Lafayette couples filling a niche in boys’ clothing. By Amanda Bedgood
Friday, March 1, 2013
A year and a half ago a discussion between two couples went from word to action. And the idea to fill a gaping hole in children’s niche clothing became a reality. It took one year for Stephanie and Marcus Mire and Lainey and Rye Tuten’s plan to go from concept to the arrival of boxes of clothing bearing their label and emblazoned with Louisiana’s most beloved universities — UL and LSU. Less than a year after that first shipment of boys collegiate wear, the label can claim ten teams total with more on the way.
“We just applied for seven more,” says Stephanie Mire.
It was perhaps she and friend Lainey who were truly the genesis of the company. Two moms looking for clothes for their kids.
“We couldn’t find what we wanted for our boys,” Stephanie says simply.
As the two couples began to realize the market simply didn’t carry the kind of quality collegiate apparel for kids — think more preppy than sporty— they sought, they took their collective skills and formed a business. There is attorney Rye and Lainey with a background in fashion. Marcus is an accountant and Stephanie is in marketing. The four proved to be a team that got things done quickly. And if response is any indication, did them well. Within one week of a discussion over burgers (without fries) at Judice Inn about the idea for the business, an LLC was formed and a website domain purchased. They began applying for the necessary licenses to carry both UL and LSU and sourcing samples for the kind of quality they would demand. One year after they began, the products arrived including pieces like their signature gingham shorts and polo shirts.
The clothing for boys has a decidedly southern flair and the schools currently range from Baylor to North Carolina State. As the brand grows, so do the responsibilities. They may do JV Clothiers on the side. But, the brand has grown quickly creating another full job for each of them.
“We are building a brand,” Stephanie explains.
It’s a different method than that of owning a store, she says noting people are often looking for a storefront for their clothing.
“Building brand recognition is a constant for all of us,” she says.
While it begins with snagging the licenses for coveted collegiate logos, it also includes pleasing parents who are looking for the same thing the Mires and Tutens sought.
“The school logo gets the attention. But, we want the brand to fulfill the parents’ standard of quality,” Stephanie says.
Clearly, they were not alone looking for higher end pieces for their boys. This year, they spotted Christmas cards with boys donning JV wares and see boys on the big screen at sporting events sporting JV. Retailers are responding as well. And the group looks now toward bringing both new schools into the fold as well as new design.
“We are looking at long sleeves, pants and a pullover with a half zip and a shortall for boys in gingham,” Stephanie says.
And with a growing little girl in the Mire home and one on the way for the Tutens, there just may be another arm to JV in the future.
“We are considering it,” Stephanie says cryptically. “What do moms want? We have a girl and they have a girl on the way … “
For now, they are busy enough with four children between the two couples, many, many boxes of boys clothing and a brand new brand.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
DEC 8 - Maybe that wasn't such a good idea, after all. This post on the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association's site says we're looking at oil prices that are tanking because there's so much oil coming out of the Gulf. Some are even predicting a glut. What's likely to be the result? Lower gas prices, higher refinery profits, and more pressure on the feds to loosen export restrictions.
DEC 8 Here's the latest from blogger Robert Mann, and it's on one of his favorite topics: Bobby Jindal. He's taking a look at Jindal's record and his current maneuvering, which of course is a ploy to position him for a run for the White House. "America Next," Jindal's current big idea, is just as vague about what it is proposing as Jindal usually is, Mann says. And it won't protect him from his "unimaginative record," as Mann describes it.
DEC 8 - Don't know what that is? Then run on over to LaPolitics and read this post by Jeremy Alford, which serves as a history lesson about the famed tonic and it's purveyor, Dudley LeBlanc. It's really a fascinating story and Alford's description of Dudley as an "icon of Louisiana politics and culture" is not an exaggeration.
DEC 8 In this editorial, the Picayune again urges Gov. Jindal to take the Medicaid money. But the piece's exhortation that Jindal "be sensible" is a little misplaced, isn't it? Because Jindal's not being stupid -- well, maybe he is -- but he's following orders from people he believes can get him into the White House. This editorial is engaging in the argument that Jindal is publicly making, without acknowledging what his true motivations are. Somebody send these guys a clue.
DEC 8 Columnist Mark Ballard is writing about the impact of Vance McAllister's defeat of Neil Riser in this post. He starts out talking about how McAllister's more reasonable approach was more attractive to voters than was Riser's hard-line (tea-party-ish) rants. Dan Claitor, a state lege from BR who is expected to run for Congress soon, expressed it best when he said voters aren't looking for candidates who are "throwing temper tantrums when they can't get their way."
DEC 8 It's always gratifying when a Louisiana son makes international headlines. And our son, David "former KKK grand poobah" Duke is back in the news, making us all proud. This (UK) Telegraph story, unearthed by the Dead Pelican, tells us that Duke has been expelled from Italy but is trying to return. The Italians say he is trying to "establish a pan-European, extremist neo-Nazi group in northern Italy." Huh. You don't say.
DEC 9 This is a kind of puzzling post from columnist Jim Beam, in which he discusses a recent appearance by former Gov. Edwin Edwards in Lake Charles. He said he's surprised by EWE's "grasp of current events." Did Jim never meet Slick Eddie? He's no dummy, and for Beam to assume he is -- well, given he covered the man for 50 years, that's the surprise.
DEC 9 A "suspicious package" shut down part of Zachary Sunday, WAFB tells us in this post. The package, which eventually was "rendered safe" (bomb squad lingo for blown up) was found in a storage unit that someone quit paying on. Other cop gear was found in the unit, so it is possible the thing was a training tool, police say. But they leave out the best part: who bought it? Barry, Jarrod or Darrell?
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly