|Eagle Products was founded in August of 1966 by Jack Carduff. He purchased a franchise from Spoofer Shops of Denver, Colorado. Spoofer Shops silk-screened sweatshirts and t-shirts on location in college markets. They supplied silk-screens, inks, and blank shirts to their franchisees with designs for all the fraternities and sororities on a college campus. They also supplied beer mugs, inexpensive gifts, and college related merchandise. Jack opened a Spoofer Shop just off the campus of the University of Kansas in 1966. Original employees were Jack and his wife Bev, their three children, Duffy, Cynthia, and Beebe, and a store manager. |
A month after opening in Lawrence, the parent company, Spoofer Shops, went out of business. Jack was forced to find new suppliers for the printing supplies and gift items carried in the store. He called on all the fraternities and sororities in Missouri and Kansas and sold them printed t-shirts, sweatshirts, and party favors. The store (now called The Campus Mad House) flourished, and in September of 1967, Jack opened a second store in Emporia, Ks. where Duffy was attending college.
The sixties were in full bloom and the Carduffs began printing peace sign t-shirts, anti-war t-shirts and flower power t-shirts. Other retail stores would come in and clean out the “hippie shirts” and re-sell them in their own stores.
In 1970, a sales rep who had a showroom in the mart in Dallas came in to the KCMO store and asked to show the Mad House t-shirts in a gift show in Dallas. The show generated orders from Skaggs Drugs, Six Flags, and many others. This success prompted Jack, who had been a road salesman prior to this endeavor, to go to the Lake of the Ozarks where he opened many new accounts with his “hippie designs.”
In 1971, as the printing operation became more significant, more space was needed. Eagle Products (the wholesale side) rented space in downtown Kansas City and purchased its first automatic t-shirt printing machine. Summer business boomed, but in the winter, sales were pretty sparse. Jack decided to head to the Colorado ski areas in hopes of generating much needed winter sales. He managed to make inroads in the ski business and sales increased steadily.
Eagle continued to grow and sales increased each year. Profits were re-invested in additional equipment and inventory. In 1978, Eagle moved to larger facilities downtown (the current location) and started adding sales reps to cover a wider geographical area and specializing the souvenir and resort business.
Eagle has always had a sterling reputation in the industry for delivering on time, being easy to work with, and providing products that retail extremely well. Eagle also carries an extensive children’s line, unlike most companies. We have addressed the custom market by offering multiple artistic formats into which lettering and icons may be changed to suit the customer’s specific needs. The same design with a waterfall icon saying “Niagara Falls”, becomes a South Dakota design by changing the lettering and substituting a buffalo for the waterfall icon. By using an extensive catalog of icons, custom designs are easily made for any area or any type of attraction. Eagle also has established a pre-print program. The most popular multi color designs for youth and adult are pre printed and stocked on their most popular colors, for immediate shipment. All that is needed is to name drop the garment with the designated location (Colorado, Arizona, etc.) and ship. This ensures quick delivery on our most popular items.
Eagle Products is recognized as one of the longest running suppliers of printed apparel to the tourist industry and the Carduff family is still proudly serving customers from coast to coast.