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Bayard Winthrop

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Bayard Winthrop is an American entrepreneur and businessman who is the founder of the incredibly successful cult clothing brand, American Giant. Whole growing up in Connecticut, Winthrop turned towards finance and focused on getting a job on Wall Street after graduating from the University of Vermont in 1991. After spending a few years in finance, Winthrop decided to move to San Francisco and made the transition into the apparel industry. After working for several well-respected outdoor apparel, fashion, equipment, and footwear companies - including CHROME and Atlas Snowshoe, Winthrop founded American Giant in 2011. The company is the first men’s clothing brand to rethink the supply chain in order to invest in the highest quality products, while still keeping everything American made.

Winthrop is well-respected for his approach to manufacturing, e-commerce, and retail in general, as he believes in closing the gap between the high cost of American-made products. Winthrop was inspired to start American Giant in large part because he wanted to create a convenient online shopping experience, without skimping on quality. By selling directly to the consumer and supporting and promoting American-made products, Winthrop has been able to create a successful and innovative company. All American Giant products are manufactured in San Francisco’s mission district, right below the showroom.

Companies and Investments

American Giant (President & Founder), CHROME (President), Freeboard Manufacturing (President & CEO), Webchat Communications (President & CEO), Atlas Snowshoe CO (General Manager), Donaldson Lufkin (Financial Analyst)

Lessons Learned

Don’t cut corners. There are plenty of ways to create a high-quality product that is still affordable and appeals to the general population.

Before launching a brand or service, do your research and look for ways to eliminate distribution, marketing, and other fees that may be holding you back.

Keep in mind that photography, product reviews, social network integration, and referral programs all play a larger role for an e-commerce brand than retailers and multiple channels.

Companies that make high-quality products will prevail in the end.

Never stop working towards your goals. Sometimes baby steps are the most important.

Do your research and pay attention to what the customer wants or what gaps there are in the market. Once you’ve done this, you will be far more prepared moving forward.

Inspiring Quotes

Bayard Winthrop 's Quotes

It’s a fascinating time for American manufacturing. Suddenly there’s this reassessment of cost structures. It puts back in the fold the ability to stay local.

Bayard Winthrop

At the end of the day what’s going to shake out of the apparel space is going to be quality - whether that’s a great sense of style of quality garments.

Bayard Winthrop

The bet we’re making is that if you deliver on that core customer promise, then it’s going to win.

Bayard Winthrop

If you’re not a huge brand who can swing a bat around, you’ll end up having to deal with manufacturing and shipping problems yourself, either by eating it or passing it on to the consumer.

Bayard Winthrop

Influential Books