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Read’s Uniforms is Dressed for Success

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.” For Eric and Shannon Hutzler, owners of Read’s Uniforms in Asheville, North Carolina, this sentiment really hits home.

“Everybody sees a uniform as a very personal thing,” says Eric Hutzler. “So whenever you can provide a client with a uniform that meets their budget goals, their comfort goals, their fashion goals, whatever they may be, it makes them feel better about themselves.”

Instilling confidence in their clients is important to the Hutzlers because their clients are the backbone of the community. Read’s Uniforms started by servicing medical professionals, but over the past 8 years has expanded to include clients in the education, hospitality, public safety, and industrial sectors.

They’ve also grown from a single location in Asheville, previously owned by Eric’s mother, to 8 locations from North Carolina to Florida.

“Most of the companies that we acquire are scrub stores servicing the medical community,” says Hutzler. “So we’re able to take those stores and bring additional streams of revenue to them by diversifying the mix of uniforms they sell. We go and seek local contracts and bring those services to that store so that they more resemble what we do here in Asheville.”

While Read’s Uniforms serves many contract customers, it also sees hundreds of customers walk through the doors of its retail stores. Not surprisingly, customers and community are at the heart of everything that Read’s Uniforms does.

“We service a lot of folks from right here in our local community, from law enforcement to private schools to the hospitals,” says Hutzler. “We take great pride in delivering service excellence. What that means is that any time we interact with a customer we want that experience to be as flawless as possible.”

Frustrated with their relationship with a “big bank,” the Hutzlers decided to build a partnership with First Bank.

“[At the big bank] it seemed like every time I had to have a banking conversation, there was a new banking representative,” Hutzler says. “The reason that we partnered with First Bank is that we found them to be a bank that seems to care and has that true small-town bank feel.”

While Eric and Shannon plan on running Read’s Uniforms for a long time, they are always keeping their larger goals in mind.

“What’s important to us long term at Read’s Uniforms in the next 5, 10 years, or even further out than that, is that Shannon and I build a successful organization so that maybe one day our children would like to extend the legacy of our family business.”

With family values, a stake in their community, and solid partnerships, Read’s Uniforms is poised to do great things for generations to come.


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