Happy Talent Tuesday!
Today it’s time to get UP CLOSE & PERSONAL with….
Now…what IS Four Star Denim & Apparel you ask?
Well…They are this really RAD company that allows you to buy good quality denim online at a decent price point!
I found this company on Kickstarter of all places! I had the opportunity to interview the founder of the company, and he was such a DELIGHT! The founder is Robert McMillan! He is one COOL guy! He and I have never actually met in person, but his online persona is so friendly and nice…it makes me wish I was located in Chicago so I could go grab coffee with him or something!
Anyways! Four Star is a Chicago based company that essentially eliminates the “middle man” when it comes to purchasing clothing! (Robert goes more into detail…so this is just a sneaky peek!) Their company is something that really interested me, so I am very happy to have this interview for you guys today!
So without further hesitation…here is ROBERT MCMILLAN of FOUR STAR DENIM & APPAREL….
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
My name is Robert McMillan. I have a wife and a one year old son. I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and now live in the City. I like to play the piano and build denim companies.
How did Four Star Denim and Apparel come to life?
Four Star was founded because I couldn’t find a great pair of American made jeans for under $100, neither could my wife. If you’re a discerning customer that expects more from your jeans and care about who makes them, where they’re made, and what they’re made from, but don’t want to shell out an arm and a leg for them, there really isn’t a great option. The market is divided into two camps: you can go with the big brands and big retailers at the expense of quality and questionable sourcing practices, or you can go upscale for a great pair of jeans…but they are marked up to the moon because they are either a boutique operation or a designer label. We wanted to give shoppers a choice that didn’t sacrifice quality and transparency for price. We do that through the factory direct model. So Four Star was born. But to be clear, Four Star Denim is still coming to life.
Did you start the business on your own?
I started on my own, but have formed some great partnerships along the way.
Why did you choose the name?
Four Star Denim is a reference to the Chicago Flag which has four Stars that represent significant points in the city’s history; the Great Chicago Fire being one of them. I liked the name Four Star, but my friends often joke “Well, I only wear five star denim.” Maybe I should have called it six star denim.
What is it like to run a business like yours?
Well, we are a startup company, which means that you end up taking on rolls and responsibilities that aren’t under your immediate field of expertise. Marketing for example. I’m terrible at marketing and that stresses me out. Other than that I think it is about what you would expect… time consuming, exhilarating and frightening all at once.
Do you think you will be expanding into other types of apparel as well?
That is the plan. We wanted to start with jeans because denim is an American staple, even though denim was an invention of the French. We also have the most experience with denim. But from the beginning the plan was simple: there is a better way to manage the apparel supply chain and distribution that will bring value to customers. Nothing in there says “only for jeans”.
What are some daily things that keep you going when times get tough?
I go for a walk if I need to gather my thoughts; gets the blood flowing. And coffee.
Who inspires you?
What do you see in the future for your company?
Well, we have our overarching idea of factory direct apparel and we have a road map for how to get there. Beyond that I keep my head down and grind the gears till we get there.
What is something you want my readers to know about Four Star Denim and Apparel?
Four Star isn’t just about getting you a better pair of jeans for a better price. The clothing we choose to wear comes from somewhere, and is made by someone. Our factory direct model helps bring customers and craftsmen closer together. We think that’s cool.
See!! I told you that their company was super RAD!
Want to know something even COOLER?! Currently as I type this article…I am actually WEARING a pair of their jeans! & let me tell you this….Robert wasn’t kidding when he said he wanted to provide quality products for his customers….these jeans are GREAT & I am very picky about denim! So YAY Four Star! Actual review of the jeans COMING SOON!
If you’re curious now and want to know even MORE…here are links to their stuff!
xx ASH/THE MANAGEMENT