Fast 25: ScreenBroidery

Keywords Fast 25 / Fast 25 2022

CEO and founder Thomas Rector (IBJ photo/Eric Learned)

Revenue growth FY 2019 to 2021: 91%
2021 revenue: $5.6 million

Starting strong: Thomas Rector founded ScreenBroidery, which does screen printing and embroidery and makes promotional merchandise, in his living room 14 years ago. He was in graduate school at the time and working in government affairs for the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors. His connections enabled him to start with a solid base of customers.

Difference makers: What separates ScreenBroidery from the competition, Rector said, is company officials “supercharge” their products by providing ecommerce capabilities and fulfillment, having a creative suite on staff and producing their merchandise in-house. “Our customers come to us because we challenge the status quo,” he said. “We challenge our customers to stop doing the default, especially if they’re tired of giving away the same old boring stuff and not seeing any results. We like to dig in and challenge our customers to do something they haven’t thought of.”

An example: A promotion Rector is particularly proud of was one ScreenBroidery created for a Dallas software company that wanted to invite its customers to CES, the consumer electronics trade show. ScreenBroidery came up with a creative invitation using a cookie motif from the popular Netflix show “Squid Games” that featured the client’s logo. Two weeks before the event, ScreenBroidery sent out green track jackets, like the uniforms in that show, and encouraged recipients to wear those to the event. The client had space for 50 guests; 53 turned up, all in the jackets.

Sales-driven growth: Rector said ScreenBroidery’s sales approach is different. “We look at the sales process and say we’re really problem-finders. We help our customers find the problem and then offer them solutions.”

In scaling mode: Rector said the business’s growth has been a matter of putting processes and people in place. This year, first-quarter revenue is up 136% and the company is running out of office space, so it’s adding a second level to its building. The future also might include mergers and acquisitions. “We’re looking forward to next year,” Rector said.•

Check out more of IBJ’s ranking of Indy’s fastest-growing companies.

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