As I embarked on this adventure to make beautiful & timeless garments, I knew that it could not be all about the actual quality of those pieces which would carry on with my family name. I knew also that as passionate as I may be to help others find a way to communicate who they are thru the garments that they wear, how they wear it, how they care for it. It was also important WHO was making those garments, WHERE are they being made, HOW are they being made and WHY are they being made.
The great example of how business should be done has and always will be Brunello Cucinelli which I had the pleasure of working for three years. It is a testament to being able to produce extremely high quality garments while truly taking care of the people in his company and also giving back to his local community and country.
It was important for me to try my best to follow in that philosophy as much as I can. It is the reason why I made it a point to keep the shirt & guayabera productions in Miami and continue to develop more product categories down the line Made in Miami and the very least Made in USA supporting other small companies making small batch productions. The sense that I am making a small contribution to my local community and its economy even as a small startup business gives me great satisfaction. It may be with something as small as one of my shirt-makers can now pay for a dance class for her granddaughter and in support of perhaps another small business entrepreneur which decided to share their passion of dancing with others. The income of that dance studio entrepreneur could then go on to support another small business and so on.
In addition to keep jobs here in Miami and USA, my father always showed me to give back. He was always know as the type of man who was very generous to others which I have not really been consistent with. Throughout my life I heard too many stories about how he helped others personally, help them with setting up their business and overall generosity. With this venture, I decided that I would make a commitment to donate 5% of our gross sales to organizations which assist men & women who are trying to reinsert themselves into society. We will take those 5% and dedicate it to producing garments for both of the organizations we are working with that give the people who have been down on their luck clothing for interviews or to wear for work. This is a small insight into the WHY.
Having lived in Italy, I was familiar with the idea of how artisans worked in the comfort of their home for the major companies. It is something which I applaud in a certain way the same way I see how the major clothing players have invested in developing schools for the future generations of tailors and seamstress. It is not that I believe in the big companies to be evil but I believe more so that we should help our small business, neighbors and our community first.
The people who work with us, work all from the comfort of their home. We make sure they are set up in a way so that they have all the tools at their disposition to deliver a consistent product and quality as we expect to deliver to our clients. They are the lifeline of the business and I love the idea that they can work at their own pace surrounded by their family. I have a 20 year relationship with most of them and look forward to working with them for many years to come. These are my words about the WHO.
Lastly, the HOW. Having the production in Miami not only has implications regarding the betterment of the impact on the community but having the ability to manage the production and deliver uncompromising levels of quality in a timely matter. Having the ability to create a pattern by hand for each client, cut every garment by hand for each client also allows us to deliver a shirt in as quick as 5 hours if need be. It is having all the work available to be done with our own hands that sets us truly apart from everyone else in our local market. We work with domestic factories as well making our shirts and some of our tailored garments as the big factories making a garment actually drives the price down quite a bit but you have to employ a lot of patience. Our Made in Miami shirts can be delivered as quickly as 1 day but typically within the week if there isn't a rush whereas the shirts Made in the USA in our factory take 4/5 weeks as they have to be scheduled into production.
My hope is that people will take pride in supporting their local community and reduce their spending in fashion but rather timeless generational clothing. All the major brands are just pumping out product without a soul, creating a lot of waste and only looking for ways to make the quick buck. Help your neighbors, your community and your country.