Loyal customers, determination help make Scuba Steve a success

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Right off Hwy 49 in downtown Gulfport sits a small shop. Bright, coastal themed T-shirts attract customers and owner Steve Johnson's colorful personality keeps business coming back.

But Johnson's success was not overnight.

"I had big plans, but there are some bumps in the road," Johnson said with a smile. "You really don't know where you are going to be and you never give up and I would never give up."

Determination has turned Johnson's childhood dream of designing and selling clothes a reality. In 2008, while a student at USM, he gave it a go and started selling shirts in the classroom and out of his car.

"I didn't sell much, except from my grandma, so my car got repossessed and I was on the side of the road selling shirts," Johnson said.

In 2010, he got our attention at WLOX and was featured as a South Mississippi Hero for giving a shirt away for every shirt he sold.

"I made it on the news with Rebecca Powers," Johnson said. "She did a story, the mall saw it and offered me a kiosk to rent. I did that for two weeks and didn't sell one thing and then a girl bought one and she put it on Facebook and it spread."

Johnson's business took off, he now sells to clients all over the world.

"I have customers as far as Alaska, and phone orders all over," Johnson said. "It's really cool to sell to all these people and be loyal and care about me and what I'm doing. Just amazing, I'm very lucky."

Johnson continues to share his success with the less fortunate and he hopes to for years to come.

"The future holds for me more stores, more locations," Johnson said. "We want to be nationwide, we just want to keep growing but we don't forget our roots back home."

You can check out Scuba Steve's designs at http://scubasteve.bigcartel.com/
You can also find him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scuba-Steve-Clothing-Company/140230916038301

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