East County residents Brian Hedgepeth and Rob Arakel have dealt with their share of uniform suppliers over the years.
Arakel and Hedgepeth both serve on the board of directors for the Manatee Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth Youth Baseball Leagues at Heritage Harbour and have sons who play for the league.
After having to resort to buying most of their uniforms online, the two began looking for a local alternative. But when the two couldn’t find exactly what they were looking for, they decided to start their own business.
Hedgepeth, whose background is in sales, and Arakel, whose background is in sales and law enforcement, opened AllSports Uniforms in May.
“Basically we thought we could do a better job than what’s already out there,” Arakel said. “We’re more in touch with the kids in the league and what’s necessary for them.”
“Buying online is very impersonal, and with my past experience in sales I don’t think that’s the way it should be done,” Hedgepeth said. “We wanted to create a very personal relationship and do something for kids in all sports.
“It’s really about the service component,” Hedgepeth added. “That’s the main difference that (separates) us from our competition, and I think that’s our advantage.”
AllSports Uniforms, located at 615 67th St. Circle E., Suite 202, Bradenton, offers apparel for a wide variety of sports, including baseball, football, soccer, cheerleading and lacrosse, among others.
“We supply everything you can think of,” Hedgepeth said. “We don’t limit ourselves when it comes to sports.”
The company also supplies uniforms for schools and churches for events and activities, such as spirit days, as well as corporate apparel. Additionally, the company hopes to establish a business partnership with the schools and churches it supplies, as a way of giving back to the community.
Those interested in ordering uniforms can schedule a time to meet with Hedgepeth or Arakel at the showroom to go over the different options and prices that are available. From there, the company will manage all of the artwork and printing and delivery of the uniforms.
“In the past there hasn’t really been options for local stores,” Arakel said. “The service component is lost and the personal touch is gone when you order online.”
Eventually Arakel and Hedgepeth plan to turn their showroom into a retail space at which point they’ll establish set business hours.
“It’s a simple stream line process, and we want to provide as much value as possible,” Hedgepeth said. “There’s a new game in town. It’s nice to let people know there’s a new option. We want to let them know they have another option now.”
Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].
Owners: Brian Hedgepeth and Rob Arakel
Address: 615 67th St. Circle E., Suite 202, Bradenton
Hours: Call for an appointment
What makes the business unique: AllSports Uniforms strives to provide a personal service component to its customers unlike traditional on-line uniform retailers.