The U.S. apparel market is the largest in the world, valued at over 360 billion dollars. However, the market has been disrupted by the rise of e-commerce, and is moving beyond established locations like NYC’s garment district.
That said, like every industry, fashion businesses face hurdles while growing their businesses – including financing, hiring, scaling, finding commercial space and accessing available incentives. What many people don’t know is that there are state resources that help companies overcome these challenges and become profitable.
The New Jersey Business Action Center recently helped Adore Me, an e-commerce startup revolutionizing the lingerie industry by creating fast-fashion, affordable intimate undergarments. This startup worked closely with the NJ BAC to find the right location for its new 125,286-square-foot distribution center in Secaucus, which opened this spring.
In 2017, Adore Me was named one of the Internet Retailer Top 1000 companies from DigitalCommerce360 and was listed on the Inc. 5000 list for the third time in four years.
“The NJ BAC was able to assist us in the process of finding the right location for our new distribution center by analyzing detailed environmental, workforce, economic and planning data,” said Romain Liot, Chief Operating Officer, Adore Me. “The NJ BAC assisted us to make the economic case for New Jersey instead of Pennsylvania, which was the other candidate for our new distribution center.”
The NJ BAC also helped Adore Me navigate within operational permitting and assisted in the regulatory processes of setting up the business to expand its footprint in the Northeast.
“As we recruit new talent to the distribution center, we’re excited to have NJ BAC as a partner, helping to engage in community outreach. We’ve already created over 100 new jobs in the area,” continued Liot.
In addition to real-time, immediate mentoring assistance, the NJ BAC also helps companies, including Better Team USA, identify available financing programs.
Better Team USA, a Clifton-based luxury outerwear garment production company, worked through the NJ BAC to gain access to a variety of financing options available through the NJ Economic Development Authority and community-based micro-lending organizations.
“The BAC helped identify specific economic programs our business was eligible for—helping us grow financially,” said Martin DiBattista, General Manager, Better Team USA. “The NJ BAC connected us with the EDA, as well as the NJ Labor Department, and in return, we have received training grants. We also plan to leverage export assistance from the NJ BAC for trade shows in Japan and Hong Kong next year.”
Better Team USA is headquartered at a 16,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Northern New Jersey, 20 minutes from New York City’s famous garment center. All services are located under one roof: consultation, technical research, product development, sourcing, merchandising and bulk order completion. The family owned business created the groundbreaking parkas for the Winter Olympics athletes who wore them during the opening ceremony. The parkas were designed by Ralph Lauren and made from American made materials sourced from the best factories in the country.
“As a small business owner, I need someone to help me navigate the resources that are available through the state. The NJ BAC has made me aware of programs and incentives that have helped my business grow tremendously,” continued DiBattista.
The NJ BAC’s in-depth understanding of all the state’s programs and permitting laws can help CEOs and entrepreneurs formulate sound and effective solutions. The NJ BAC offers resources to business owners, covering everything from choosing a company name, to payroll and tax issues.