Congratulations Glen Broomfield, founder of In Style Apparel, who this year celebrates 20 years in business. APPA sat down to discuss the highlights of his career for the newest issue of the Promotional Products Marketing Magazine (coming soon).
Q: What inspired you to start In Style Apparel? Was there anything in particular that drew you to the apparel industry?
When I founded In Style Apparel at the age of 18, I was not necessarily passionate about the apparel industry, but knew it was a good business opportunity. I had tossed around the idea of being a builder and decided to follow in my father's footsteps by selling clothing.
As some may recall, I was actually the first person to be employed by Fashion Biz in Australia. After spending five and a half valuable, happy years there I made the difficult decision to leave, but will forever be grateful for the experiences and opportunities I was given and have a lot of respect for what Harish and Harmesh (founders of Fashion Biz have) built.
Q: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
In 20 years, there have been so many memorable moments. In Style Apparel have been behind the scenes in the coordination and the supply of garments on behalf of distributors for world-famous companies like Coca Cola, Volvo and Mercedes Benz. As a massive sports fan I have loved seeing garments we produced on Channel 9 Wide World of Sports, Fox Sports, Multiple Australian Sporting Teams Uniforms and Lifeguard Uniforms worn on Chanel 9’s Bondi Rescue.
More specifically, In 2007, In Style Apparel screen-printed 25,000 White T-Shirts with KEVIN 07 as Kevin Rudd was on the campaign trail going for Prime Minister. Wow- that was a job that went on for weeks.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as a business owner throughout the past 20 years?
To be very honest, this industry is incredibly competitive, which creates challenges around perception and creates a need for In Style Apparel, and I guess all major supplier, to be transparent around business practices and to support strong relationships with distributors.
I always encourage conversations with myself or my team to ensure that we supply all the relevant information to our customers. There is a constant need to clarify and ask what is expected for the item in question. In an industry that is so price sensitive we have missed big orders because of being $0.05 or $0.10 more expensive than a competitor. When following up, we found that due to the tight deadlines we were not contacted to review the quote.
When we followed up the order was already given to another supplier and in the review, we can see that it was an apple to oranges quote.
My mission has always been to provide the best quality products at the fairest price point possible. Getting this information disseminated to our customers is not always easy, and we have sometimes lost out on orders due to being 5 or 10 cents more expensive than our competitors.
As a business owner, what are some important lessons you have learned throughout the past 20 years?
Learning how to manage stock holding is really something that I have learnt the hard way on a few occasions. Over the years I have designed styles and colours of garments that just didn't work. When this happens the only way you can clear stock is to give it away at ridiculously low prices. You simply have to decide how much you are prepared to lose to clear out the stock.
How long have you been an APPA member? Why did you decide to join the Association?
I really love doing the trade shows as I don’t get out to see customers as much as I used to in the past. It’s great meeting new customers and seeing customers who have supported us for many years.
What does 2023 have in store for In Style Apparel?
In our 20th year, In Style Apparel is focusing on some of the success that has allowed us to run and grow for all these years. As such, In Style Apparel will be releasing new stock service garments in multiple brands under the In Style Apparel umbrella. Stay tuned...
To read the full interview with Glen, download the upcoming issue of the Promotional Products Marketing Magazine, due for release Tuesday the 14th of March. Exclusively available to APPA members.