Student sports apparel startup prides itself on being made in the USA

Unhappy with the outsourcing model status quo, a growing company in Phoenix is looking to shake up the apparel manufacturing industry.

KVZ Sports, a two-time winner of the Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative at Arizona State University, was founded on a core belief in the competitive advantages of manufacturing in the United States. In an environment where the apparel for sale in this country is predominantly manufactured overseas, KVZ prides itself in producing action sports apparel and accessories locally, and bringing manufacturing efforts back to the United States. 

Wages in the garment industry overseas are roughly 15 percent of the wage rate in this country, causing some companies to produce their garments in Asia. KVZ relies on such advantages as innovative technologies and unique uses of equipment and fabric to be competitive in the marketplace, rather than looking at offshore wages alone to cut costs. By utilizing technological advances in the industry, KVZ can compete effectively, providing customers smaller order minimums and a speed-to-market that is simply not possible from an imported product.

“Our mission is to connect the people, products, technologies and innovations necessary for 'Made in the USA' to evolve from a feel-good story to a distinct competitive advantage for our customers,” says Matt Boyd, the company’s cofounder.

KVZ’s core products are associated with extreme winter sports. Accessories and athletic wear are sold in resorts nationwide and they are currently developing a number of retail oriented brands, all to be “made in America.”  KVZ (under separate labels) also provides branded apparel focused on target areas. All products – both apparel and accessories – use digital methods to produce more vibrant and longer lasting designs. They also collaborate with other local companies to share resources and develop more "bang for the buck."

“We love working with KVZ because they are very different from our usual suppliers,” says Christine Swindel, retail buyer at Park City Mountain Resort. “They allow me to be involved in the design of our products, and we can carry less inventory because they have such a quick product turnaround time that they are able to resupply us mid-season. It helps takes the uncertainty out of our buying cycle because we can trial products and test the market before making a big commitment. As a bonus, they are made in the USA!”

KVZ has been named by Ski Area Management as one of the best new products at the 2012 SIA Snow Show in Denver. KVZ also has been accepted into the Arizona Commerce Authority's Step program, aimed at increasing international sales. In the last two months, KVZ has been named a nominee in both the Chase: Mission Small Business grant program and Arizona’s 2012 Governor's Celebration of Innovation‏ awards program with results expected later this year.

KVZ Media Contact:
Cynthia Valenzuela,
Co-Founder, KVZ Sports

About Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative
The Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative provides funding, office space, and guidance to teams of students within all university disciplines. This accelerator gives student entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop their innovative ideas and launch viable businesses.  As an integral program of ASU Venture Catalyst, students in the Edson accelerator have access to seasoned entrepreneurs, industry mentors, and other Catalyst programs that enable them to advance their enterprises.