- Hello, can you give me a short bio about your clothing company?
Franklin Flannels™ was born purely by accident. We moved from Los Angeles to Franklin, Tennessee in August 2013. We knew no one and didn’t have work. We just knew something was calling us here. We had a very rough beginning. Moving 2,000 miles away from home and starting over is not easy and this move came with a lot of huge obstacles. Work was definitely not steady and we weren’t sure what we were going to do. One night I saw a shirt that someone was wearing in a pizza restaurant and my very talented husband said, “I can make you a shirt like that.” Next thing I knew I had a distressed flannel – wore it into a friend’s shop here in Franklin and she said she wanted one and that she wanted to sell them. The rest is history. The shirts have changed dramatically, and today we have wholesale accounts all over the country along with selling retail as well. We also have t-shirts and a signature candle. It’s been an incredible journey.
- How did you come up with the name “Franklin Flannels” and were there any other names that you were considering?
Franklin is a very popular town in Middle Tennessee and I somehow felt that our business was more than just flannels…it was going to become a lifestyle, so we were subtly promoting our sweet town of Franklin, Tennessee along with very cool flannel shirts. The tag line is “Come Home to Franklin Flannels.” We want people to be excited to get out of their corporate attire and put on a comfy flannel, t-shirt or light our signature candle.
- Has there been any country artist that has worn your flannels?
I know for certain that Craig Campbell has a couple and I’ve heard that some other country artists have them. I know Alyssa Bonagura wore one when she performed at The Grand Ole Opry.
- Is there anything new coming up for your company in 2018?
Yes. When you work with vintage shirts, there are naturally some that have rips or holes in them and are not useable. I hate throwing them away because it’s not good for our environment. So we have two things that we’re doing.The first are super soft t-shirts with distressed flannel pockets that coordinate with the color of the tee. It’s a different look from all the tees with sayings on them.And next we’re partnering with a friend who has an alpaca farm; and she’s weaving table linens, rugs, wall hangings out of the unusable flannels combined with her beautifully soft alpaca. The yarn is hand spun, hand dyed from garden botanicals and the weavings incorporate the alpaca and the flannel. They’re amazing!
- Where do you see your company in the next 5 to 10 years?
We’re battling with that right now. We’ve grown quickly but we also want to maintain the integrity of our product – meaning small batch vintage shirts that are done my hand. We don’t want to mass-produce our products. We see ourselves continuing to grow but in a reasonable fashion. Because this business came to us later in life, we want to be able to stop and enjoy life. One thing we’ve learned since moving away from Los Angeles is that it’s okay to slow down and explore life.
- What are a few accomplishments that you are most proud about your company?
It makes us happy to know that our products make people happy. We receive a lot of emails from customer who tell us this. We’re proud of the growth that has happened in just a couple of years.
- If you had to give advice to an up and coming country clothing company would you tell them?
Be very clear about who your customer is. You can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t try. Establish your Why and then stay the course. Learn and grow and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Fear will show up everywhere and you have to learn to manage it. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s the only way to grown.
- What is the first item you ever made or sold for “Franklin Flannels?”
The first shirt was one that I had in my closet and my husband took it and figured out how to upcycle it. One shirt – one experiment and one believer.
- What is one of your favorite quotes?
I have a lot. I’m a collector of inspiring messages, but today…this is a big driver in my life because I’m surrounding myself with the people who discuss.“ Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” Eleanor Roosevelt.