By Devin Steele
Editor’s notes: The economic environment continues to bode well for SEAMS and its membership as it remains steadfast to its mission to build a U.S. supply chain bridge to assist retailers and brands seeking to meet fast-changing consumer demands. Reshoring, near-shoring and back-shoring will continue to be the inevitable result as these retailers and brands explore better ways to serve those consumer requirements for fast fashion, personalization, customization, sustainability, omnichannel experiences, et al., made possible only through local-for-local and on-demand production in this country and this hemisphere.
SEAMS members are helping to build that supply chain bridge, of course, so after a well-received Review & Forecast feature last year, we thought it would be relevant and informational again to see how companies in the association are faring as 2019 draws to a close and 2020 looms. As such, we sent questionnaires to a number of members to anecdotally gauge how their companies are doing as we continue our quest to repopulate the sewn products industry in America.
Following is input from participating companies on where they stand in 2019.
Authentically American, LLC, Nashville, Tenn., celebrated its second anniversary in operation in 2019 – a year that saw its business nearly double, according to founder Dean Wegner.
Wegner created Authentically American to sell premium, competitively priced consumer branded apparel and other merchandise that is ALL made in USA – no exceptions, he said.
“We are a new business, and everyone is just now beginning to find out about us,” said Wegner, a former Army Ranger who previously owned U.S. military dress uniform provider Omega Apparel. He added that he expects 2020 to “definitely be better,” especially after the recent national media attention it received. That includes three appearances on Fox and Friends, including two with NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip, a company investor, and a feature article in FORBES. “I believe it continues to be a great time for anyone who stakes a claim to made in USA,” Wegner said.
Buhler Quality Yarns
David Sasso, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Buhler Quality Yarns, Jefferson, Ga., said the company experienced a healthy year. “Our business has been more robust than the past couple of years,” he said. “Retail, market uncertainty and demand generated more business for our high-end and technical yarns.”