PLACENTIA, CALIF. MAY 02, 2017
Co-founders of Southern California-based undershirt brand earn the chance to pitch the sharks on ABC's "Shark Tank." Thompson Tee manufactures patented sweat proof undershirts that help men and women protect their clothes and confidence.
Thompson Tee co-founders Billy Thompson and Randy Choi will appear on ABC’s “Shark Tank” on Friday, May 5 at 9/8c. The duo will pitch their USA-made, patented sweat proof undershirts to a panel of venture capitalists or “Sharks” with the goal of closing a deal.
More than 3 percent of the population suffers from excessive underarm sweating, or axillary hyperhidrosis. Thompson Tees are guaranteed to block underarm sweat from seeping through the integrated sweat proof barrier. The patented undershirts bring a safe, affordable and effective solution to destructive sweat marks and stains that plague people from all walks of life.
Since 2012, the undershirts have helped more than 90,000 men and women across the world preserve their clothing and confidence.
Founding Thompson Tee
Throughout adulthood, Thompson has dealt with the medical condition axillary hyperhidrosis. Working in sales in the private jet business, he resorted to wearing multiple layers and heavy suit jackets to cover up his underarm sweat marks.
“Constantly worrying about sweat marks was exhausting and expensive,” Thompson said. “I spent thousands of dollars on antiperspirants, sweat pads and undershirts, but nothing could protect me all day. I was determined to find a solution for myself and others.”
When Thompson approached Choi with the idea for Thompson Tee in 2011, he learned Choi had been diagnosed with cranial hyperhidrosis — and underwent invasive surgery that only spread his sweating condition.
The long-time friends partnered to develop a sweat proof undershirt that could block heavy underarm sweat and hold up through excessive use. More than 15 years of development and 40 prototypes later, the Thompson Tee website launched in 2012.
With only $20,000 in savings, Thompson and Choi quit their jobs to pursue Thompson Tee full-time — forfeiting paychecks for two years as they reinvested in the business. In 2014, Thompson Tee was awarded a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its Hydro-Shield sweat proof technology. By 2016, the company had grown to over $4M in yearly sales.
About the Sweat Proof Technology
Thompson Tee’s Hydro-Shield technology is an ultra-thin, durable hydrophilic membrane within a fully integrated layering and stitching system.
The patented sweat proof barrier is embedded in the underarms of all Thompson Tee undershirts to completely absorb sweat.
Beyond locking in sweat, the Thompson Tee underarm barrier also facilitates evaporation to keep users feeling dry. The user's natural arm movement initiates reverse osmosis to evaporate sweat — so moisture never penetrates the undershirt. Unlike other moisture-wicking fabrics, Thompson Tees are not treated with chemicals. In turn, the sweat blocking-effects will not wash off.
Made from premium cotton and rayon from bamboo, Thompson Tees combine comfort and quality within a functional undershirt. The sweat proof undershirts come in multiple fit and style options, including V-neck, deep V-neck and crew neck, so they can be worn discreetly beneath a range of short- and long-sleeved shirts.
Thompson Tee Commitments: Domestic Manufacturing
Working in the apparel industry for more than 20 years, Choi had witnessed firsthand the unethical treatment of garment workers, hazardous working conditions and devastating environmental impact of many international apparel factories.
When founding Thompson Tee, Thompson and Choi pledged to remain made in the U.S. to minimize their environmental footprint, support the U.S. economy and deliver a superior product.
Since inception, Thompson Tee has received multiple investment offers that required the company to move manufacturing overseas. Committed to developing in the U.S., Thompson and Choi turned down these offers. Today, each phase of Thompson Tee production is completed in the U.S. — from converting the fabric to printing labels.
“We were told manufacturing in the U.S. would never work,” Choi said. “We’re proud to have kept our brand promise and produce Thompson Tees right here in Los Angeles.”
Since starting in 2012, Thompson Tee has grown 100 percent year-over-year and is on track to double revenue in 2017.
Featured on the daytime hit show “The Doctors” and Editor’s Pick in SHAPE magazine, Thompson Tee has loyal customers in every U.S. state and more than 80 countries.
“We started Thompson Tee to help others regain their confidence and reduce the stigma of excessive sweating,” Thompson said. “We never expected the product to touch so many people. The opportunity to share our story on ‘Shark Tank’ is truly a dream come true.”
About Thompson Tee
Made in the USA, Thompson Tee manufactures affordable sweat proof undershirts for men and women to help preserve their clothes and confidence. The proprietary shirt design combines the style and comfort of high-quality undershirts with patented Hydro-Shield sweat proof technology to offer guaranteed sweat protection. For more information, visit http://www.thompsontee.com.