Today we’d like to introduce you to Dave Kamena.
Dave, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The PLASTIC story started in 1998 as a beach volleyball company, just about the time the short volleyball shorts were beginning to look silly. My friends and I didn’t like the fit of the surf shorts that were available; they were made to fit surfer kids, not competitive team sport athletes. So a few of us got together, searched for some cool fabric and got to work in a garage in South Mission Beach, California. I had worked a few days cutting fabric for my neighbors’ jacket company and learned how to make patterns.
A guy named Stanley stitched them up for us in his garage. They looked great but didn’t fit quite right. We changed the pattern, and changed it again, and again. When we got it right, we moved on to other products – there was room in the industry to make things better, so we did it… and continue to do it today.We continue to design clothing specifically for the sports we love and the athletes that play them. Today, PLASTIC is one of the premier faces of the volleyball lifestyle and we couldn’t be prouder.
Our customers are our friends and they are the reason we’re here. If you know us, you know our brand represents something more than a word or a company – It stands for the lifestyle we all love and enjoy.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have been more hurdles than successes for sure. The apparel industry is the hardest way to make money, I don’t recommend it unless you are looking for a fun bumpy road (like I was/am). Without going into pages of detail on the hardships or running a brand, I’ll illustrate the latest bump.
Our backpack has been called the ‘best volleyball specific backpack ever’ by the two leading volleyball magazines in the USA. It’s been a huge success. I sell them in the hundreds to clubs and teams. Our 2016 version had a camo design to it. The Vietnamese factory we have been working with for 12 years used a substandard fabric to create the camo colors, and the fabric shredded after a few months of use. Each time one comes back I have to replace it. I pay for the shipping. I apologize. My warehouse guy apologizes. We send out a brand new one at our cost. That’s a great way to prove our customer service and reinforce what the brand is about though. It’s the ones (a majority) that don’t come back that are the problem. Those people wont order again.
That’s just the latest problem. That stuff happens all the time when you have lots of products. Standing behind the problem, owning up to it, and making it right is the only path to success.
Plastic Clothing – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
PLASTIC has become the biggest little brand in our niche. If you are into the sport, you know about the brand. We don’t make any cheap products- even our tees are top notch… and we have become part of what the sport looks like. We have so many styles that come out before anyone else.
We also sell direct only. No wholesale. I know many of my customers by name and face and have built a close community of trust. In the larger scheme of things, people trust PLASTIC to put out a quality product that fits well, looks good and lasts.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for me in to have enough of whatever you want. When you don’t have enough, its often time to learn to do with a little less, sometimes you need to make more. Learning the balance is the path to happiness.
- Website: www.plasticclothing.com
- Phone: 7604550401
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: plastic.online
- Facebook: plastic.clothing