South Florida Synergy
Matt Kuttler and David Redlich Flourish Together
If lifelong friendships are special, then lifelong friendships that result in extremely successful business partnerships are extraordinary. Matt Kuttler and David Redlich are two South Florida natives who have such a friendship.
As co-founders of ReStockIt.com, one of the leading online retailers of restaurant, janitorial and office supplies, they have built the third fastest growing Internet retailer in the US according to Internet Retailer Magazine, and the South Florida Business Journal has recognized ReStockIt.com as the number-one fastest growing technology company in South Florida. Kuttler and Redlich have also recently been honored as Florida finalists in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year competition.
This exceptional business partnership, however, did not evolve through chance. Rather, it was nurtured and honed through a relationship that dates back to high school. “I met David when his family moved to Miami from Pennsylvania in tenth-grade,” says Kuttler. “And David and I have been working together since college.”
Kuttler earned his undergraduate degree from Michigan and his graduate degree from the University of Miami. Redlich went to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. “One summer we created a discount card program for high school kids to use at local businesses,” remembers Redlich. “Another summer we sold monogrammed baby towels and crib sheets. We even ran the Florida Basketball Coaches Association.”
In 1993, 6 months after graduation, Redlich and Kuttler took their college partnership and entered the big leagues with PhoneCard Express (PCE). PCE quickly became the leader in the Promotional PhoneCard industry and experienced exponential growth in the mid ’90’s. PCE was eventually sold to one of the largest suppliers in the Promotional Products Industry.
Shortly after completing their employment contract with PCE, the hometown team embarked on a focused search to identify the “perfect” business that suited their strengths and interests. “We came up with ReStockIt.com,” explains Kuttler, “and we learned an entirely new business. It’s been a challenge and the results have been fantastic.”
Kuttler and Redlich have grown revenue at ReStockIt.com to $11 million in 2006, up from $1 million in 2004, by enhancing their online marketing efforts, launching additional sales channels, and expanding the number of items in their offering.
And with all of their success, both Redlich and Kuttler have made it a point to give back to South Florida. As part of their Employee Value Proposition (EVP), ReStockIt.com matches 25 percent of charitable donations by employees and matches community service hours performed by employees, hour for hour. Throughout the year, ReStockIt.com donates (new) returned merchandise to local charities and organizations. These groups have included Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund, The Humane Society of Broward County, JAFCO (Jewish Adoption and Foster Care Options), University School, Temple Sinai of Hollywood, Beth Torah Synagogue, and Temple Kol-Ami.
And yet with all of their achievements, the team stays humble and grounded with family remaining paramount. Coincidentally, both are married and each have three children. With parallels in business and in life, Kuttler and Redlich are a homegrown success story, a partnership nurtured by history.