Over the weekend we were very saddened to learn about the passing of imprinted sportswear industry guru and longtime friend Mark L. Venit. I’ve known Mark for over 30 years; his knowledge of the custom t-shirt industry and his passion for sharing that information is legendary. You never walked away from a meeting or dinner with Mark (he often organized dinners at trade shows and brought all types of people together) without learning something, including perhaps a thing or two about Medieval castles, one of his long time passions. He loved researching this part of history and was an expert on the treasures you might find within castle walls. This might have also led to his fascination with sand castles; he is a three time world champion sculptor and sandcastle builder. But whether he was building sandcastles or helping people build their businesses, he did it with lots of enthusiasm, intelligence, humor and grit. He wasn’t one to hold back
or sugar coat the truth. If he saw room for improvement, he would let you know. I’ve seen first hand how he has helped businesses of all sizes grow and thrive, and I considered him a trusted source for industry information. Back in 2010, we encouraged Mark to write a book to preserve all this knowledge and the result was The Business of T-Shirts. This book covers everything from how to price apparel, how to find customers, how to keep customers and more, including answers to lots of questions you didn’t realize need to be asked. It’s a must read for anyone in the industry today. Mark remained active in the industry as the President of Apparel Graphics Institute LLC, providing management and marketing consulting and proprietary research to apparel graphics companies throughout the Americas and Europe. He has also written over 400 articles on management and marketing published in trade magazines and professional journals and was recognized by Impressions Magazine as one of the Top 25 Innovators in Industry History. He also founded and recently retired as chairman of the board of ShopWorks Software, a leading provider of industry-specific business software. As you can see, Mark’s contributions to the industry are immense. We are grateful for all the time we were able to spend with him and we will really miss seeing his smiling face at industry trade shows or getting his informative emails on his whereabouts. One of the great communicators, we have lost a good friend and colleague. On behalf of the Stahl family and everyone at GroupeSTAHL, we offer our deepest condolences to his loving wife, sons and family. As you can see from the video shared here, he was a creative man with great passion for detail and excellence, but who also possessed an even greater trait; the ability to not always take yourself so seriously and to just have fun.