Preserving the Threads of Tradition with Joe Van Deman of USA Brands | re:COGs Podcast Episode #46

Embroidering Excellence: The Revival of Domestic Manufacturing and Crafting Enduring Brands

Join re:COGs Host Mike Gelb for an Inspiring Discussion on Revitalizing Iconic American-Made Apparel and Soft Goods Companies

In the latest episode of re:COGs, we sit down with Joe Van Deman, the visionary leader behind USA Brands, to explore his passion for preserving the heritage of American manufacturing. With a portfolio that includes beloved names like the Vermont Flannel Company, All American Clothing, and the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Joe shares his journey from the tech world to becoming a champion for quality, domestically produced goods.

Stitching Together a Legacy: The USA Brands Story

Discover what drew Joe to the tactile realm of physical products and the allure of entrepreneurship in the apparel industry. He reveals the “aha” moment that led him to recognize the value in acquiring brands known for their enduring designs and loyal customer base, rather than chasing fast fashion trends. Joe’s commitment to slow fashion and timeless style is a refreshing take in a world obsessed with the latest fads.

The Fabric of American Pride: Reviving Domestic Manufacturing

But Joe’s mission goes beyond simply curating a collection of classic American brands. He’s on a quest to revitalize the country’s rich manufacturing tradition by investing in the people, skills, and infrastructure needed to keep production on home soil. From sourcing American-grown cotton for denim to navigating the challenges of domestic supply chains, Joe pulls back the curtain on what it takes to proudly bear the “Made in the USA” label.

The conversation also dives into the customer psyche and what motivates people to choose American-made goods. Joe shares fascinating insights into the ebb and flow of consumer interest based on factors like election cycles and global events, while emphasizing the need for USA Brands’ products to stand on their own merits of exceptional quality, service, and value.

Weaving Profitability and Patriotism: The Business of American-Made Goods

For those curious about the financial side of running an American-made apparel business, Joe dives into his approach to profitability, growth, and inventory management. He explains why USA Brands prioritizes cashflow positive acquisitions and how a shared services model helps keep costs in check. Joe also shares his philosophy on financing inventory and the unique challenges of seasonal product lines.

Spinning Regional Appeal into National Reach: Creative Marketing Tactics

Of course, no discussion of contemporary retail would be complete without touching on the role of e-commerce and digital marketing. Joe walks us through USA Brands’ focus on direct-to-consumer channels, the power of email marketing, and the importance of targeting the right audiences to drive sustainable growth. He also shares some creative strategies for expanding the company’s regional appeal through pop-up events and strategic partnerships.

Buttoning Up Success: Strategies for Sustainable Growth in Apparel

Whether you’re a fashion entrepreneur, a manufacturing enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the art of well-made goods, this episode is a must-listen. Joe’s passion for American craftsmanship is infectious, and his insights offer a roadmap for building a brand that stands the test of time. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this deep dive into the world of American-made excellence.

Listen In as Mike and Joe Discuss:

  • Joe’s journey from tech to acquiring iconic American-made apparel brands
  • The value in timeless designs and a loyal customer base over chasing fast fashion trends
  • Navigating the challenges of domestic supply chains and sourcing American-grown materials
  • Insights into consumer motivations for choosing American-made goods
  • Balancing profitability and growth through a shared services model and disciplined marketing
  • Strategies for expanding regional appeal through pop-up events and partnerships
  • Financing inventory and managing working capital for seasonal product lines
  • The power of direct-to-consumer channels, email marketing, and targeted advertising

Listen to the Entire re:COGs Series:

Tune in to re:COGs, the podcast series that examines the essential aspects of inventory management, supply chain optimization, and operational excellence, all through a COGs-focused lens.

Hear business operators and thought leaders from growing consumer brands share their thoughts on product manufacturing.  Through inspiring stories and critical conversations with top experts across CPG, food, fashion, and other industries, listeners are treated to valuable insights and actionable advice that can be applied to any growing business as it scales up operations.

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At Manufactured, we are committed to accelerating the growth of consumer brands. Our end-to-end manufacturing support platform offers solutions for sourcing, inventory optimization, and financing. Contact us to learn how we can help your brand thrive.


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Whether you need sourcing assistance, inventory optimization or financing, Manufactured’s end-to-end manufacturing support platform can help.  Contact us to speak with one of the inventory experts at Manufactured.  Our solutions specialists can help you navigate complex financing options while providing valuable information and insights, so you can choose the option that’s best for you.

Learn how to apply for vendor financing, and get help receiving purchase order financing. Manufactured helps customers in over 20 categories across 25 countries with product manufacturing and inventory financing. 

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