Isham Harris arrived in the US from Italy at the age of 22 with a deep entrepreneurial spirit already ingrained in him. His father, a Navy sailor, and his mother, an Italian waitress, said goodbye when Isham flew to Texas for Air Force basic training.
While serving in the Air Force, Isham found time to purchase homes and flip them in his free time. This opportunity was exactly why he had come to America to pursue the American dream.
Isham left the Air Force and invested in his own beverage distribution company, EnerVend. His drive and natural marketing skills quickly grew his energy drink business, leading him to the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) scene where a new opportunity presented itself. Isham sold EnerVend and launched Fighter Warehouse, selling shirts, shorts, and other apparel for MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) events.
He began to learn about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), quickly understanding its value. By 2007, Fighter Warehouse was a multi-million dollar business with multiple stores in Florida and New York, including the Tampa International Mall, and was the third largest online retailer. Their logo was even featured in three UFC video games.
But with this apparent success came hard lessons. The business had debts, and Isham needed to borrow $200 just to get his air conditioning fixed at home. Something had to change, so in 2012 he sold Fighter Warehouse, taking with him the lessons of the things he had done correctly. He was a great marketer and knew how to get products and services in front of the right people.
This knowledge prompted Isham to hire website developers to create his next business. However, months later and $19,000 lighter in his bank account, he still had no website. Fueled by this frustration, he decided to learn everything he needed to know about building a website. It only took him one month.
As one business opportunity led to another, Isham’s family had been growing too. He realized that his drive to succeed in business meant he had less time with his wife and children. Once again, something needed to change.
Merchantside Marketing launched in 2015 with this offer – the first ten clients would receive free websites. In return, the websites would be used to establish the company’s portfolio and the clients would provide valuable testimonials. Isham began to add talented people to his team – a phenomenal coder, a graphics person, and writers. Every project had to be of the highest quality, a reflection of the drive and skill of the company. They were rewarded with multiple awards in just a couple of years’ time. When Isham plays, he plays to win, and when he competes, he competes to take home the top awards.
Through Merchantside Marketing, Isham has been able to unleash his creative side along with the competitive side. For him, winning for his clients is the perfect fit for his personality. He says he has no exit strategy for this business because it is something he loves and enjoys so much. His team allows him time to step away and enjoy his family and faith once again. In addition to building a strong business with the right people, finding the right clients is also key. Prospective clients will find him to be incredibly honest and forthcoming, and he looks for the same qualities in them.