STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich.—STAHLS’ marks its 85th anniversary in the apparel decoration industry. Originating as a lettering and imprint business in Detroit, the company has since grown into a global manufacturer, supplier, and distributor of garment decoration materials, equipment, and heat transfer technology. Tracing company roots back to the start, STAHLS’ executive chairman Ted Stahl explains how the business has always been rooted in family values, beginning with his grandfather in the early 1930s.
“Since [the 1930s], four generations of the Stahl family have supported the company’s growth, developing new products, protecting our intellectual property, and helping the company evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of the textile industry,” states Stahl. “Today, our all-star team continues our legacy of innovation.”
Stahl adds that the company views employees and customers as “an extended part of the Stahl family.”
“Their loyalty and support is what has provided our company the means to grow and expand our services around the world,” Stahl contends.
The early incarnation of the company took flight after Stahls’ grandfather, A.C. Stahl, conceived of a system for athletic uniform numbering and lettering. He designed a system of pre-cut dies of letters and numbers which customers could self-apply to uniforms and customize team and player names.
“From there it was the perseverance of my mother, and the creativeness of my father,” states Stahl in a video interview, adding that the company strived for multiple years to build a name for itself. “There were many weeks where sales were 30 cents...it kept us humble.”
Since those early decades, the company has evolved and grown with multiple equipment and product offerings for the apparel decoration industry. In more recent years, STAHLS’ has emerged as a licensee and supplier for various major sports organizations like the NHL, NFL, and the MLB.
“Ted helped to create a legacy of innovation for STAHLS’ by designing new products before our customers even knew they needed them,” states Chris Lawson, CEO of STAHLS’. “Today, to maintain our position as an industry innovator, we’re focused on emerging technology that meets government and customer standards, and our ability to produce products fast and efficiently.”
Watch a full video of Ted Stahl discussing STAHLS’ history below.
For more information, visit groupestahl.com.