Categorized | Shoestring Startup

The tale of American Threads in a budget.

The tale of American Threads in a budget. Name of your company and URL?

Black & Denim Apparel Company

www.Blackanddenim.com

Date started?

March 17, 2008

What is your product or service?

We are a men’s apparel lifestyle brand producing two seasonal collections each year (Spring/Fall). Every garment and product we produce is Made in America. Currently we offer a wide selection of t-shirts and a line of luggage including toiletry and messenger bags. Slated for the 2012 Fall Collection we will include woven shirts, denim jeans, and under garments for men.

Why did you start your company?

The management team started the company because we felt that fashion within our target demographic was heading in a different direction. We took a hard look at the Contemporary segment on Men’s fashion, price points, ethical rules and production. We wanted to start a trend that is more subtle. Classic elements in denim and classic t shirts that would not scream “look at me and the jewelry on my shirt” but would instead show the world how subtle and humble things could ensue a presence of a man. Something that James Dean would wear today. Flashy clothing, flavor of the month or even loud over the top, in our eyes isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes you need something simple, like a black shirt and a nice pair of blue jeans. A little Black And Denim is what was missing in world.

How was it financed ?

At first the 3 main partners (RobertoTorres, Michael Gil, and Luis Montanez) each pooled equal amounts to start up the company. Christopher Findeisen was our first contracted designer, whose talents and dedication to the brand made the decision of making him a full partner an easy one. After the initial investments from the 4 of us, we begin to build our capital from private investors from different connections we each had.

Date officially launched?

Fall 2010

What free online or offline tools do you use?

We feel blessed to have the support from many different people and organizations. The Small Business Development Center of Tampa was a great resource that allowed us to a use a third party to create our initial business plan at a substantial discount. Other organizations that we found very helpful are: Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org/), SCORE (http://www.score.org/), and HBIF (http://www.hbifflorida.org/).

The tale of American Threads in a budget. Do you use Social Media tools like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or?

In the beginning we undervalued the use of social media but now we try to capitalize as much as we can from different social sites.

Facebook and Twitter have been used to drive brand awareness and sales. We currently provide give ways or promo codes for those who follow us on Facebook or twitter.

LinkedIn was been a great resource to us in finding sales reps throughout the nation and manufactures that we are currently negotiation with to use in the future.

Sites like Model Mayhem has been a great asset to find local talent to use for our photo shoots may time at no cost to us.

http://twitter.com/#!/BLACKANDDENIM

https://www.facebook.com/blackanddenimapparel

How many people are currently working, including employees (freelancers or independent contractors for specific projects)?

6 Employees

What is the best advice you never got?

  1. Smile, be genuine and engage everybody with respect and dignity.
  2. Talk to everyone. Our business is where is it is today due to the relationships we have made.
  3. Follow up with everything you say you will do.

What almost killed your business in the start?

Production Cost!!! We wanted more like demanded the “Made in America” tag on our products but we were blind to what that meant to the bottom line. There was a lot of trial and error to ensure we had a quality shirt and a price that could sustain our business, especially during a recession. The old boxy t-shirts or heavy cotton we not enough. We wanted to deliver a quality product and show the consumer why they are paying a higher price point.

What is the one thing that you did right?

Ensured that our customer was delivered a quality product on the date agreed upon. It was crucial to us that our reputation in the market be a good one. Often times we hear about certain companies that sold more than they could produce or shipped weeks after a deadline. We wanted to stay away from that and create a good reputation when it came to delivery. Branding is everything in this industry.

Our motto is under promise, over deliver.

What was the biggest transition you had to make (i.e. new skill set, habits, abilities, focus)?

Understanding what is expected from the industry, ie working production of collections for seasons that will not be purchased and delivered in the next 6 months in the future.

Also learning all the aspects involved with manufacturing a quality product within the USA.

Are you currently in the black or red?

We have made into the black finically but our biggest success is that we have been able to grow our inventory with every collection.

The tale of American Threads in a budget. What type of marketing or advertising do you do?

Social Media

Industry Trade Shows

Product Placement in the film industry

What would make your business more “Successful”?

The design and quality of products speak for them selves. Our biggest hurdle is to bring Brand Awareness to more consumers in the marketplace.

Would you want to be acquired by a bigger company, run it yourself or sell in a couple of years?

For the moment we want to grow our business and see how far we can take it ourselves. Although we are not opposed to the possibility of a buyout.

What do you think your projected annual revenue will be

How long do you think it will take you to get to your projected annual revenue?

We are on track to hit our financial projected annual revenue for the fiscal year of 2011. Our main goal is to turn a profit. This should be attained within the next 3 years.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply

Shoestring Book Reviews

Shoestring Venture Reviews
Richard Hooker on Jim Blasingame

Shoestring Fans and Followers


Categories

Archives

Business Book: How to Start a Business

Shoestring Book

Shoestring Venture in iTunes Store

Shoestring Venture - Steve Monas & Richard Hooker

Shoestring Kindle Version # 1 for e-Commerce, # 1 for Small Business, # 1 for Startup 99 cents

Business Book – Shoestring Venture: The Startup Bible

Shoestring Book Reviews

Shoestring Venture Reviews

Invesp landing page optimization
Powered By Invesp
Wikio - Top Blogs - Business