Episode 125: The Story Behind the RIGHTSLEEVE acquisition by Genumark

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Last week, the news hit the industry that Genumark acquired RIGHTSLEEVE.

Many of you know Mark and Catherine Graham, the cofounders of commonsku, and, in typical skucast fashion, I wanted to interview them to discover what we could learn from their experience. If you’re not familiar with distributor RIGHTSLEEVE, here’s a little background to their story:

After college, Mark Graham went into investment banking and in a matter of time decided to swerve, he wanted to quit investment banking to sell -of all things- t-shirts. After working for about 18 months with a high school friend, selling t-shirts to camps and schools, in 2000, Mark decided to open his distributorship RIGHTSLEEVE. 

Catherine Graham, after several years doing financial planning for fast-track entrepreneurs at TD Bank, went on to pursue an MBA at the Rotman School of Management during which time she joined the fledgling eBay Canada as employee #4.  After leaving eBay, Catherine worked as a management consultant at A.T. Kearney, working with Fortune 100 companies in a wide variety of areas including merger integration, marketing strategy and operational efficiencies. In 2007, Catherine swerved into the then growing business known as Rightsleeve. 

With Mark’s obsessive talent for marketing, merchandising, and branding, and Catherine’s focus on operations and financials, the duo became a powerhouse earning virtually every industry accolade possible: Pyramid awards, PPB’s Greatest Companies to Work For, Counselor's Best Places to Work, ASI Distributor Entrepreneur of the Year, and the highly coveted Dell Small Business Excellence Award, recognized for their technological innovations, the foundation of which became commonsku in 2011.

About the RIGHTSLEEVE acquisition, Mark Freed, Genumark president and CEO said, the acquisition was a perfect match, quote: “We share a similar philosophy which focuses on a customer-first culture supported by innovation, great technology, and a talented, creative team.” Mitch Freed, Genumark’s executive vice president of sales and strategy, who guided the purchase, added, “We have known and admired Mark and Catherine for many years and have become even closer during Genumark’s implementation of commonsku. They are two of the smartest and nicest people in our industry, and as they turn their full attention to commonsku, we will work hard to preserve and grow what they have built at Rightsleeve, which we plan to operate as a division of Genumark.”

In today’s episode, we’re going to learn all about it, from the emotional experience, to identifying the right partners, knowing your numbers, and positioning your business to sell. Join us as we get a glimpse behind the scenes of the RIGHTSLEEVE acquisition and reflections on the experience from our friends, Mark and Catherine.


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commonsku is an effortless business management platform that empowers you to process more orders and handle more business. Learn more at commonsku.com.