About a year and a half ago Brian ran into a family friend, Matt, at a Bachelor party. Brian was wearing a shirt with a pocket on it shaped like the state of Ohio. Matt said, “wouldn’t it be cool if that pocket was in the shape of Israel?” A few weeks after, the two met to discuss the creation of this idea. Several meetings later, this sole idea morphed into an entire clothing company known as One948.
- Company: One948
- Co-Founders: Brian Horowitz & Matt Stahm
- Founded: August 25th, 2015
- Location: Cleveland, OH
Brian (left) & Matt(right)
This isn’t just any t-shirt company they built, it’s an Israel & Jewish pride advocacy organization – hence, One948 = 1948, the year the state of Israel was founded. Likewise, Brian & Matt are so committed that they are giving 10% of their profits to nonprofits that support Israel.
I asked both co-founders what they hope to gain out of this experience. Their reply:
“We want to be the first to mind for Jewish-based events” -Brian.
“We want to be on top of the food chain for Jewish advocacy” -Matt.
I actually interviewed the 2 of them separately, they weren’t even in the same room. However, they responded with almost the same answer. There’s a saying “great minds think alike,” and I think the 2 of them are onto something great.
So let’s dive deeper and learn about each of the co-founders themselves….
“This is the first opportunity where I’m really truly going after it”
- College: THE Ohio State University
- Major: Business Administration
- Past Job Experience: Direct Recruiters, Solon Ohio
- Interests: Basketball, Food, & Cleveland before it was cool.
- Weirdest thing about you: I can trumpet with my mouth…I do it without even realizing it
- Did you ever see yourself starting a business growing up? Yes, [in high school he created a website, 23inCleveland.com, for resale of products that were low in supply, but high in demand – like Air Jordans. Since that entrepreneurial experience, Brian said,] I had that mindset, that mentality…I liked the adventure of doing something on my own and figuring it out.
- What gets you up in the morning? I go to morning Minyan… it helps me get up and start my day and gives me a sense of community.
- What do you want to be remembered by? As someone that just took sensible risks…very gritty, worked hard, networked with the right people. [He wants to be a vision for other people that they can start a company too and have success with it.]
- Are you working on this full-time? [Currently, Brian spends 90% of his time working on One948. He spends the other 10% working on two other ideas – Bowtiebags.com (gift bags for weddings, conferences, and other large events), and a men’s undergarment product he plans to launch soon in the dermatology space.]
- What would you say to someone looking to start a company themselves? Get to a point where you feel financially stable if doing it full-time.
- Greatest lesson you learned: Never assume anything & ask a lot of questions…communication must be all encompassing, you can never be too safe, you can never ask too many questions.
“Find something you’re passionate about and find a way to get paid for it”
- College: Ohio University
- Major: Created major of Bachelor of Specialized Studies in Business, Marketing, Communications, & Management
- Past Job Experience: ObserveIT, an IT Security company in Israel
- Interests: Basketball, Israel, Staying Active
- Weirdest thing about you: I have a ton of different character voices [and personalities] that just come out
- Did you ever see yourself starting a business growing up? I always wanted to have my own company. [In high school he started a small clothing business. He used his passion for design to create and sell clothing items to other students. However, he said his true motivation to try something real starting with One948.]
- What do you hope to gain from this experience as an individual? Me doing my part for Israel, I hope to create a more positive awareness for [it].
- What gets you up in the morning? I’m never satisfied ‘till I reach my goals.
- What do you want to be remembered by? Have a good name – passionate, caring, & funny
- Role Model: My mom. She raised me with no limitations, has no worries…and she was one of the promoters of Israel, which transferred to me.
- Do you have plans to return back to Israel, maybe sell you product there? I’d go tomorrow if we could. [He told me they’re working on acquiring the funds to hopefully go back soon].
- What would you say to someone looking to start a company? Make sure it’s something that you’re passionate about. When you find your passion you’ll never work a day in your life. And [definitely] do your homework.
- Biggest struggle: Making that first step, having the willpower
- Greatest achievement: Being where we are now, and having goals to grow
- Greatest lesson learned: Always do your research and sometimes you have to go with your gut
Have the two of you always been close? “No, we haven’t…we grew up in same friends and family circle and saw each other every so often. Then we reconnected at the bachelor party [where the idea took off]. As opposed to starting a business with a friend, I started with an acquaintance and formed a friendship.”
Who handles what? “It’s a “Matt & Brian Show” – we’re equal partners, we always take pics together, and share a Gmail account. It worked out well because our skill sets are very different,” said Brian. Brian brings experience in navigating conversation and networking, while Matt is resourceful with the design and creative aspect of the company.
T-shirt design you’re most proud of: “Our holiday tradition design,” says Matt. (See below.)
I hope this short story on Brian & Matt brought some inspiration into your life. Comment below with thoughts, questions, or whatever else comes to mind – we’re here to help!
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