About Olathe T-Shirt & Trophy
Like any good success story, it all started in a small town. Gary Roles and Hank Kramer, the owners of Olathe T-Shirt, met during junior high in De Soto, Kansas, and a friendship blossomed. They were very active in the town's athletics throughout their junior high and senior high school years, particularly softball and golf. During their college years, Hank attended Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, and Gary attended Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. Though they had gone to different colleges, they still kept in touch. Playing sports throughout their high school years enabled them to build a wide network of coaches, teams, and players of various sports, and they became aware of a growing need for quality trophies and sports uniforms. They wanted to build a company that filled those needs and more, focusing on quality products, reasonable pricing, and good customer service. In 1981, after years of hard work and dedication, they rented a 1,200 square foot building in downtown Olathe, KS and their dream became a reality.
In the first few years of operation, the two business partners anticipated that trophies would be the bulk of their sales, but they quickly discovered that the demand for t-shirts for events and sports teams was much higher than they had guessed. Their business quickly evolved, and in 1988, they moved to the newly built Rosehill Business Park. The new building was much larger at 6,000 square feet and allowed for many more products to be displayed and sold. In 1995, they began offering in-house embroidery. In 2004, Olathe T-Shirt moved one last time into our current home on Kansas City Road. The business expanded even further in 2008 when signs and banners were offered in addition to embroidery, screen printing, trophies, awards, and AD specialty items (cups, pens, lanyards, and so on). Everything was running smoothly, until one day, tragedy struck.
On a stormy Sunday night in May of 2015, an electrical short caused a spark that ended up as a fiery blaze. The flames were so hot that the steel frame of the building was compromised. But even the loss of the building wasn't enough to stop the orders from coming in. A week after the fire, two employees offered up their homes as temporary printing and engraving locations while the building was being rebuilt. In addition to the two employee's homes, three different warehouses were used as temporary locations. Seven and a half months later, in January 2016, the brand new building was ready. It remained generally the same layout, but with a few upgraded printing presses and digital printers.
Today, Olathe T-Shirt & Trophy continues to grow and be a staple of the local community. We offer a wide range of products, from custom t-shirts and trophies, to blankets, towels, drink koozies, plaques, backpacks and more. If a design can be put down on paper or be created online, we have the ability to print it. We help a wide range of customers, from church groups to bridal parties, politicians to elementary schools. We have graphic designers in house to help you get ideas from your mind's eye onto that long sleeve Comfort Colors tee or that Adidas polo. If you aren't the creative type, they'll work with you to create a design that will fit your needs and still be eye-catching and unique.
As Olathe T-Shirt continues to grow, we will stay up-to-date with the technology and techniques that are used in the industry, as well as furthering our online ordering. We plan on expanding our website to include smaller web stores for schools and fundraisers so that individual orders can be placed in a single group order. As always, we will continue to keep up with the most fashionable styles and color schemes, as well as the most recent designs and trends.
For the last 30+ years, we have been proud to serve the community and we will continue to keep growing and thriving with the local people. We are more than happy to provide a high-quality product at a reasonable price, and to accommodate individual people to the best of our abilities. We thank you for your continued loyalty and support, and we hope you have a wonderful experience working with us.