CO-FOUNDER, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER AST SPORTSWEAR INC.
DAY JOB: Largest vertical apparel manufacturer domestically, handling everything from knitting, cutting and sewing at its facility. Company is estimated to have 250 workers locally producing product under the company’s Bayside, Union Made brands.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Switched up its manufacturing plant to begin producing face masks very early on into the pandemic. Was the only local apparel manufacturer tapped to be part of a consortium of companies throughout the country working with the federal government to produce face masks for front-line workers. Held a donation drive for locals at its Brea headquarters, promising free masks to the first 5,000 cars.
NOTABLE: Counts some 500 hands in the U.S. touching one of its finished garments across the entire production chain, from the cotton farmers to the completed product.
QUOTABLE: “I have to do something. I have a big factory. I can do something,” he told news outlets at time of pivot. “All across the nation, whoever needs it, we’re going to send it to them.”
FAST FACTS: AST started in 1995 by four brothers. Moved headquarters from Anaheim to 115,000-square-foot Brea facility with growth spurt in 2013. Added the former American Apparel facilities in Carson and Hawthorne to its footprint in 2016 with that company’s bankruptcy and subsequent sale.