For most business professionals, clothing is very much a part of their job. But what happens when your sweat glands dash your best intentions, leaving you red-faced with embarrassment? Has it ever happened to you? It's a scene I know all too well. I'm one of the 4.8% of Americans with a condition known as 'hyperhidrosis'.


It's more commonly known as overactive sweating. But the truth is, hyperhidrosis is known to interfere with day-to-day activities and cause, occupational, emotional, psychological, social, and physical impairment -- it's a legitimate issue that over 15 million Americans actually suffer from.

As for me, I've gone to significant lengths--wearing colors that don't show sweat (aka, black & white), to trying dozens of the most expensive, 'proven', clinical deodorants which, didn't work. Oh yeah and two laser surgeries-- that used 'microwave energy to permanently destroy sweat glands'. Well, spoiler, I was in the <5% group it didn't work on. At that point, I had pretty much just given up. Oh well, right? I sweat.

Then I got 'the text'

A friend who knows of my situation all to well told me he was watching a Shark Tank episode and I should check out this company. So, I do, and there it was in all its glory -- the Thompson Tee.

As you can probably imagine, I'm quite the skeptic when it comes to anything that could 'help' sweating, so I naturally scoffed at the product, but my impulses and glimmer of hope prevailed, and I bought one. The package arrived, I frantically opened it like a child with his first present, and I put on the shirt -- I was ready to battle test the hell out of it and had an intense day of meetings lined up. I decided to go really bold, went to the back of my closet, and pick a dress shirt I wouldn't dare to typically wear. I buttoned it up and was good to go -- I actually felt like I was wearing a secret coat of armor.

The work day commenced and I had 5 hours of putting it through the gauntlet -- a day that would make even typical non-sweaters break a sweat. To my near disbelief, I lifted my arms throughout the entire day, and you couldn't see a thing -- not a drop the entire day. The only words that can describe how I felt after seeing this is combination of awe and relief. A solution to a problem! Finally, right?!

Thompson Tee: Who are you, what are you, and where did you come from?

Alright, so Thompson Tee was developed by Billy Thompson and Randy Choi, it includes specialized panels in the armpits that facilitate reverse osmosis and the natural evaporation of moisture.

Have you ever had a 'sweat event'? According to major antiperspirant consumer brand, P&G, 35% of adults experience at least one weekly sweat event, which is defined as feeling underarm wetness. Thus, you don't have to suffer from hyperhidrosis to benefit from 'the Tee' -- it works for both situational sweat events and those with a more chronic condition.

From the psychological standpoint, the Thompson Tee deserves some attention because of the influence clothing has on professional performance. Clothing influences how others perceive you, and people very much want to look the part and make a good impression. Research also suggests that clothing can have a positive effect on mood and behavior. Sweat on clothing can hold people back, leaving them distracted, self-conscious, and viewed as less competent.

Then there's the financial element. Uncontrolled sweating can leave expensive work attire stained and unusable. It's not unusual for workers to get no more than a year of use out of moisture-soiled garments. And, fun fact, antiperspirants can cause yellow staining on white dress shirts within 3-4 uses (typically visible by month 6).

Epic Growth

What's equally as impressive? Thompson and Choi self-funded the company with just $20,000. The demand for the product, however, has increased enough to move revenues from $90,000 in the first year to $4 million in year 5. For 2017, the co-founders anticipate $8 million in sales. Today, they have over 100,000 loyal customers in over 135 countries.

Although it's a good time for the Thompson Tee--which I now can attest from experience works incredibly well--to sell online, there are still challenges. Online shoppers return up to 40% of clothes they buy, more specifically returning 25% of all T-shirts, for example. But given the ease and privacy of the buy button and the genuine need for dryness, it's a product worth keeping an eye on.

As for what the Thompson Tee mission and the loyal brand they're building, Billy Thompson shared,

"It's simple. We providing confidence around the world with a safe, affordable, and convenient solution -- one sweaty armpit at a time."

Thompson added,

"While concentrating on our domestic growth plan, we'll be simultaneously initiating our international expansion. So, we'll continue building the best solution, backed by the exemplary service for our customers throughout the world."

It's hard for me to believe that a t-shirt can change someone's life. I was wrong.