Say Hello to Cavanto (almost)
Say hello to Cavanto, this is a new Men’s shirt brand I’m launching as a grand experiment. Cavanto is a high quality dress shirt for the business executive.
I know, I know. You are saying….”WTF Greg, what are you thinking!”
Let me tell you how I came to this point where I am now launching my own dress shirt brand. Over the last ten years I have worked my way up the corporate ladder holding various roles all related to corporate finance. Along the way I have worked for some organizations that had very strict dress codes, and other that were very informal. All of them though, held a high standard when traveling or meeting with clients. Make sense, you need to dress to impress. As a result my wardrobe has a wide range with khakis and polos on the bottom and suits and french cuff shirts on the top. In my search to outfit my wardrobe with the appropriate attire I have gone cheap, spent lavishly and everything in between. I have fallen for the “great deals” online and tried the stores that said I would like the way I look when I left. I have always had fun shopping for a new suit but too many times felt buyers remorse a few weeks later. This was my fault, I know but shopping for high quality products shouldn’t be so difficult.
Learning from past mistakes I began to learn more about men’s clothing and since I am far from a metro sexual (friends in Utah think I’m Amish), the education has been a long and hard one. The more I learned though, the more frustrated I became. Why is this GREAT DEAL dress shirt only $40 today when it usually sells for $150. C’ mon, to quote one of my favorite finance professors. I learned everything I could about men’s dress shirts. The yoke, barrel cuff, stitching, and placket became terms I understood. As with most things when you really start to look closely the quality just isn’t there which is why they sell it for $40. I’m a capitalist and believe in portability and free market of labor but draw the line at sweat shops. A good friend of mine opened my eyes to the real cost of non-domestic production and what sounds like a cheap alternative really isn’t when the distortions of cost accounting are removed. We can talk about this another time.
With everything I learned I decided I wanted to try to make a high quality manufactured product, here in the USA to provide jobs and economic benefit for my community. It sounded like a lofty goal. Up until now my entrepreneurial interest has always centered on services and software products. I have seen up close and personal other companies that make high quality products domestically and turn a profit by doing so. Now the proverbial bug had bitten me and I had to try to do it myself. So what to build? I contemplated many things and while standing in a men’s store looking at the Made Offshore tag I said to myself, “I’m going to make dress shirts”.
Over the last few months I have figured out all of the many details that it takes to make your own line of dress shirts including finding someone domestically to make them. My shirts are made in the USA with imported fabric. There are very few sources of domestic fabric and the best fabrics have to be imported mostly from Europe. This was fun and I have enjoyed every moment of it. My website is almost ready to go as I toil away on the weekends pulling together the necessary code and mechanics for the catalog to work the way I want. I am focusing on the details as much as possible. For example I strongly dislike the plastic collar stays so I am putting titanium collar stays in my shirts.
Today I need your help. This has been a very low-capital project so far and I’m in the home stretch. Bottom line is I need a few sales to bring the line to market. To this end I have setup a crowd funding project on Indiegogo where you can support me by pre-ordering a dress shirt or oxford. Please help me out and in doing so you are supporting our domestic economy. Let’s call this the Capitalist Sale.