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your own items, sourcing minimum-order quantities in the thousands, and finding a significant amount of capital to cover costs. “In our business, there are a lot companies that make apparel and then just sell blanks. [Other companies] just buy the blanks and print on them.” Aside from taking thread to needle, V23 has taken great strides toward manufacturing their own items, a company goal. Harper explained, “We use more of the traditional, old-fashioned way [of manufacturing]; developing patterns, sourcing fabric, and ensuring apparel is sewn to our specifications.” There’s also a desire to keeping things local, and so about 90 percent of all product production is “outsourced” within the Austin community. The same attention to detail and care put into apparel designs trickles over into customer service. “Our goal is to offer the best customer service in Austin,” Harper said, and so each shipment comes with a hand-written note to the customer, part of the “boutique-type level customer service you just won’t get with a larger company.” Free shipping and returns are offered on all orders because V23 feels strongly that “the customer shouldn’t have to pay because we don’t have a brick and mortar [store].” V23 has expanded from its original scope: They now have a growing handful of “coconspirators” (partners or ambassadors) for whom they’ve designed shirts and tees branded specifically for their business. “This isn’t something we saw coming,” Harper admitted, “but we found a need in the community we could fulfill.” They were first approached by Atomic Athlete (a local gym where Harper trains), and several others, such as Fit4Life and Vaughn Weightlifting, soon followed suit. This is perhaps a natural development, as workout apparel is a ubiquitous marketing tool used by personal trainers and coach-owned gyms—clients become a virtual walking advertisement. “Before we took [apparel] over, they basically had a box of shirts wadded up in the back of their trucks,” said Harper. Most “co-conspirators” already have established branding guidelines, but V23 still develops about 95 percent of the design and takes over printing, storing, and shipping. V23 Athletics has plans for continued growth that include new product offerings, with shorts on deck first, and, eventually, a full clothing line. In the meantime, they’ll continue to encourage customers to find their own sources of strength and energy, all the while feeling confident those who purchase their products will agree that “we make the best damn apparel, period.” afm

We pour countless hours [into] going over designs and making sure it’s exactly right.

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Profile for Austin Fit Magazine

October 2013 - The Fashion Issue  

Gracing our cover is Austin's most popular stylist, Ross Bennett. We also have Susi Wolff, a female F1 driver and other local apparel compan...

October 2013 - The Fashion Issue  

Gracing our cover is Austin's most popular stylist, Ross Bennett. We also have Susi Wolff, a female F1 driver and other local apparel compan...

Profile for austinfit
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