If you’d asked Jeremy Kean a few years ago what his motivation was for starting SUDZ Fundraising, he’d likely tell you he saw a need and wanted to fill it. The need? Supporting kids, groups, and the community with a better fundraising vehicle.
As a baseball coach, Kean knew how hard it was to raise money for teams and there weren’t a lot of choices outside of junk food and overpriced products that supporters didn’t really need.
Simple enough, really. But then, as Kean developed two more businesses (Route 40 Candles and his latest, Spirit Wear, Inc.) around the same needs, a pattern started to emerge. One where a local business found itself becoming much more than a provider of goods and services, but also a strong supporter of the community.
Starting 3 full-blown businesses in as many years is practically unheard of in our area. Or anywhere else, really. Centering all of them on empowering kids, teams, and organizations within the community to achieve and thrive, also somewhat unusual. At the core of all of Kean’s businesses is a big heart. The wild success and growth of SUDZ Fundraising proves that a business can thrive while providing the communities it serves with meaningful, effective support.
Today SUDZ delivers fundraising products to teams across the Midwest, helping hundreds of groups and teams per year to achieve their fundraising goals. Ever the inventive entrepreneur, Kean soon found an interest in manufacturing his own products with the help of a dedicated crew of employees. Candles, and then bath powders, pain butter, and essential oil-infused products began to emerge from his small warehouse in Centerville, Indiana.
And, of course, the new products were put into the fundraising product line so that teams and groups would have a year-round ability to raise money with a wide-array of offerings for their supporters to purchase.
Spirit Wear launched this fall, giving the community the ability to print t-shirts and hoodies, practically on demand. (On-demand same day printing is reportedly coming very soon.) Such a service is not typical in small towns, and it really gives the community uncommon choice when it comes to having sports gear printed with a super quick turnaround.
Once again, innovative thinking about leverage and shared resources wins the day. Jeremy is opening a new production facility as well as a storefront for all three businesses as a one-stop-shop for home, wellness, fundraising, and apparel.
The risk here is looking like one of those weird mini-mall situations we’ve all seen come and go. Mostly go. But they are tied together nicely by Kean’s mission to build a business that continues to grow and also be truly supportive of the community, especially when it comes to helping kids and organizations that are doing some great things.
As if there weren’t enough great things to say about it, Kean has decided to support West Side Richmond with his business. It’s closer to his warehouse in Centerville, but it also gives a nod to a long running problem of business development on the west side. Despite an abysmal track record of keeping and growing businesses on the west side, Kean believes he has a great chance to succeed due to the fact that there will only be one place in Wayne County to get things like print on demand apparel and fast, lucrative fundraising products for non-profits and teams.
Go Wayne County wishes Jeremy and his growing team the best of luck and encourage everyone to buy local and support Route 40 Home & Wellness starting this Saturday. Route 40 Home & Wellness is located at 2201 National Road West and opens on November 18th.
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