Family-run clothing and
Selling basic mercantile goods from a horse-drawn wagon in the 1880s, Hamilton Carhartt noticed that what his Michigan customers really wanted was overalls. So he course-corrected, started making his own Carhartt overalls... and failed. What made the difference was a visit to a railroad engineer who helped Carhartt tailor a garment just for railroad workers, capitalizing on stronger sewing techniques and the use of durable fabrics like denim. His second attempt at overalls caught on. Big time. 125 years later, the company (and clothing) that bears his name pulls in over $600 million in revenue. Their own fabric mills make the trademark super-tough Master Cloth coveted by laborers and hipsters alike. Today, Carhartt’s great-grandson, Mark Valade, is company president and CEO. The family still owns the company. And the state of Michigan and city of Detroit continue to be at the heart of the family’s civic efforts... including Gretchen (Carhartt) Valade’s founding of the Detroit Jazz Festival.
"I believe that when a man wears an article that I manufacture, his self-respect is increased because he knows that it is made by an honest manufacturer, who is honest with his employees" - Hamilton Carhartt
Kerstin and Spencer Block founded this Tucson-based fashion retailer in 1974. Famously, they do trade-ins, consignment, and also sell new merchandise. Kerstin still runs the company today, with her daughter Rebecca. Click here to locate one of their 45 stores nationwide.
Having founded Joe's as a Buick repair garage in 1930, Joseph J. Rauscher discovered that many of his Minnesotan customers also had a hankering for live bait, so he accomodated them by diversifying his offerings, and adding minnows to his product line. Shortly thereafter, the garage became known as Joe's Live Bait. His son & daughter-in-law, Joseph D. and Loretta J. Rauscher, took over and added the ski business in 1963. Today the store is owned by Joseph H. and James T. Rauscher, sons of Joe and Loretta. That's three generations of Josephs owning and operating this business!