MDM International was started in the mid 1990s by Mark Herman, but when he passed away a little over a year ago, his son-in-law, Marc Ruggieri, stepped in. It began as a shoe company, and somehow wound up being a distributor of tye dye T-shirts. It’s a transition about which Ruggieri can only speculate.
“I think he probably just had connections with tye dye guys,” he says. “We had a contract with Hanes T-shirts in the mid-‘90s, we were getting all their seconds. So he had T-shirt contacts already. So when the shoes fell through, the only thing he knew was T-shirts, so that’s what he went with.”
The company’s buyers mainly come from fairs, festivals and outdoor markets. In fact, Ruggieri estimates they might make up 95 percent of the total buyers. The remainder consists of traditional brick-and-mortar independent retailers.
“They’re getting more popular for some reason,” says Ruggieri of the tye dye shirts he carries. “I wish I could tell you why, but I’m just happy they are! I think a lot of people who are in the business like we are, as the economy goes down, people that are out of work are looking for something quick to buy, that they can take out to flea markets and sell for a quick turnaround. T-shirts are a great item for that.”
The wholesale price is $3.75 for the small through XL sizes. MDM carries shirts all the way up to 6XL, but the wholesale prices for the larger ones are a bit higher. As for suggested retail price, Ruggieri states that people get about $12 for them out in the markets, which translates to roughly triple the wholesale price. Minimum order is one dozen shirts.
MDM International Corp.
10875 NW 52 Street, Suite 6 & 7
Sunrise, FL 33351