May 08, 2023
Working at a sail loft in Maine, our founder, Charles Friedman, was introduced to sailcloth and learned to use industrial sewing machines repairing boat sails. One day, his grandfather’s wallet fell apart, and in a moment of innovation, he took some scraps of racing sailcloth from the factory trash and sewed himself a wallet. This original wallet was super thin, light, and tough as nails. Just like that, trash was turned to treasure, and our first product, a bifold wallet: the Recycled Sailcloth Vanguard.
To get the word out, we jumped into the craft fair scene in 2011 and hustled. You could find our table at all the local fairs, festivals, or in front of the Casco Bay Line Ferry Terminal during tourist season. We took every opportunity we could to meet customers.
Demand grew so much that we needed to get out of our spare bedroom office. So we rented our first production space, conveniently located 5 minutes from the beach. We took Yvon Chouinard’s (Patagonia founder) words literally “let my people go surfing”.
Big things happening! We work with L.L.Bean on an exclusive product collaboration, highlighted by the first ever L.L.Bean boot collaboration using our performance sailcloth.
Demand continued to increase and we needed to find a bigger space. In true Flowfold fashion we found a building that had all the space we needed, but needed a lot of work. So we rolled up our sleeves and built the production facility we wanted for our team.We knocked down walls, put in windows, framed and insulated, painted, and transformed the space into a place you want to build and create.
Flowfold x Urban outfitters collab launch! We continue to use our ability to design and make unique and exclusive products for our retail partners.
As a business that sells travel products to retail stores, sales of our products essentially stopped in March of 2020 and we weren’t sure our business would survive. We knew we had a talented production staff and hospitals couldn’t get the PPE they needed. We decided to go all in and transform our production facility to manufacture face shields. This was our maytag moment, and we went from a staff of 8 to over 50 in under a month, making tens of thousands of face shields each week for the CDC, hospitals, school districts, and individual consumers.
We were thrilled to be featured on David Muir's ABC News Tonight "Made in America" segment this past holiday season!
Watch out! We are a teenager 😲
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