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Meet David Sofro of DM13 in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Sofro.

David, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My family was in the fabric business. My grandfather David and his brother Charlie started House of Fabrics, a chain of retail fabric stores in 1946, it went public in 1964 and got up to 800 stores in 45 states. My dad Barney was the CEO for most of my life, and he taught me a lot about business. As a hobby, we would collect t-shirts together. I started printing t-shirts in a garage during my junior year of college at Pitzer college where I studied psychology.

I played basketball and baseball in college and 1 season of professional baseball in Holland after graduating. When I got home a friend of mine, and I started a clothing line called Speed Up, which had little success. I was fascinated by the business and went to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising downtown LA where I got my masters in Apparel Manufacturing management.

After graduating my ex-wife and I started DM13 in 2005, and we purchased all the equipment to run a screen printing shop. We would later include embroidery and promotional products. We produce goods for Fox Sports, Teleflora, Pom Wonderful, Azusa Pacific college, Pomona Pitzer college to name a few.

I’m currently working on my first collection of ready to wear for men and women also called DM13 which will launch in 6 months.

Has it been a smooth road?
I started my first business Speed Up at the age of 23. The first thing I did was go to Magic in Vegas which was totally overwhelming. We were doing both contract work for other people and trying to launch our line. Setting up the business was a learning process with all the filings and permits.

Working with graphic artists for the first time was also challenging. We got into a few stores on consignment but had very little success. It was my first business and had very little knowledge about what to do or how to prioritize the tasks. My dad helped me a lot, but I decided to shut it down and go back to school at FIDM where I thrived and graduated magnum cum laude.

FIDM is a great school with instructors who have all been in the biz for years. It taught me the five fundamentals of running a clothing company. 1 Finance and Administration. 2 Design. 3 Sales and Marketing. 4 Production and 5 Logistics.

When we started DM13 in 2005, there was a huge learning curve to become a quality printer on manual equipment which is very labor intensive and takes its toll physically.

Building up a cliental with a very little marketing budget was also difficult, and it took us three years to become profitable after we picked up some bigger clients.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
DM13 is an apparel screen printing, embroidery, and promotional products business. We produce company uniforms, promotional items and a lot of T-shirts for big and small companies, restaurants, schools, sports teams, etc. We pride ourselves on producing quality goods at a fair price with on-time delivery.

My ex-wife Mirj and I run the business and are most proud of starting from nothing and always believing in each other that we can be successful. What sets us apart from others is our constant dedication to customer service and understanding what our clients need and producing quality goods for them with a big THANK YOU!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is a huge market for business, and I would highly recommend anyone to open a biz here. I’m born and raised in LA from Glendale, and I love it here. There’s an endless opportunity to do what we do. Anytime you see a t-shirt with a logo on it we can produce it.

Our suppliers are all based in LA as well. The tough part is there is a lot of people doing what we do, and everybody is looking for three things: Quality, Price and on time delivery and we’re really good at all 3.

Pricing:

  • T-shirts wholesale anywhere from $4 – $10 depending on volume and colors of print.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 719 South Los Angeles Street,
    Suite #208, Los Angeles, CA 90014
  • Website: DM13.net
  • Phone: 2136277085
  • Email: david@dm13.net

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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