After a short ice breaker on current events, we transition from the implosion of "Nereus", a state of the art deep sea research vessel, to effects of climate change on industries such as food, home goods, and even fashion. When asked about what price shifts might mean to her company, Langlanais spoke positively of the future.
"I definitely think Freret and Napoleon is keeping its customer in mind, because with the way we are structured we are marketing to a certain kind of person. A bold, fun-loving individual...The people that make that particular sacrifice to be fashionable and up with the times."
Tiffany then goes back to Freret and Napoleon's first days of inception, when she requested an early Christmas present a few months back. She was given a sewing machine after she expressed a desire to make clothing that surpassed what she was seeing the market at the time. Just a few short months after teaching herself to sew, she found herself in the spotlight of Fashion Week New Orleans as a featured designer, which allowed her to display her collection for the show back in March.
"It all began to take off from there."
Nathan Pearce recalled similar thoughts about his own rapid growth with Fraternity Collection shortly after he and his business partner realized their home-grown screen printing company was becoming something entirely different.
"We were just looking for a way to make a little extra money and not work in a cubicle all day." He said. The duo were making shirts for local fraternities and sororities when the request for a custom pocket was put their way.
"At the time, no one was offering it on a long sleeve T-shirt." Not wanting to lose their large order, they decided to sew on the pockets themselves. "We hired a fraternity brother who was looking for a place to live and told him he could move in and, in exchange, you'll teach yourself to sew."
And sew he did.
Experiments with custom colored designs for pockets soon made them noticeable in the fraternity, sorority, and what he calls, "the prep" apparel space. "It was an overnight success. It just blew up." So much in fact that the team had to work quickly to meet manufacturing demands, but despite products sometimes taking two months to ship, orders continued coming in. They relocated production to a plant in Tucker, Mississippi and soon leveled off. Fraternity Collection could now break new ground by doing something it had, up until then, been unable to do. Have a special, discounted sale for Black Friday to Cyber Monday.
"Once we launched the sale...it was a blow out. I think we sold 10,000 shirts in one weekend." With a full staff of well over a 100 workers, they still had trouble keeping up with the demand. With profits the company gained, the team bought an army of sewing machines and found two plants in Colombia to continue with production.
In closing, we discuss a few more news articles before concluding the interview. One story delt with a group of college room mates who discovered $41,000 in their used couch from the Salvation Army. Tiffany and Nathan both mention new plans for the future before the discussion comes to its conclusion. To see more of Tiffany and Nathan's works, you can visit each of their respective companies at Freret and Napoelon, as well as Fraternity Collection.
To hear the full interview, click here to go to the Coastal Noise Podcast. As always, thanks for listening. We hope you'll join us for our upcoming 1 year anniversary episode in early June and we look forward to the coming year, which is shaping up to be a promising one. We have more shows in the works with new guests and the first order of Coastal Noise shirts has been placed. We will be uploading pictures of them and plan on taking additional orders for those interested in grabbing one for themselves.
Until next time!