Go Back   Professional Soldiers > Kit Tips > Professional Gear

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-17-2020, 20:28   #16
Golf1echo
Area Commander
 
Golf1echo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Western Carolina in the rainforest,4000' along the Eastern Cont. Div.
Posts: 1,231
I wondered the same thing at one time, fortunately following my passion and what I know have found there is no shortage of customers who gladly pay for American made, American materials and American pride. I do read what you are saying with the details of construction. It is a challenge, we have much better control in house vs contracting with other companies. A result of the reduction of the domestic textile production in this country caused by larger companies going over seas. I perceive you have a niche market with the smoking jackets and that should work to your favor.
My 2 cents...
__________________
"It is because they have so much to give and give it so lavishly...that men love the mountains and go back to them again and again." Sir Francis Younghusband

Essayons

By Dand

"In the school of the wilds,there is no graduation day"Horace Kephart
Golf1echo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2020, 21:08   #17
TOMAHAWK9521
Quiet Professional
 
TOMAHAWK9521's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,091
PBLJ's

Here's a sample of what I've built:
__________________
"It is a brave act of valor to condemn death, but where life is more terrible than death, it is then the truest valor to dare to live." -Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682)
TOMAHAWK9521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2020, 21:10   #18
TOMAHAWK9521
Quiet Professional
 
TOMAHAWK9521's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,091
PBLJs 2

More pics
__________________
"It is a brave act of valor to condemn death, but where life is more terrible than death, it is then the truest valor to dare to live." -Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682)
TOMAHAWK9521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2020, 21:16   #19
TOMAHAWK9521
Quiet Professional
 
TOMAHAWK9521's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,091
The Vanguard

Here's a selection of my Vanguard. I made a couple of the pink models for my mom and one of my Sis-in-Law. The green one was for my dad. The third is being modeled by some goon.

For reference, I'm 6'2" about 205.
__________________
"It is a brave act of valor to condemn death, but where life is more terrible than death, it is then the truest valor to dare to live." -Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682)
TOMAHAWK9521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2020, 23:27   #20
Golf1echo
Area Commander
 
Golf1echo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Western Carolina in the rainforest,4000' along the Eastern Cont. Div.
Posts: 1,231
Those look great, I do like the long ones. The guys Ive forwarded your product to love the style. The pink one will create legends
__________________
"It is because they have so much to give and give it so lavishly...that men love the mountains and go back to them again and again." Sir Francis Younghusband

Essayons

By Dand

"In the school of the wilds,there is no graduation day"Horace Kephart
Golf1echo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2020, 06:46   #21
JJ_BPK
Quiet Professional
 
JJ_BPK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NOVA
Posts: 10,679
I think I need this, Early B-day gift to self

I have enough old patches to bling it up as if it was issued?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 55B5133E-ED12-4951-BF36-E84B4F2E0B90_1_105_c.jpg (81.3 KB, 31 views)
__________________
Go raibh t leathuair ar Neamh sula mbeadh a fhios ag an diabhal go bhfuil t marbh

"May you be a half hour in heaven before the devil knows youre dead"
JJ_BPK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2020, 07:03   #22
JimP
Quiet Professional
 
JimP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: State of confusion
Posts: 1,220
concur - prefer Made in 'Merica; but at any rate put me down for 3. More to follow I'm sure as the word gets out.

good job!!
JimP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2020, 15:59   #23
SF_BHT
Quiet Professional
 
SF_BHT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Sneaking back and forth across the Border
Posts: 6,454
Im in for this one.....

3BBE4740-6479-4FDF-8475-29D0E6B56B33.jpeg
SF_BHT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2020, 17:13   #24
TOMAHAWK9521
Quiet Professional
 
TOMAHAWK9521's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,091
Gents,

I am ecstatic with the feedback so far. I know some of you were wondering if I would be able possibly build you one but, sadly, I have shut down my 1-disabled-man sewing operation in order to focus on the business side of things. In addition to improving the business plan, there are a lot of specs I have to update and compile for the logistics, such as the different sizes of templates, as well as update the assembly instructions. Although it looks similar to other jacket concepts, it is comprised of modified components of 4 different patterns or pieces of apparel so there is no available pattern outside of what I have created. In order for a manufacturer to be able to assemble these things in accordance with the steps in my process, I have to ensure my specs and instructions are as accurate and feasible as possible.

