When Mandy Fry joined Z Supply LLC in late 2019, it was largely a one-product apparel business.
“When I first got hired, we only had knit sweaters,” Fry, the company’s president, told the Business Journal. “It was easy to introduce new categories.”
She has steadily built the Costa Mesa brand’s collection from casual basics to multi-dimensional categories.
In the past three years, the company has added loungewear, kids clothes, eyewear and in August launched its newest line of activewear, Z Supply Active.
The new category appeared on Fry’s radar after surveys from wholesale customers showed activewear to be highly requested among existing retailers.
“We introduced [soft and comfortable] pieces that would contribute to the Z Supply look and lifestyle,” Fry said.
Z Supply released two new lines of apparel and accessories this year, and the retailer already has its Spring ’23 collection ready to debut.
“I’m focused on making Z Supply well-rounded,” Fry said.
The upcoming collection for next spring was showcased at the Las Vegas Project trade show last month.
Growing beyond its staple lights and pastels, the brand jumped into bright colors for the upcoming collection of destination-themed graphics apparel.
Customers will also see new silhouettes and fabrications in spring as the company will continue pushing “newness,” according to Fry. The graphics collection will officially launch online in November.
Fry noted that the design team is considering more colors in the future as well.
“The key is evolving and creating freshness while still identifying as Z Supply,” she said.
Not only has Fry built up apparel offerings, but interior operations have shifted as well.
Upon moving headquarters from Irvine to Costa Mesa in 2019, the new 23,000-square-foot base held the space to add more than the standard offices and inventory.
Fry saw the opportunity to include a company studio and later hired an in-house creative team that is now responsible for media and online material.
“It gives us the ability to be nimble,” Fry said of not having to wait on outside firms to complete requests. With company-owned equipment, the studio is used daily for social content, new campaign shoots and e-commerce.
When the pandemic forced offices to work from home, Fry also worked to update its wholesale ordering platform, shopB2Z, for retail clients by improving online ordering and offering a virtual showroom.
The online portal originally started in 2018 and now has an in-house technology team to continue improving the site’s capabilities.
The apparel company reported 89 total employees as of May, growing nearly 40% from 64 a year ago.
The retailer’s products are sold in nearly 2,800 boutiques in the U.S. and Fry said it’s currently looking for international distributors.