MIDLOTHIAN — In a world where businesses, schools, and organizations leave their mark through logos, the American society is branded with individuality. Striving to provide customers with professional custom apparel and promotional products, Rally Sportswear is a go-to ads specialist in Midlothian.
From screen-printing to embroidery and personalized designs, Rally Sportswear is impacting Midlothian by connecting to the core of its heart – the people.
“It’s not what we know. It’s who,” said Robert Sisco, Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Rally Sportswear. “We’ve been very blessed. We’ve given back to this community and focused on this community, and by word of mouth we’ve grown into a lot of different districts. We’re involved with most of the booster clubs in town, the Chris Kyle event, sometimes someone whose sick, and five-k runs - we’ve done medals, ribbons, t-shirts, and plaques for them. We do a lot of work for people who do a lot of other things."
Being professionals in contrasting industries, being ads specialists was not an original plan for both Mr. and Mrs. Sisco — at least, until the need arose for it.
“We’re an ads specialist company, which is unusual because we’re not just a T-shirt company, but it basically means if you can put a logo on it, we do it,” Mr. Sisco began.
“I was in accounting by nature, or trade I should say. I got into this through my accounting. I had a client who was in it,” recalled Kim Sisco, President and CEO of Rally Sportswear.
“And I was always in the construction industry. I went to school and studied to be an architect. It was her client, that’s how she ended up doing this, watching it grow, and learning what not to do,” Mr. Sisco chuckled at finding their current niche.
And as most businesses require a workforce, the Sisco’s built their first team from the community network they had established while their kids were in school.
“We brought on wonderful people, close friends, and family who like what we’re doing and wanted to help us,” Mrs. Sisco recollected.
“We started several years ago, my wife was working with another company doing similar stuff, and we were working with booster clubs. The kids wanted shirts and things, and we were working with a company that was telling people that they had to buy and sell at a certain price and they we were going to make a very small percentage. And we thought, ‘That’s really high prices,’ and doesn’t have to be that way. So she started working with them and probably five or six years later we decided to split away from the company that she was with, and we started Rally, and I guess the rest is history,” Mr. Sisco added.
Although the progress of the business is climbing the ladder of success, starting it was another story.
“We built it on a wing and a prayer – and it’s working,” Mrs. Sisco laughed.
“It started out as us, as parents, to trying to figure out a better way and it turned into ‘we can actually help other people,’ and it grew from there. We’re part of the community,” she stated.
Being involved parents, not only in their children’s lives but within the community as well, Rally Sportswear began in 2011.
“It was one of those we were in the right place at the right time, helping people and we were in a position where we needed something or wanted something, and it started to work. Opening this place up in the last year has really helped us a lot,” Mrs. Sisco expressed.
While working from home, the business took flight as it moved locations into a cramped office space above a Re/Max outlet in downtown Midlothian. Quickly picking up speed, the Sisco’s office space expanded from one suite into two, later demanding more room and attention from onlookers. Moving into a converted home on North Eighth Street as their new headquarters, the Sisco’s are currently more visible to the public.
“Last year we found this, and we moved here in 2015, which allowed for people to see us because that was our problem. People had no idea that we were even up there above the Re/Max. We’re not just in Midlothian, we’re all over the place, and we even had Midlothian people going, ‘I didn’t know you were here,’” Mrs. Sisco described one of the main reasons the business moved.
“We work with other groups, and they sell our garments and things, so it makes it easier for us to be seen here because we never had walk-ins, but now we have multiples a day, so it’s helped us a lot,” Mr. Sisco added to the thought.
Now more detectable, Rally Sportswear is continuing their community-minded services, while also expanding nationwide.
“We’ll do things all across the country. This is a very competitive market, so we have business in Austin, Houston, Arkansas, Oklahoma, California,” Mr. Sisco expounded.
“We’re venturing into a lot of businesses now, in different states. We’re meeting a lot of new people and customers with new challenges every day, but it’s taking off, and we’re going with it,” Mrs. Sisco remarked.
And with such a broad network, the Sisco’s team of 11 is more than equipped to handle the challenge of the market, complementing their lead designer.
“Mike is a big reason why we’re so successful. The art he comes up with, he’s younger than us, but he’s up to date on the trends. We get a lot of business by the relationships he’s made. Mike’s able to touch on what the customer is looking for. I’m kind of an artist, but I’m not like Mike. I think way different to what he thinks, and that helps us a lot,” Mr. Sisco smiled.
Talented Chief Executive of Art and Design, Mike Hatcher, has been with Rally Sportswear since day one, adding value to their quality of work.
“I love it, so it makes it worthwhile. I started here part-time [before college], then my wife graduated, and we moved back, and they took me in,” Hatcher explained.
“The talents we have here, kicking ideas around - Mike cranks out a lot of different ideas, and without that, I think that the talent we have around here helps keep him redirected,” Mr. Sisco said.
In an ever-changing community that’s transitioning into a city, Rally Sportswear guarantees a listening ear and a work ethic that surpasses the competition.
“Midlothian is changing, and it’s getting bigger and bigger here,” Mrs. Sisco expressed about their business growing, keeping that small town feel.
“We try to do people right, and they’ll tell other people. If you do somebody wrong, they’ll tell everyone they can find, but we try to build it off of taking care of the people we have. When we make mistakes, we fix them and do it quickly, and make it the best experience for them in spite of a mistake. We try to please our customers,” Mr. Sisco explained.
“The touch that Mike has with the art and everybody here is very capable of listening. We actually listen to what they’re asking for. We don’t always hit it on the head, but we can morph it once we get it going through proofs and we’ll get it to where it needs to be,” he added.
Through their word-of-mouth relationships, the ads specialists are keeping their passion for the community strong while looking ahead to what the future holds.
“We’re not going to depart from what created us. We’re still here, and we’re still doing what we’ve always done. We’re more visible is the only thing that’s changed,” Mr. Sisco said.
“Bigger and better,” Hatcher nodded.
“Steady growth, we had an exponential growth at one time where one year it was just like ‘oh my god.’ So I’m just along with the steady growth, and allow us to grow with the good people around here,”
As for continuing the quality of their production, the Sisco’s motivation has yet to change, carrying the heart of the community through pleasing its citizens.
“We’ve raised our families here, all of us have. Our focus started to try to help everyone here, so we would love to keep helping the community in that respect,” Mrs. Sisco expressed.
“Our people, they know how to take care of others, they want to take care of others, and they take care of each other. That makes it fun to come to work. We’re proud of being a part of the community, we do have other businesses that we work with, but we’ve always taken a lot of pride in Midlothian,” Mr. Sisco finished with a grin.
To connect with Rally Sportswear, visit rallysportswear.com. Or call 817-454-0407.
Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer