Happy 4th of July!
Fun fact, no one on the Eletrunks team has a background in fashion, design or garment production. It’s been a steep learning curve and we’ve come a long way since we produced our first batch of Eletrunks almost exactly one year ago.
In our fashion-world experience, it hasn’t always been easy to find people who communicate well and transparently share the process to create a smooth production.
We finally found a great manufacturer, MCM Enterprises, who is truly a straightforward and highly supportive group of people to work with.
With much thanks, particularly to operational manager, Joanne, and owner, Chung, we’d like to share with you a little bit about MCM so you have a window into who’s behind making our awesome undies right here in the Brooklyn, NY, USA.
Eletrunks Nation, meet Joanne and Chung. The two humans responsible for organizing the production of Eletrunks.
Can you tell us a little bit about the origins of MCM?
Our family came from Hong Kong in 1978. After working in a factory for over 7 years, our family decided to open our own sewing factory in 1985 working for some major private label companies. At that time, making money was easy. Having a factory is like having a money printing press. As long as there is no shortage of work, there is no shortage of profit. So the decision to open up our own factory at that time was a no brainer. We went from a 15 workers shop in 1985, to 250+ workers operation until 1996. When most of US production moved overseas, we started MCM to sell direct to retailers ourselves instead of depending on private label companies to provide us with work.
What was business like after manufacturing left the states?
It was a great business until 2008 where many of our major clients filed for bankruptcy. In 2008, we were forced to liquidate many of our family assets to pay our workers and vendors. Life came full circle. Our family went back to contracting service only. We have learned our lesson through the years.
How do you like business now that you are only contracting?
We are actually more happy now making 50X less than at the height of our business. There is now less stress, and more interaction with employees and clients. We are able to build a closer relationship with our employees, and provide free consulting to our client without any conflict of interest. Our experience working with retailers, showrooms, financing institutions, and vendors enables us to provide value to many of ours startup clients. It now gives us a great sense of fulfillment when we see many success stories with our new clients. Our industry has changed. Our way of doing business has changed.
What’s the best part of the fashion industry?
In the beginning, it was the money. As we get older and wiser, we find the forever changing environment is what makes working in this industry so interesting. We encounter many challenges, many different people, and many crazy products, etc.. It is always great to be able to earn a living while enjoying what we do. Most importantly, doing it while we are with our employees, families, and clients.
Are Eletrunks the weirdest design you’ve ever produced?
It is different, but not the weirdest. We have made some of the weirdest things that no one wants to work with. We often need to invent uncommon solutions to produce these merchandise. It is so weird, I can’t, nor will I even want to explain what it was.
It seems like you have a pretty tight knit team. Do you have employees that have been with you for a long time?
90% of our employees have been working for us over 20 years.
What do you like about NYC?
The people, the environment, the convenience, and the way of life.
If you ever need to manufacture a high quality piece of garment, we highly recommend our friends at MCM.