Tom & Julie Stewart Showcased in Orange County Register Spotlight

Sportsheets International was featured in this weekend’s Orange County Register with a profile focused on the company’s positive impact on the local economy. Founder Tom Stewart and President Julie Stewart spoke with reporters whose curiosity delved into the world of bondage and how the duo’s hard work helped the company reach No. 93 on the Orange County Business Journal‘s list of top 100 fastest-growing companies in October 2012.

Reporter Barbara Venezia was genuinely impressed and intrigued by the brother-and-sister team’s story and how the two came together to launch and manage what now is one of the largest and most respected manufacturers in the industry.

“I’ve interviewed many successful entrepreneurs, but Tom, 57 and Julie, 42, who received her MBA in business from Pepperdine, are among the most interesting as is their success story,” Venezia wrote.

Inspired by a comedy bit on the David Letterman show, where David jumped onto a Velcro wall and stuck to it, Tom decided to create a product that would make it fun and easy for couples to tie each other up in the bedroom without worrying about knots and rope. After learning to sew and conspiring with his brother, Bob, Tom created the first Sportsheet bondage bed sheet and introduced the product at a swinger convention to see what the market thought.

“We were the hit of the convention,” Tom said.

From there Tom reached out to Julie to join forces and build the business as a family, later bringing their father on as a business consultant and even hiring each other’s spouses. Now Sportsheets International owns a 17,000-square-foot warehouse and office in the heart of Huntington Beach, Calif., and employs more than 40 employees.

“Sportsheets has been a fixture in the community since the beginning and with the success of our award-winning product lines business has grown exponentially – and the local media has taken note!” Tom said. “More than two-thirds of our 350+ product line is made in the U.S. and we make a point to source and employ contractors and talent from the area. Keeping operations as local as possible is a key part of our business model and we are proud to have that and our company story featured in such a respected publication!”

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