Alumnus David Sofro Runs Apparel Screen Printing, Embroidery, and Promotional Business DM13
Born and raised in Glendale, just east of Los Angeles, David Sofro grew up in the industry. His family ran House of Fabrics, a nationwide fabric retail chain. He attended Glendale High School before heading to Pitzer College to earn his B.S. in Psychology. While still in school, he started screen-printing t-shirts, and after his 1998 graduation, “I started my first business called Speed Up Sports at the age of 23 and had very little success.” He decided to close up shop and attend FIDM to learn the business. After completing his A.A. Professional Designation Degree in Apparel Manufacturing Management in 2003, he started DM13, and has been active ever since. We checked in with him to learn more.
Please tell us about DM13. How long have you been in business? DM13 has been in business since 2005. My ex-wife Mirjam Gschwind and I own and operate it. It's an apparel screen printing, embroidery, and promotional business. Our retail and production location is in Downtown Los Angeles at 713 South Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014. We produce company uniforms, t-shirts, and promotional products for businesses, schools, sports teams, and restaurants.
What inspired you to start DM13? I started screen printing t-shirts my junior year at Pitzer College. I went to FIDM to learn how to run a clothing business and we then started DM13. D stands for David, M stands for Mirjam and 13 is our lucky number. I already had a ton of experience screen printing and now with the proper education it was a viable business. I'm now in my 26th year in the sector.
How did FIDM help prepare you for this work? FIDM was absolutely amazing. It taught me the five fundamentals of running a business: 1. Finance and Administration, 2. Design, 3. Sales and Marketing, 4. Production, and 5. Logistics.
Anything else you’d like to share? I'd like to thank my Entrepreneur teacher Judy Yaras for believing in me and giving me the confidence to succeed.
Explore David’s company on Instagram @dm13apparel and online at DM13.net.