2017 Hot List: Rich Santo

"Our brand is reliability and innovation and capacity."

Our annual picks of the industry’s rising stars – a brave, bold group that’s trailblazing a unique path to success.

Rich Santo

Culture Studio (asi/700559)

Equipped with street smarts and a real-world education, Culture Studio (asi/700559) CEO Rich Santo recruited his two brothers and best friend to start a clothing brand at 19 years old. His love of retail apparel blossomed into the promo product industry where his company builds product lines for several major players in the music world.

“We have this vision and goal to be the best decorated merchandise company in the country,” Santo says. “We sell ourselves as an experience. Our brand is reliability and innovation and capacity. We try to bundle that up into a package people can relate to.”

While some of his competitors focus on price cuts to attract business, Santo remains confident in his company’s ability to please customers through quality products. “Our industry has kind of cannibalized itself. It’s so competitive that people offer to do the same work for a penny less. If we care about the experience, then pennies shouldn’t matter,” Santo says.

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