Kerusso®, a leading inspirational clothing company designing and creating T-shirts, jewelry, and gifts, began in 1987 in a house on Judah Street in Eureka Springs, Ark. Thirty-two years later, Founder and CEO Vic Kennett and his team delight in knowing the products they design, produce, and distribute inspire millions of believers worldwide to share their faith.
“I started small, and although we’ve grown exponentially since the early days of the business, as a team, we still carve out time to think ‘small’ by putting people first and keeping the humble beginnings of this business in mind. Throughout the history of Kerusso, I’ve continued to champion small business. I started as a one-man operation selling inspirational T-shirts in the back of college catalogs, then invited my family to help out with the business (thanks, Mom!), and today, we ship products worldwide with the help of hundreds of passionate independent business owners. When you’re small, the details matter; relationships matter; and people are the most important aspect of any deal. We are thriving today because of our relationships with like-minded independent retailers,” Kennett said.
What began as a spare room side project now provides meaningful work for 120-plus employees, but the goal to inspire others through faith-based products doesn’t stop there. Kerusso is aggressively pursuing growth on a national scale, and for the first time in the company’s history, they are on the cusp of achieving national coverage — a strategic move designed to keep the momentum going.
Kerusso is excited to share their new partnership with Gib Carson Associates.
“We’ve known Gib, Jr. for a long time, and the entire team is really excited to partnering with GCA. It’s a great fit,” said Kennett.
“What I like most about our new partnership is the family feel you get from the owners, Vic and his son Nik. Being a second-generation rep principle, we pride ourselves on our family of reps and vendors. Our slogan is ‘Our Family Your Home,’ and we know it is going to be a great long-lasting relationship!” said Gib Carson, Jr., principal, Gib Carson Companies
A partnership with one of the largest, best-represented groups in the Southeastern United States is a move meant to bring them even closer to customers on the Eastern seaboard, and Kerusso said the Gib Carson group offers what small business owner/operators need: a listening ear, proactive support, great ideas for business, and stellar product recommendations.
Kerusso is on a mission to share the Good News through original faith-based apparel, accessories, and gifts. Further expanding their representation in the field will lend strength to their desire to help people change their shirt, so they can change the world!
The majority of Kerusso’s business is a wholesale enterprise, providing independent retailers such as boutiques, gift shops, and bookstores with unique inspirational products. The Kerusso book of business represents a lot of rooftops and scores of meaningful, long-term relationships with their customers. Combining forces with Gib Carson means sharing these relationships, as well as opening new doors for both organizations.
“My team has personal relationships with so many of our individual customers! They learn about their extended families, their hopes for the business, and they consult on all kinds of challenges facing independent retailers. Our inhouse reps are only willing to share these relationships with a team as dedicated to people-first culture as we are, and Gib Carson is a remarkable fit for us,” said Vanessa Reynolds, national sales director, Kerusso
The forecast for faith-based products is strong — favorable news for shops who appeal to this significant segment of shoppers. Consumers continue to seek message-based apparel, hats, jewelry, and gifts. In the general market, T-shirt sales are up year-over-year.
“We’re dedicated to supporting our team of Gib Carson representatives in the field, and confident in their ability to develop exceptional relationships with existing customers, as well as develop new business in communities we don’t yet have a presence in,” said Nik Kennett, vice president of marketing at Kerusso.
Partnering with the team at Gib Carson Associates has a variety of benefits, not least of which is Kerusso’s new permanent home in the Gib Carson Company Showroom at AmericasMart in Atlanta.
“Gib Carson Companies is excited to debut Kerusso in January during Atlanta’s AmericasMart trade show. This is a great opportunity for us, to represent one of the leading apparel companies in the gift channel. Kerusso is unique in that they are a recognized leading brand that has been around for over 30 years specializing in faith-based message T-shirts and accessories,” Carson said.
You can visit the 350-square-foot Kerusso permanent space in AmericasMart Building 2 on the 13th Floor, space 1327. They’ll also host a temporary booth during the January show from the 14 through the 18.
“Our new space in the Gib Carson Company Showroom is incredible! We’ve poured time, energy, and a significant investment into creating this tremendous showroom for Kerusso products, and we’re excited about our home away from home with our new partners,” Kennett said.
Small business owner/operators planning to attend the Atlanta Gift Show in January are encouraged to take advantage of Kerusso’s Confirmed Booked Appointment Special.
Customers who set a Confirmed Booked Appointment for the show will receive four T-shirts free with their order, These shirts have a minimum retail value of $67.96. In addition, Kerusso will host giveaways in the gift showroom every day of the January show. Email ATL@kerusso.com to book your appointment!
To explore Kerusso products or subscribe to weekly business tips for retailers, visit wholesale.kerusso.com.