As CEO of Nine Line Apparel, the fastest growing company in the US, Merritt is still in the customer service industry. As the country works to contain the coronavirus, the economy has ground to a halt, forcing Merritt and his team to think outside the box.
The company’s humble beginnings can be traced back to 2012 when Merritt printed t-shirts in his garage to improve morale for his Rangers unit and other military groups.
Originally producing only t-shirts for military troops, Nine Line has since broadened their product line to include gear for everyone who is “relentlessly patriotic.” Founder and CEO Merritt says he chose the military phrase for a cry for help, “Nine Line,” for the company because he wants veterans to know they have a place to turn for support and a mechanism to reach out for it whenever they need it.
Nine Line Apparel’s CEO, Tyler Merritt, is used to performing well under intense pressure. When Merritt first saw action in the United States Army, he was serving as a gunner in an AH-64 Apache Helicopter over Iraq. His unit was providing close air support to a special operations detachment.
THE NINE LINEAGE TENETS
- Pay your respects to the flag and the ideals it represents. Honoring the flag as a holy symbol of all that we stand for is a fitting tribute to the brave men and women who have fought and died to protect our liberties.
- Show your appreciation to the brave men and women of the armed forces, the police, the fire department, and any other public service you can think of. You must ensure that those who misuse their authority are held accountable, but you must also realize that they are not indicative of all those who are tasked with protecting us.
- Finally, there is no reason to feel bad about showing your patriotic pride. We at Nine Line want to restore the nation’s once-revived pride in its people, its history, and its heritage by promoting a strong sense of national identity and patriotism.
The corporation was ready to make a 180-degree turn.
The company has started producing and testing protective face masks made of clothing fabric in response to the widespread shortage of face masks used by healthcare workers and first responders. Viruses are typically spread through inhaled droplets, but this fabric has been treated with anti-microbial treatments that may be FDA-approved for this purpose. The design is basic and adaptable, so it might work for a wide range of facial sizes. It’s not quite up to the standards of a surgical mask, but it may be the first line of defense for medical staff and emergency personnel.
Business Kept on Despite Difficulties.
Finding unique answers is in the company’s blood. In only a few short years, the company went from operating out of double-wide trailers to filling a 10,000-square-foot building with nearly 30 people to its current size, which boasts close to 200 workers.
In the process of helping critically wounded service men and advocating for veterans on other concerns, Merritt founded the Nine Line Foundation. The organization has led efforts in the last seven years to construct wheelchair-accessible houses and micro homes for homeless veterans.
The 9 Line’s Bright Future
Nine Line quickly outgrew its retail space near Savannah’s historic district. The new 60,000-square-foot Nine Line facility was officially opened on October 12, 2017, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Nine Line will not relent in its efforts to expand the American job market. They have decided to stop using imported materials whenever possible and instead establish a cut-and-sewn plant in Savannah, GA within the next three years. Keeping a healthy profit margin is essential to any business’s long-term success, and we have found novel approaches to maintaining this goal even as we bring manufacturing back to the United States. We plan to broaden our reach into new markets even as we continue to perfect our Apparel expertise.