your product away initially when you’re trying to build, because you need to see the type of reactions people have to your product.
A big part of my business is referrals, and when people actually see people wearing my shirt, and we put a little insignia of an “E” on the back of our shirts, so when people see it, they know it’s me. Figure out how to distinguish your brand. Think globally, with the Internet you have to think globally. Whatever products you’re selling, if you can get to the point where you can sell it globally, the possibilities are endless.
Oprah’s favorite tees are online, visit executees.net.