With that in mind, the cost of all the materials and components used in the assembly dictates that these jackets/robes are not going to be inexpensive. I wont have a price point for it until a suitable manufacturer is identified and their input determines production costs. As some here might know, apparel is not easy, which is why I have avoided it for so long. I prefer to build things that arent crap and design them to stand apart in both appearance and application to a competitor. This tends for things to get over-engineered but I try to design my projects for longevity. That being said, this is somewhat of a luxury garment and not a piece of ruggedized/performance outerwear, like a service-issued field jacket or wet weather garment.

As previously mentioned, I know this product resembles other woobie jacket concepts but it is a markedly different design. For one, it isnt made from a woobie, nor is it quilted. This makes it significantly warmer than a woobie or woobie garment. It is also NOT a smoking jacket. Its made of polyester, which, like nylon woobie fabric, doesnt do well with open flames, sparks and cinders. I know its a colloquial term we all use but, also unlike a smoking jacket, it is neither slimming, nor form fitting. Although, it is very stylish. My very first prototype that I made for my buddy, was made from a woobie and based on an actual smoking jacket pattern. It looked and fit okay so long as you were standing still. Otherwise, it was way too constricting and rode up quite a bit. What Ive developed is a bit more roomy, as well as poofy due to the uniform insulation throughout it. You can really see that when you look at the pics of the robe in one of my earlier posts where the subject uses a Weaver-type stance compared to the frontal isosceles stance in this one. The camera adds 100 lbs when you do that.

As for the target market, it may be a relatively small niche, but I believe it can be broadened. Just the audience on this forum represents a wide range of users that can find use with this product.

Target users:
Current Military & Veterans
LEO/First responders
Hunters
Fishermen
Campers
Adventure travelers
Spouses of all the aforementioned
Military hospitals
Service member treatment facilities
Remote government installations
High-end hotels, lodges, spas, etc.

Im going to hijack an apparel company CEOs tag line, Im not only the owner of the company. Im also a customer. Ive had to undergo two shoulder repair surgeries within the past two years and you really cant lay down flat to sleep for the first month or so. The blanket or comforter will not stay up, where upon you wake up freezing in addition to being in significant discomfort. Wearing this jacket with its hood attached, the blankets only needed to cover me below the waist because I was able to sleep in an upright position and remain warm and relatively comfortable during winter in Idaho.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 23F3B832-4200-4AEA-A60C-D7BF0C0035CC_1_105_c.jpg (82.2 KB, 51 views)
__________________
"It is a brave act of valor to condemn death, but where life is more terrible than death, it is then the truest valor to dare to live." -Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682)
TOMAHAWK9521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2020, 18:04   #25
LongWire
Quiet Professional
 
LongWire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NEW....N.E.Washington State
Posts: 1,088
Well hurry up with the business plan, Winter is Coming!!
__________________
"Most of us here can attest that we never took the easy way. Easy just is............easy. Life is a work in progress, and most of the time its a struggle." ~ Me

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." -Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

"A Government that is losing to an insurgency is not being outfought, it is being out governed." Bernard B. Fall
LongWire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2020, 13:34   #26
TOMAHAWK9521
Quiet Professional
 
TOMAHAWK9521's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,091
Feedback source

Gents,

The treatment center my Ragnar buddy attended said they're still interested but currently occupied with all the bedlam affecting the nation. I was hoping they would be a good source for feedback and setting up a large order but that is not going to happen at this time.

One of my brothers put me in touch with a Navy officer over at Bethesda and I've shipped one of the models out to them to circulate through unofficial channels for feedback. The PBLJ may go very high, which would be nice, but I'm not pinning everything on that potential. I really wish I didn't have to pass these around so openly, but I'm not in much of a position to get picky if I want to generate a demand. My only concern is that some maroon falcon is going to try and hijack this design before I get them on the shelves.

If necessary, I'm willing to kick out a jacket or two (Size XXL) to get passed around this forum for feedback.

