By day, he’s a heart throb on a popular soap opera. Actor Colin Egglesfield plays Erica Kane’s son, Josh Madden on “All My Children”. But at night Egglesfield is building his amazing business, Shout Out Tees or he’s tutoring high school kids.
What exactly are Shout Out Tees? Think of them as tees that make the ultimate statement. The t-shirts have a fuzzy area on the front and back where the person wearing it can change up their message as they choose! The tees come with a bag of letters, symbols and numbers that you use just like fridge magnets, only velcro is what allows you to take them on and off. Stars including Ashley Tisdale, Tia Carrere, Seal and many more have been spotted rockin’ Egglesfield’s Shout Out tees!
Colin and I spoke on the phone this week and I have to say, it was interesting to get a glimpse into his life as a soap star and an entrepreneur.
Jessica: “Do you find that fans of you and your character on the show are also fans of your clothing line?”
Colin: “Yeah, at the ‘All My Children’ fan club events, we bring the shirts and sell them there. When I’m invited to different functions, I always wear the shirt, pass out flyers when signing autographs, and it is so fun to see reactions. Soap opera fans are loyal and devoted and the soap opera community knows about the shirts. That’s great for marketing and publicity.”
J: “How do you manage your time being both an actor and entrepreneur?”
C: “Good question. It’s tricky. The key is to have good people around to to delegate to. My sister helps with PR. She fields inquiries, samples, and distributes press kits. My brother helps with the inventory. Lots of friends help out in different ways such as helping me out at trade shows. I’m talking to a manufacturer and distributor that I’ll possibly working with. It’s getting to a point where I can’t do it myself…you have to give up certain part as you grow because you can’t do it all after a certain point.”
J: “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
C: “A multi-million dollar company, in different stores like Macy’s, Target, etc. It’s more of a novelty thing, so I can see it potentially doing the best in places like gift stores, Toys R Us, Babies R Us, and tapping into kids’ market.”
J: “What advice can you offer aspiring entrepreneurs?”
C: “Aim the highest you possibly can, the stars. Even if you don’t make it, you’ll be higher than when you started. Be realistic, and you’ll always be moving forward. Talk to as many people as you can before you start something or make a decision…get opinions. People who have been there before me have been more than willing to share how they got to where they are. I’ve been surprised at the willingness of people to help me out. Be passionate and love it. Know that there will be bad days and great days. As long as what you are doing excites you, that’s what I gotten me through hard days. People will say ‘I’ve got a 1,000 shirt order for you,’ and then they come back and say ‘You know what? We’ve met our quota, hit us up next year.’
You have to be persistent with buyers. They are difficult to find and it’s difficult to get in. I’m a glutton for rejection. It’s just like acting, makes me even more determined to get to yes.”
J: “Who inspires you the most?”
C: “My parents. They’ve been an incredible source of support and encouragement. When things have been bad they’ve been there to say the right thing and help out in any way I’ve needed. From a business perspective, I’ve been around a lot of designers when modeling like Gianni Versace, Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani. I’m amazed at how meticulous they are and that don’t compromise their beliefs. They’ll fight for what they believe in. The great thing about NYC is that there are so many inspiring people that are so readily accessible. Donald Trump, actors, you see them walking down the street. The city is inspiring in itself with all these people doing creative things.”
J: “How’d you come up with such a genius way for people to express themselves through clothing?”
C: “There are other shirts on the market like this. But they weren’t being marketed and promoted on a mass scale. I came across one that was cheaply made. So I put together a sample and shared it with people. I’ve spent 4 years perfecting and started selling last year. Once people realize what it is- it is pretty cool to see reaction.”
Thanks Colin for an awesome interview and sharing your story with Sparkplugging!