LocalStillman News

Dare to Be Mighty: A Slogan to Live by

Karina Agarwal
Stillman News Writer

Celebrities cannot get enough of the RSLVTS brand and the company’s eye for style. The RSVLTS (Roosevelts without the vowels) is an apparel company based in Hoboken, NJ with customers across the nation, including superstars such as Aaron Judge and Bryce Harper. They are known for stitching classic movie characters and quotes into various wearables, including t-shirts, button-downs, board shorts, winter hats, swimwear, footwear, and now stylish facemasks.

With innovative designs, the RSVLTS are making a bold statement and living by it – “Dare to Be Mighty.” Nothing could stop the RSVLTS team from soaring to the heights of success, not even a cease and desist letter from media behemoth, 21st Century Fox Inc. This letter came not too long after the launch of their business. Although for many, the cease and desist letter for copyright infringement from Fox may have been the beginning of the end, for company founders, Steve Gebhardt ‘06 and John Tramutolo ‘07, it was the entry pathway into a multi-million-dollar venture. With their entrepreneurial spirit, the RSVLTS founders, who met when they were both Seton Hall students, capitalized on an opportunity and turned the threat into a formidable business model.

Pictured above is the logo of The Roosevelts brand. (Photo courtesy of rslvts.com)

Gebhardt and Tramutolo launched their apparel business with a design that incorporated “Wendy Peffercorn” from the 1993 film “The Sandlot.” Fox sent the RSVLTS a “cease and desist” asking them to stop selling shirts with “The Sandlot” logo. However, Fox still recognized the company’s incredible potential and offered them a licensing deal. Since then, the RSVLTS have sought out and come to licensing agreements with movies and television shows such as Rocky, The Shining, Ace Ventura, Ghostbusters, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Parks & Recreation, and Shark Week. The RSVLTS have also have contracts with WWE, MLB, and Pixar Studios.

The RSVLTS have overcome adversity and continue to maintain their commitment to building a values-based company. In 2020, the dynamic duo received a coveted Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year award which “honors entrepreneurial business leaders whose ambitions deliver innovation, growth and prosperity as they build and sustain successful businesses that transform our world.” In another recognition, NJ Biz magazine named RSVLTS the 17th fastest-growing private company in New Jersey in 2020.

Mark your calendars! The Seton Hall Center for Entrepreneurial Studies is hosting an opportunity to meet the remarkable RSVLTS founders on March 10th at its 90-second pitch competition as part of the Pirates Pitch workshop series. The event will be held virtually from 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM. Students will get the chance to meet the RSVLTS team and hear more about how they began their venture. The 90-second startup pitch contest will be judged by the RSVLTS co-founders Gebhardt and Tramutolo. The top three winners will receive RSVLTS T-shirts and $50 Amazon gift cards!

Interested in participating in the startup pitch competition? You’ll need to sign up by Monday, March 8 by emailing either Susan Scherreik, Director, Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at susan.scherreik-hynes@shu.edu, or Entrepreneurship Club President Faith Akinlade at faith.akinlade@student.shu.edu. The RSVLTS event is being sponsored by the Center and the Entrepreneurship Club.

We invite all budding entrepreneurs to come and unleash their innovative sides. So, join us for an amazing evening with the RSVLTS!


Contact Karina at karina.agarwal@student.shu.edu

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