Made-in-America trench-coat entrepreneurs reach funding goal

Posted: January 18, 2013

Garnering support from as far as Poland, two Main Line friends who launched an Internet-based fund-raising campaign on Dec. 31 to enable them to fulfill their plans for a trench coat company committed to manufacturing in the United States surpassed their $15,000 goal Thursday night.

In the process, American Trench has sold 15 coats, which are being made in Newark, N.J., and sell for $725, said cofounder Jacob Hurwitz of Wynnewood. Another 57 people bought socks, which are produced by a knitting mill in Reading. American Trench added them to its offerings so the company could have broader appeal and provide more locally based manufacturing opportunities.

"We are really thankful to all our supporters and so happy to have reached our goal," Hurwitz, 33, who works for a local energy company, said Friday - four days after American Trench's campaign was featured in The Inquirer. He and childhood friend David Neill, 40, who also lives in Wynnewood and works in his family's painting business, created their coat company in February 2010.

Because their Kickstarter.com campaign runs through Jan. 31, they have adjusted their fund-raising target to $20,000 "so that we can hire technical experts and develop textiles in the USA," Hurwitz wrote in an e-mail. The tightly-woven cotton they are currently using for the shell of their coats is from Italy.

It was Hurwitz's London vacation in 2009 - during which he bought a trench coat - that prompted him to approach Neill about starting a company to make coats in the United States as a way to help revive domestic manufacturing.

From their swift Kickstarter.com results, it is obvious their Made-in-the-U.S.A. mission resonated. The customer from Poland "paid for the bulk of the international shipping and sent us a really nice note of support," Hurwitz said. In this country, orders were placed from New York to Seattle, with "strong support" from the Philadelphia region.

"The day of the article, our website [ www.americantrench.com] had 771 hits and ran out of bandwidth at one point," Hurwitz said.

Several veterans of the garment and apparel industry have reached out with encouragement, advice and contacts, he said.


Contact Diane Mastrull at 215-854-2466, dmastrull@phillynews.com or @mastrud on Twitter.

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