Dominick Leuzzi and Matthew McCabe, BBA ’22, founded the Tea Shirt Company in 2019.
The Tea Shirt Company offers screen printing and embroidery services. The company’s name is a play on words, inspired by Leuzzi and McCabe’s beverage of choice during the initial stages of the creation of their business.
“I got to Temple and before I knew it, I’m drinking three cups of tea a night. Tetley British blend tea,” says Leuzzi, laughing.
Leuzzi and McCabe grew up in South Philadelphia and are lifelong friends. The two briefly lived apart during their first year of college, but they were reunited when McCabe returned to Philadelphia and transferred to Temple.
“Temple was a much more serious program than at my previous school,” says McCabe, a junior finance major. “I got to Temple and that put things in perspective in terms of what it’s going to take to make a dollar.”
McCabe cited the class Leadership and Organizational Management as a valuable resource for developing his sense of professionalism and ability to exceed clients’ expectations.
“It was huge for us, especially because we were so young,” says McCabe. “We were basing our business on our salesmanship and our professionalism.”
Leuzzi and McCabe built their company into a successful endeavor, netting one of their largest orders during the election this past November. They served a broad range of local clients, including Jefferson Hospital, Stogie Joes, Kenwood Beer and Lunacy Brewing Company.
The two attribute their success to a mix of professionalism, community support and a shared passion for delivering quality services.
“I want the business to look nice, I want our customers to be happy with us,” says Leuzzi, a junior financial planning major. “It’s never been a problem because we both share that customer-satisfaction drive.”
Leuzzi’s entrepreneurial roots branched out from his own family tree. He expressed admiration for his grandfather who, with his six brothers, owned and operated construction businesses in the region.
“I wanted to do that but with my friends to keep that tradition going in my family,” says Leuzzi. “My dad, my grandfather; they’ve all had such a huge influence on this.”
The company’s early clients were local businesses, and their customer base has grown through word of mouth and social media.
“We started with small businesses throughout our neighborhood and grew on that,” says Leuzzi. “We’ve received an outpouring of support. Without our community having trust and support in us, we wouldn’t have gotten so far.”
Leuzzi and McCabe expressed pride in their ability to serve their community during these times in which many small businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic.
“With COVID, we were able to help businesses who have had their doors closed,” says McCabe. “They were able to generate some income by selling shirts and hats. It was cool to connect with people.”