The biggest complaint we hear from guys about buying Made in America is the price. It’s hard to spend $200 on a shirt when you can get something at the Gap for $40. Our usual response is buy the $200 shirt, just buy fewer of them. But thanks to North Carolina based Lumina, men across America (and the world) can buy locally made without breaking the bank.
Back in college at NC State, Barton Strawn and Paul Connor were in search of quality ties and found the market pretty empty so Barton began whipping some up himself (his mama taught him how to sew!) and word spread quickly. The ties were followed by shirting, trousers and canvas bags including a collab with Parrot Canvas from Greenville, North Carolina. Production varies depending on the item but shirts are made in South Carolina, pants in Illinois, ties in New York and jeans in Tennessee.
In 2012 the boys opened their first brick and mortar in Raleigh, NC and sales have been sharp. To cover all man bases, Lumina has started stocking grooming products as well from Imperial, Prospector and Duke Cannon to name a few. As Barton told us, “We stock an assortment of like-minded accessory brands to fill in the gaps and round-out a complete look for those seeking to live a quality-based, American-made lifestyle.”
As for fall, they plan on launching cotton sweaters and two denim offerings, raw and selvage. You may wonder how they can keep production local and prices down. We did too. Lumina is able to execute its philosophy of accessible American made in a number of ways, but primarily via a direct-to-consumer online brand. Not a new model, but one they are positioned to do effectively. Operations in North Carolina keep overhead lower compared to large cities like New York City or San Francisco. A correct balance between quality materials and cost is another. They try to source prime materials at a lower price for a quality garment with savings they can pass along to the end consumer. Apparently they did learn something in college!
Be sure to check out their journal to read about the boys new products, and their visits to factories and even air force bases.
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