The Navy rep I'm talking with also suggested going to SOFREP. Any thoughts about that?
__________________
"It is a brave act of valor to condemn death, but where life is more terrible than death, it is then the truest valor to dare to live." -Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682)
TOMAHAWK9521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2020, 09:56   #27
Golf1echo
Area Commander
 
Golf1echo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Western Carolina in the rainforest,4000' along the Eastern Cont. Div.
Posts: 1,231
One option is to partner up with another company that attends military shows and would be willing to add you and your product to their booth, that helped me understand I was barking up the right tree.I say military show with the idea there would be less poaching and it being closer to your larger customer... later you may find your customers might not even be military.

I was far from any military community when I started both in location and service dates. Knew I didnt have the money to market in any flashy way so decided to go the cult route. Started G1 MIST Program where we focused on getting pieces into the hands of deployed soldiers to develop relevancy, a lessons learned guy helped with that. One by one we brought customers on board... they are incredible sales agents and I saw a loyalty develop. That has developed into a community, we now get inquiries about building what their teammates have etc... it wasnt an instant process but neither was purchasing all our materials.... on the bright side we buy nothing from China and MOQ requirements have left us in a solid position regarding resupply most materials. Understand there are a lot of ways to skin a cat...
__________________
"It is because they have so much to give and give it so lavishly...that men love the mountains and go back to them again and again." Sir Francis Younghusband

Essayons

By Dand

"In the school of the wilds,there is no graduation day"Horace Kephart
Golf1echo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2020, 20:00   #28
TOMAHAWK9521
Quiet Professional
 
TOMAHAWK9521's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,091
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golf1echo View Post
One option is to partner up with another company that attends military shows and would be willing to add you and your product to their booth, that helped me understand I was barking up the right tree.I say “ military show with the idea there would be less poaching and it being closer to your larger customer... later you may find your customers might not even be military.

I was far from any military community when I started both in location and service dates. Knew I didn’t have the money to market in any flashy way so decided to go the cult route. Started G1 MIST Program where we focused on getting pieces into the hands of deployed soldiers to develop relevancy, a lessons learned guy helped with that. One by one we brought customers on board... they are incredible sales agents and I saw a loyalty develop. That has developed into a community, we now get inquiries about building what their teammates have etc... it wasn’t an instant process but neither was purchasing all our materials.... on the bright side we buy nothing from China and MOQ requirements have left us in a solid position regarding resupply most materials. Understand there are a lot of ways to skin a cat...
I understand. In the mean time, I sold three to as many nephews currently active. One is a CPT, with CAV, IIRC, down in TX. One of his brothers is a 1SG at Leonard Wood. And the 3rd is their cousin, an ODA CDR in 3rd SF in Bragg. They tell me they've been sporting these around. The one in TX tells me his BC catches himself saluting him when mistaking him for a senior(superior) officer.
__________________
"It is a brave act of valor to condemn death, but where life is more terrible than death, it is then the truest valor to dare to live." -Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682)

Last edited by TOMAHAWK9521; 04-17-2020 at 20:04.
TOMAHAWK9521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2020, 12:06   #29
TOMAHAWK9521
Quiet Professional
 
TOMAHAWK9521's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,091
Update

I've been working with a local team comprised of the regional business development center and students at BYU-Idaho to get things rolling. I have provided some guidance to the team, who are doing a bulk of the work outside product development. Here's what we came up with.

1. Distribution: Although many of the venues we looked at are indeed viable, they will likely want to see sufficient demand before they agree to carry my brand/product. Demand is currently in its infancy so, as my friends over at Kelty suggested, I might want to start with a core following, which could very well be many on this forum, and conduct a direct sales campaign until such time as demand grows/evolves and retailers and distribution venues, such as Bass Pro, sporting goods stores, the Army/Air Force Exchange Service or Navy Exchange (PX/BX) systems want to carry it.

