Charley The Plumber

Where I Came From

My name is Charley Thom. I am the owner of EMS Plumbing and Heating, and co-owner of 12 Gauge Apparel.

I was born and raised with my three brothers in southeast Michigan. Growing up, I was not sure where life would take me. My father was the previous owner of EMS Plumbing and Heating, and when I was just 12 years old, my older brother and I started to work for him. We would clean fittings, put them away, and really just do whatever our dad told us to do. The value of hard work was learned much earlier than most. We were there when the pole barn went up in 1976, when the office was built, and when the business grew as a whole; which is something that I will never forget. It's really special to work side by side with your father; watch him, learn and grow from him, and manifest those qualities in yourself. As the years passed, I knew that this was what I was going to do as a career. At 18 I was hired on as full time. College was not where I saw myself, and I really enjoyed working in the trades, so I became a Master Plumber and continued working for my dad until it was time for me to take over.

I purchased the business from my father in the year 1998. It was a bittersweet moment of watching him pass to me what he built, and me taking over the foundation that he created. Being born, raised, married, and rooting my own family in a small town; taking on the family business was something that I had to hold to the same standards as my old man.

As time went on, my son started helping me with the business when he was just 13 years old. He would help me run my tools, come with me on-site to different jobs, and be my right hand whenever I needed him. I never realized how great a memory that must have been for my dad until I experienced it with my own son.

Fast forward some years, and 12 Gauge Apparel was born. Being a "big 'n tall" guy myself, I could never find shirts with a good design that fit me just right without spending an arm and a leg. I worked too hard to get to where I was in life to spend a crazy amount of money on one single shirt. That's when my son and I came up with the idea of starting our own apparel company. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but we learned together. The back of my pole barn was turned into an office for the two of us and we spent countless hours brainstorming what we wanted our product to look like. Both of us have Jeeps, we hunt, enjoy sports, and have the same sense of humor. He brought those designs to life and I was the one who put those designs on shirts, packaged, and sent them out. Now, other hard working people like myself could get good quality clothing at a fair price.

I am an outdoor enthusiast and spend majority of my Fall in the woods hunting. In the summer months you can find me on my boat or working on DIY projects. I also enjoy snowmobiling, riding the side by side, and being with my friends and family.

For those of you who have been here since the beginning of Charley The Plumber; thank you. I could not have grown this brand without your unwavering support. And for the ones who might be here for the first time; welcome! I cannot wait to see how where this journey will take us.

This channel will take you along with me on all of my adventures. So sit back, relax, and I'll see you every Sunday on Youtube!

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