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A Business Horror Story

196 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  mads
Ok guys have not posted in a few weeks but since this site helped me so much I thought I would come back and give an update of sorts..... so here goes

Ok I own a tattoo shop and right before I got my shop I had planned on opening a t-shirt shop online. Well getting the tattoo shop kinda put the shirts on hold for awhile, now flash forward 13 years..... I finally got it in my head to let the shirt idea that had festered for years into action. So I get online and start doing research, while doing this my father comes in and asks what I am doing. So I tell him.

Now heres where the horror part comes in. He tells me he hit some lottery numbers and has some cash and wants to help me out. He offers to buy the equipment and supply his basement for work space. Now I knew better than to do it but I thought I had planned on buying a hobby kit and working my way up and now I can start in the middle. That and he has been on disability and has just sat and watched tv for years, so this will give him something to do and we'll help each other out..... Ya what was I thinking......

So we go get everything and get it all set and and orders start to come in..... now everything is going great and right from the start I just feel like were on top of the world..... Everyday I get on this forum and spend hours coming up with ideas and plans for future designs and I feel like the company will go on long after I am gone.......

But as they say dont count your chickens before they hatch..... One night right in the middle of an order all heck breaks loose and he flips on me and before I know what hit me he tells me to get out and never come back...... I'm stunned and lost at the same time I just dont know what the problem is..... Now other that putting up the front money he has done nothing at all.... I have done it all and included him in every aspect just so he knew what was going on and so he didnt feel left out in any way. He came downstairs and did what he could to help but only picked what he wanted to do not what was needed to be done and that was fine by me. I mean he fronted the money so I'll do all the work and we'll both make money.... what could go wrong.......

To this day (3 weeks later) I still have no idea what happened other than I wasted all my effort into a company and now were both out and not speaking..... why???? dont ask me he wont talk to me so I can find out..... he told me the press and other equipment will go to the junk yard rather than give it or sell it to me get out and never come back...... I would love to know what set things off and why it did but at this point I just dont know anything other than I worked my tail off for nothing other than experience..... The sad part is we was making money and the company was growing....

But the silver lining is I came across a set of plans for a four color press made of wood and I might be able to afford to make it and give this all another shot.... I will make it work if for no other reason than I am too stubborn to quit and I want to show I didnt need him from the get go.....

If I can offer any advise to anyone think long and hard before going into business with friends or family..... as it just may ruin everything you have or had.... it may work for you but is it worth losing that person over????

If you want more detail to my tale let me know... I didnt know how much to put in but needed to vent a lil and since you guys helped me so much wanted to give back a little bit and give an update into how my journey has been in the shirt game
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I am really sorry to read about what you are going through. I hope you get your shirt business up and going again, but more importantly I hope you can repair your relationship with your dad. That is by far your greatest loss.
That is a bad story. Its to bad you had to go through all of that.

Yes doing business with family can be bad sometimes but it can also be great. I'm sure there are lots of other stories about people who have had better experiences. I've done well doing a little business with my family but always make sure that everything has a clearly written contract that dictates how things will go. You can always do something different when the relationship is good, but if things go bad having the protection is a good idea. Even for families with great relationships, you are protecting them if you ask them to sign a legally binding agreement before accepting an investment or help.
louie ..... I kinda doubt any repairs can be made... he is the type that would keep the fight going rather than say sorry or move on so it prob wont happen for many a moon if ever

OriginalShortees..... yes it can work and I know it has before but this wasnt one of those times.... and I wish I would of put it in writing because now I'm just out all that hard work... I talked to my lawyer buddy and he said I had a case even w/o papers but it would only be taken out on my step mother and I dont want to put her threw that so I'll just count my losses and move on.... but this time I will make it better than it was the first time as I learned a few things along the way so I guess if you look at it that way it was worth SOMETHING even if it was only what not to do :) look for the silve lining I guess
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I don't know what to say about you and your fathers relationship...I don't think you were asking for any advice rather than you just wanted to vent. However, you can get back into the screen printing business again and you can make it even better than what it was. Just start out buying some used equipment, you know what you need to get going. Cruise Craigslist and Ebay. Even ask the screen printing supplies place if they know of anyone selling used stuff. Yes, you put alot of hard work into everything, but it sounds like you have no other choice than to keep moving forward. You never know...what seems like the worst part of your life may be the best thing that ever happened to you (in terms of the business.) There will always be setbacks here and there, but if this is a passion of yours then keep pursuing it, and take the lessons that you learned with you.
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Yeah. Don't do business with friend, lover or family.

Thank for the story.
I'm very sorry for what you have been through. Some family businesses are very successful, while most others tank very quickly. I guess you have to be lucky and have the right chemistry to be in business with your close family.
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