2. Manufacturing: In order to meet the aforementioned demand, there needs to be a reliable manufacturing source. While I'm the guy who designed this product, I'm more of an idea guy/tinkerer/inventor/prototyper and not necessarily qualified or skilled to oversee all the aspects of a manufacturing operation. I will suck it up and do the job to get it started, if that is what it will take. I'm still open to outsourcing the production to another organization. However, my team's lead guy stated many of those manufacturers he spoke with require a minimum number of units to be assembled before they agree to work on them, and that minimum number does not yet exist. And a lot of those manufacturers will require that they keep the templates and instructions, which doesn't sit well with me if their work turns out to be less than what was expected and we part ways. Some manufacturers I've spoken with in the past about doing embroidery or printing of my logo required they get control and/or ownership of the designs customers submit to them. This brings the option of local manufacturing back to being the most likely COA.

My student team is putting together a social media campaign to seek out and potentially recruit local seamstresses/tailors looking for work at a time when the country is pushing for manufacturing to return home. That would be nice if this works out because I'm interested to hear what a textile professional thinks of my concept and if can be streamlined any more.

There is also the possibility of presenting this project to the textiles/apparel department at BYU-I. I'm currently updating assembly instructions, which is very tedious and time consuming, to allow the least skilled individual to follow my work. I did this for ODA guys, green-suiters and other fabricators when I was overseas on my last contract. Depending on how skilled the students are, my guidance on how to assemble these may be minimal, except for particular details they aren't familiar with. And who knows, maybe if works out, some of those kids might want to continue working for me.

Continuing on this line of thinking of keeping this whole process here in the USA and potentially putting unemployed skilled labor (or unskilled labor in this particular field) back to work, for quality control and brand integrity, I believe manufacturing and distribution should be maintained in a local area to start with. For one, there is the logistics of either getting all the materials to the seamstresses/tailors, or getting those workers to a central location with the materials and equipment. Effects of the weather, economy, natural disasters, or a combination thereof, (like right now) can severely impact lines of communication and disrupt logistics and commerce. I would imagine that the more localized it is, the less moving parts are required, and chances of supply disruptions can be mitigated.

There would also be the reduced risk of knock-off copies to flood the market and corrupt the brand integrity if production wasn't spread out over multiple organizations or across a larger area of the country. The knock-offs and copies are going to happen. It will only be a matter of time. What will mitigate or slow it down is applying a level of control on both manufacturing and distribution.

As for the jackets/robes, themselves, I'm looking at starting with MULTICAM, Woodland, MARPAT, Coyote, OD, and Foliage for the outer shell options. I've gotten a request for NWU-III but my materials source doesn't have that print available for their fabrics yet. I can look at adding some of the other colors that you all have seen later if there is enough demand for them.

My price point is $200. I realize many might feel that's a bit steep but it takes a bit of materials to make one of these. Again, these aren't repurposed woobies turned jackets. Along with amenities that no one else has thought of, each jacket also has their own water and abrasion resistant stuff sack.

Sizes are currently S-3X but, because somebody here just had to be different , I'm now going to have to return to the salt mines and create a 4X. I've also been redrawing the sleeves to be significantly roomier because it occurred to me that some of you gents are likely sporting some serious pythons and these aren't supposed to be form-fitting Under Armor jackets.

Some of you have already expressed interest and even submitted requests, which is fantastic. I know winter is coming. And fall hunting camp arrives before that. For those interested, as a reference, I'm 6'2" and around 200 lbs. and I am comfortable in a 2X.
__________________
"It is a brave act of valor to condemn death, but where life is more terrible than death, it is then the truest valor to dare to live." -Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682)
TOMAHAWK9521 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2020, 13:26   #30
JJ_BPK
Quiet Professional
 
JJ_BPK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NOVA
Posts: 10,679
Quote:
Originally Posted by TOMAHAWK9521 View Post
Sizes are currently S-3X but, because somebody here just had to be different ,
I'm now going to have to return to the salt mines and create a 4X.

__________________
Go raibh t leathuair ar Neamh sula mbeadh a fhios ag an diabhal go bhfuil t marbh

"May you be a half hour in heaven before the devil knows youre dead"
JJ_BPK is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 18:38.



Copyright 2004-2019 by Professional Soldiers
Site Designed, Maintained, & Hosted by Hilliker Technologies