What a great interview with my guest Rob Kessler, inventor of the million dollar collar. We go through all the steps it took him from concept to distribution and so much more, including life balance and freedom. You'll truly enjoy this interview!
Rob Kessler is the inventor and co-founder of Million Dollar Collar, a relatively simple solution to an often overlooked problem which became glaringly obvious after viewing his wedding photos. He experienced extreme frustration from tugging at his brand new, freshly pressed shirt all day long but still left his shirt looking sloppy on the biggest day of his life.
3 years of R&D and patenting of the product lead the passionate tie hater down an interesting journey. Nearly 100 shirts were ruined with all of the different materials tested. Just as he thought he had a winner, he would be slapped with a dose of reality. Kessler got his hands on every dress shirt he could in the quest to design a universal sized stay to fix what his company dubs "Placketitis" an affliction that no one is immune to no matter if the shirt is $20 or $200. Placketitis is the sinking, wrinkling, and folding of the placket of a casually worn dress shirt.
Prior to Million Dollar Collar, Rob built a screen printing and embroidery business from a spare bedroom in his house to over $1,000,000 in revenue before selling the company. NEWD Clothing Company, NEWD stands for Nothing Else Will Do, was never intended to be a screen printing company. As the name suggests, it actually started out as a clothing company, but after being overcharged by several other screen printers in town, Rob decided to buy the necessary equipment and teach himself how to print. Word soon spread about the high quality and great pricing and the printing business took over the clothing business. NEWD eventually upgraded its space from 750SF in Rob's basement to a 6,000 SF facility before being sold to focus 100% of his efforts on Million Dollar Collar.
Real Estate has always been a passion for Rob. So at the age of just 23, he got his license and began selling. By the age of 26, he had risen to top the 5% of salespeople in the largest real estate firm in Wisconsin, First Weber Group. He still engages in Real Estate transactions today, but now on a personal level and as a consultant to friends and family looking to invest.
Rob looks at the world through a different set of lenses than most people do which lead to his success in every sales job and with both of his own businesses. Delivering more than expected has always proven to be worth the effort. Finding hidden efficiencies has helped Rob stay ahead of the competition and grow multiple businesses at a time.
As the Inventor of Million Dollar Collar, Rob has been forced to look at a very antiquated industry and has had to be quite creative to get his vision across to his clients, and it seems to be working. Over 275,000 units were shipped in the first two years to nearly 16,000 clients in 115 countries.
Rob's sales experience in a number of high dollar industries including Diamonds, Real Estate and Automotive Sales has provided a unique blend of backgrounds to transition him into the fashion world. Lastly, Rob recently received his 50-TON Master Captains License rating as a Yacht Captain which helps him and his wife with their growing Charter Business based in Los Angeles, CA.