Founder + Owner PROLOOK City Orem
Dusty Rhodes has developed a pro perspective through his venture with PROLOOK. As a biology major at SUU in the ‘90s, he made countless trips to the Philippines to learn and improve manufacturing of custom team apparel with his Filipino partner. Then, with a plan to pursue med school at the University of Utah, Dusty set that aside to learn to sell the product. They built their first factory in 2003 and have since added three more unique factories to their stable. PROLOOK had immediate traction, hitting No. 199 on the 2004 Inc. 500. Go team! Dusty’s business acumen has led PROLOOK to an impressive feat: “Today, we manufacture about 2 million custom team units for our own brand and others annually that outfit tens of thousands of teams around the world,” he says. With a mission to challenge the industry’s status quo and a winner’s attitude to match, Dusty and PROLOOK are playing in (and dressing) the big leagues.
GAINING SPEED + CATCHING AIR
We had moved up to Salt Lake City in the summer of 1998 for me to go to med school at the University of Utah. My wife and I dropped that dream during that summer and started to learn to sell our product. I quit my sales job a year later, borrowed $35,000 from my wife’s uncle and went for it. PROLOOK was the first to offer custom sewn-on numbering and lettering on jerseys to high schools and colleges. We had immediate traction.
FIRST SNOWFALL MAGIC
Early on, I was excited to go prove the concept by visiting high schools around Nevada (where I’m from). I scheduled 20 visits to basketball coaches over three days. At the end of the three days, 19 had purchased.
I open bottles of valuable whiskey as different goals are met. We’ve fortunately opened quite a few. The biggest summit lately is this year, having been ranked by the National Sporting Goods Association as the custom team apparel brand with the highest quality, best tech platform and best overall brand in our industry (just ahead of Under Armour).
Definitely the team — our team is so cool, so good. We all love being around each other and working together. Nepotism has actually worked well for us; there are so many friends and family of family working with us. Everyone works their tails off. It’s an inspiring atmosphere. Our vendors and customers are also awesome. We have these amazingly powerful relationships on all sides of our business! My wife and I flew out to Virginia Beach for a wedding of a customer’s daughter. He used to coach at Norfolk State University. We’ve always stayed friends, even after. We use the PRO in PROLOOK to remind us to up our game in all manners … we are definitely PRO-PEOPLE!
Definitely a morning workout. My dad always said to get a good sweat going every single day. I love that idea. Right now my wife and I love Orange Theory Fitness. It’s the 7:15 a.m. class if you are interested in joining. *winks*
I like to go to dinner with my wife, Jane, who is also our chief brand officer — she is always so damn good at laying it all out and seeing through a problem to the solution.
I’m an Uggs guy. I have a pair of slippers I wear at home and I have to take them everywhere with me in the winter.
GIVES ME CHILLS
I love Rich Roll … so good! (The Rich Roll Podcast and author of multiple books.) Adam Grant, Tim Ferriss or Malcom Gladwell books are always inspiring and thoughtful.
MEETING THE COOL KIDS
I have a surf group with about 10 other business leaders that Ryan Napierski (president and CEO of NuSkin) and I put together. We go surfing twice a year to be with each other and help think through different business issues we are each having.
STAY WINTRY COOL
A favorite winter activity is definitely skiing. I was a ski instructor at SUU to help pay for school. We will make an ice skating rink in our front yard once in a while if the winter is cold enough. That’s really fun!
Figure it out. Approach it like a battle. I love the Ulysses S. Grant quote, “The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on.” The problem is the enemy.