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    Manufacturing News

    How YOU can help with USA Made!

    How YOU can help with USA Made!

    Recently, a trusted mentor of mine (with decades of experience in manufacturing) said to me “to be honest, I’m impressed your company has survived”, referring to the crippling amount of production-related challenges we have faced in the last year. This hit me like a ton of bricks because, if I’m being honest, we’re barely surviving. From the outside, it looks like we’re crushing it. You’re probably seeing us in more and more places, hearing about us from more and more people, and watching our team grow. Last year sales doubled and, while it IS exciting, this growth has been painful. Most days, it hardly feels like we’re crushing it.
     
    Last week, on our Instagram page, we started to pull back the curtain on what it's really like to be a small brand making clothes in the USA and your response and support has been humbling and encouraging. 

    To everyone who has so generously reached out asking "how can I help?", I'm going to tell you how at the end of this post, (or you can JUMP RIGHT TO IT) and I'm pretty sure you're going to love the way you can help us. Hint* we're offering you an exclusive product. 
    The way that we choose to make our products is incredibly intentional. And as a result, expensive. Sure, if we sent production overseas and didn't care about the lives of the people making our products, we could offer $60 leggings, $20 tees and $50 dresses. But we're not out to be the 'cheapest' - we're out to be honest.

    For us, making an honest product looks like this:
    • working with factories in the USA who pay their workers real wages,
    • using fabrics and trims that are made in the USA from recycled materials,
    • printing our fabrics with a process that uses non-toxic inks and no water,
    • giving back 1% of our revenue to environmental non-profits,
    • minimizing the shipping of our materials and products within our supply chain,
    • shipping and packaging without plastic,
    • and being transparent about what our motivations are.
    Honest products aren't cheap to make, and they aren't cheap to buy. 
    Money isn't often talked about, and there will undoubtedly be raised eyebrows out there over the way I bring this up, but it's the lifeblood of my business. Without money, we can't do much. If you've been here from the beginning, you know that I started this company with a staggering investment of a shitty $100 sewing machine when I was 22. Since then, we've been self funded and our growth is closely tied to the capital we can secure.

    This business is VERY cash intensive. Our biggest asset is inventory which is not super attractive to a bank. Neither is the delivery cycle of our retail accounts - we collect orders 9 months before they're delivered and paid for. I've met with countless banks who have all said something along the lines of "your growth is impressive, but we can't offer you what you need because we don't know if we'll get it back". Basically, banks want to see that you have assets (mostly cash and property) that equal the amount you're asking for. Sometimes I want to be smarmy and give them an answer like "if I had the money to put up against this, then why the hell would I be here asking for YOUR money?"   

    But here's the kicker - We have to pay for fabric and supplies and manufacturing up to 9 months before we'll ever have a product to sell. But where do we find the money to pay for all this? We have to get creative. Here's what getting creative looks like. 

    Since we began to share the reality of what it looks like to be a quickly scaling business dedicated to ethical production, we've fielded so many messages and  comments where you've asked "how can we help?".
    Being vulnerable enough to ask for help isn't easy. But I strive to run this company in a way that is open, honest and vulnerable. And right now, we could really use your help. Because, at this moment, our biggest challenge is cash flow.

    With delays in manufacturing, and much of our industry being affected by the Coronavirus (fabric mills are still closed, without notice of reopening), we're in a pickle. A pickle that we're calling on you to help us out of. Today, we're asking for you to vote with your dollars and help us fund production. Today, we're launching a pre-sale on two VERY special new products, made in collaboration with our friend and talented artist Rachel Pohl.


    Here's a taste: 
    
    These 2 products (Trail Paints and Crag Top) will be exclusively available for pre-sale customers only from March 4th, through March 11. Buy both, and get free shipping and a sweet discount. Your purchase supports multiple small businesses, puts food on the table for many people, and makes the world a better and more beautiful place. Thank you. 

    -Mallory Ottariano-
    founder, CEO
    Kind Apparel