DiLascia Shop
DiLascia Shop

This week, Marcus Lemonis takes on the challenge of helping a struggling Los Angeles clothing brand. The owner of DiLascia has struggled with designs and spending, despite his family’s efforts to help.

According to their website, “The team is on a mission to bring quality, super-comfortable and thought-provoking styles to your wardrobe. Their passion for unique t-shirts and apparel is matched only by their commitment to remaining a cutting-edge and authentic family brand. From New York to California, your search for the hottest trends in clothing ends here. DiLascia’s got your back.”

Patrick DiLascia specializes in fun, unique screen printed t-shirts. However, in recent years, sales have fallen while their debts increase. Lemonis steps in to help save the fashion brand and is impressed to discover that DiLascia has a licensing deal with TMZ.

He is, however, not as impressed to discover their women’s section is lacking, they don’t sell hoodies and they don’t have a plethora of product offerings. This year, they’re on track to make approximately $600,000, down from $1 million just two years ago.

DiLascia’s brother and sister help Patrick, however, they are currently not getting paid. He views his sister’s efforts as trying to “take over,” but she sees it as simply trying to get the job done. She also feels as though when the business suffers, so does their relationship. His brother says that he feels as though he has to break up fights between the two.

If DiLascia loses the business, he says he will lose everything. They visit the screen printers and Lemonis questions how many screens are being wasted, which turns out to be about 150 out of 200. He estimates that $50,000 has been wasted. Based on the balance sheet, Lemonis calculates that the company has $67,000 in assets, but $274,000 in liabilities.

Lemonis offers $200,000 for 50 percent of the business, with Lemonis being 100 percent in charge. He hopes to reinvest in inventory in order to grow the business. Despite feeling anxious, DiLascia accepts the offer.

Lemonis digs into the problems of the business, which include questioning why DiLascia’s brother and sister remain so involved, which his brother says is because he feels as though he needed to take care of him after they lost their mother.

Lemonis also questions where the data is that would allow for some perspective on which products are selling well. Without that, he says they have “no shot at success” because they can’t track trends or buying behaviors. Based on the shirts that don’t sell, Lemonis sorts the shirts into the ones that will stay and the ones that will go in order to cut their losses.

Heading to the Fashion District, Lemonis shows DiLascia a new way to view creative processes. They encourage DiLascia to start off by sketching his ideas and expand his product offering. They also encourage him to rent a new space, but change worries DiLascia, which in turn, concerns Lemonis.

Next step: design. Lemonis encourages him to be flexible with colors and fabrics, which will allow him to grow his business. Back at the store, Lemonis stages an intervention with the family to get DiLascia out of the store and change up his creative process. His brother calls him stubborn while Lemonis encourages him to change his ways since, at the end of the day, he invested in him.

DiLascia ultimately decides that closing the store is what’s best for the business.

Now working in the Fashion District, he takes the advice of others and works to create fresh products. He displays his sketches for women’s wear, sweatpants and unisex hoodies. Lemonis says the hoodie could be a “hit or miss” but is impressed by what DiLascia has designed, despite some pushback from his siblings.

Lemonis then organizes a focus group at COURAGE b, which he has also invested in, and encourages DiLascia to take his new products and openly receive feedback, some of which he doesn’t take very well. The way he addresses the feedback discourages Lemonis, which he refers to as “pouty” but moves on to the next big challenge: Bloomingdale’s.

DiLascia knows his numbers in his presentation and openly accepts the feedback from Bloomingdale’s. The one woman shows particular interest in the graphic t-shirts during the pitch and mentions presenting at a trunk show, which would be huge for DiLascia’s growth.

The day of the trunk show, however, they discover that product is missing, including the graphic shirts and 3-in-1 shirts. Rolling with the punches, Lemonis is overall very impressed with all the changes he implemented based on the feedback he received. He also decides to surprise DiLascia with a visit from his father, who says how proud he is of his family.

At the end of the day, DiLascia was able to narrow his focus, all while expanding his product offering based on Lemonis’ newly-implemented process.

Social Media Responds to DiLascia’s Fashion Upgrades

PS: The DiLascia Shop has a line of “The Profit“-inspired clothing, which include “I Need Lemoney” and “Delusional Entrepreneur” shirts.

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