Thursday, September 08, 2016

Outdoor lifestyle entrepreneur hopes to create small micro-factories in rural Colorado

A Colorado entrepreneur is using locally sourced materials, such as Rocky Mountain sheep wool, to manufacture clothing in small micro-factories in rural communities, Hari Sreenivasan reports for PBS NewsHour. Former Microsoft manager Dan English founded Voormi with the goal of returning textile jobs to rural America by making clothes made for recreation in harsh conditions in rural areas that experience those conditions.

English said Vroomi was based in Pagosa Springs, Colo. (Best Places map), a mountain town of less than 2,000, "so products could be sewn in the morning and tested in the afternoon," Sreenivasan reports. English told him, "What we hope to do is provide an industry in small rural towns that allow people to live here, play here, and work here without having to have multiple jobs throughout the year."

English compares Vroomi's strategy to that of craft brewing, Sreenivasan reports. English said, "We like to think, if we can take a small batch mentality and turn things quicker, that consumers want new, fresh things on a regular basis." English has three manufacturing sites and hopes to have as many as 10, each with eight to 10 people sewing, throughout Colorado.

The Pagosa Springs Sun published a profile of Vroomi in 2013. To see the profile click here.

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