Q&A: Dave Merritt, CEO & Founder of IMU

Dylan Burkhardt

Launch PartyDavid Merritt and John Beilein at the IMU Launch Party

David Merritt the basketball player is nothing new. He was a co-captain last year who started 14 games and was an instrumental part of Michigan’s first trip back to the NCAA tournament since 1998. Beyond David Merritt the basketball player there is David Merritt the entrepreneur. Merritt started his own apparel company this summer – IMU, The Inside Out. Because David graciously agreed to do a quick interview, I’ll leave the explaining to him.

Dylan: For those who haven’t been paying attention… tell us about IMU
David Merritt: IMU is you Dylan. It’s me.  IMU is a people brand focused on spreading happiness while appreciating the people and experiences that make us who we are.  The IMU Brand wants to create the feelings associated with hearing the words “I Miss You,” making people feel happy, special, and valued. We plan on doing that through our clothing, our customer service, and our innovative community service component.

meyer_gibsonMichigan assistant Jeff Meyer and Zack Gibson at IMU launch party

Dylan: How did the launch party go last week?
DM: The Bringing The Inside Out Launch Party went well. Real Well. We are forever grateful to everyone that came out and supported IMU’s takeoff  We sold a lot of shirts and got a lot of good feedback so I was pleased.

Where can people find IMU products? Online? In stores?
DM: People can find IMU Products exclusively through our website, www.imutheinsideout.com.  All you have to do is click on the IMU Collection when you get there, and voila, IMU is yours! Shipping, unfortunately, will not begin until September 21st because we are working extremely hard on creating a wonderful packaging experience for our customers.  But trust me my friend, the wait will be well worth it!

Dylan: Now that the company has launched, what’s the next step for IMU?
DM: The next step for IMU is to start our community service projects and continue to get the word out about The IMU Brand. Our first service event is this Saturday from 10 AM to 12 PM. IMU is partnering with Community Action Network, a network of four community centers providing a variety of services to under-resourced and low-income communities in Ann Arbor. On Saturday, we will be providing services such as neighborhood cleanup, painting, and administrative tasks in our first step to improve communities across the globe. People can email us at imu@imutheinsideout.com if they’re interested in helping out.

selection sundayDylan: Let’s talk hoops for a minute… If you had to pick just one, what was the highlight of your career at U-M?
DM: Highlight of my career. That’s an easy one. Selection Sunday, hearing our name called in the final bracket as a 10 seed. One of the best feelings I’ve ever had in my life.

Dylan: One of the biggest questions facing next year’s team is who plays the point guard spot that you and CJ manned last year. If you could give one word of advice to next year’s starter what would it be?
DM: The guys that are playing that position this year will be just fine. But if I was giving advice to them, I would tell them how important it is to be confident and tenacious at the point guard position.  It means so much to the other players when the point guard knows what he is doing, takes control, and believes in himself and the other guys.

Dylan: Laval, Darius, and Stu’s names have been thrown around as potential replacements, how do you see their games translating to the point in Beilein’s offense?
DM: It should be interesting to see who gets the nod. (smiles) I’m really excited to see how it plays out. I don’t think people realize how skilled Stu is. He can handle it, shoot, and has some great vision.  Laval is extremely athletic and can shoot it and get inside. I also like what I’ve been able to see from Darius. I love his size and strength. He’s gonna be a good one.  It’s tough because I’m friends with all of them, so I’ll just let it play out (laughs).

Dylan: Thanks to David for taking the time to do this interview and make sure you check out IMU today.

  • Brad

    an impressive young man…not much else i can say

  • Tom Too

    I wish him all the luck in the world. I like the idea for the gear and I think it is stylish. Tough business and the price point is high, so we will see. But, someone that driven and dedicated cannot fail….maybe this first idea might, but in the long run, he won’t.

  • Steady Sprinkle

    Interesting idea i guess.. I MISS YOU (IMU)… Im not sure how well that business is going to do… 30-40 dollars + shipping for a T-shirt that will just shrink after a few washes in the spin cycle… Seems a bit high my man… GL though…

  • JBlair52

    The IMU story is a neat read.

    It’s somewhat of a “unique” idea/business plan. little different.

    i agree the price is high – then again, if you can get the demand, you’re money…