Hot/Not | Sales trends at Townsend Bertram & Company

Tees with soul are in; synthetic apparel is out.
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Betsy Bertram and her mom, the co-founder of Townsend Bertram & Company

Townsend Bertram & Company is a women-founded, women-run, family-owned specialty shop in Carrboro, North Carolina. Pictured here are Betsy Bertram and her mom, Audrey Townsend.

Betsy Bertram, brand manager at Townsend Bertram & Company in Carrboro, North Carolina, gives us the scoop on what’s selling like crazy in her shop, and what’s losing steam with her customers.

What’s hot in your store right now?

We brought in Landmark Project last fall and it has been doing exceptionally well for us. Being in the southeast, T-shirts are a year around business. There are so many great brands that make quality designs, but few stand out like Landmark, which is outperforming all the other T-shirt brands we carry.

What’s driving the hotness?

The values and people behind the Landmark Project make this brand thrive in our store. The artistry, design, colors, and unisex sizing appeal to our customers who seek brands that are unique and story-driven. During a time when public lands are coming under threat, we see more and more customers seeking brands that speak to their values. By wearing Landmark apparel, customers' can show their values on their sleeves quite literally, highlighting the wild places they love.

Landmark Project shirts at Townsend Betram and Company

The Landmark Project is based in Greenville, South Carolina. It offers a host of regionally-relevant designs that resonate with TB&C customers.

Betsy Bertram says that when brands take political stances on important issues—like public lands, conservation, and sustainability— it’s good for business.

What’s not hot?

Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen a steady decrease in all our synthetic in baselayers, activewear, and outerwear.

What’s driving the decrease?

Historically we have sold more synthetic apparel. But as more and more information comes out about the environmentally harmful impact of synthetics on our water systems, our customers are seeking natural fibers. They want to make sure that the products they buy are sustainable and envrionmentally friendly. With the innovation in natural fibers, our customers are choose the natural over the synthetic option not just for the environmental impact, but also for the feel of the product next to skin.

Now we see wool, bamboo, hemp and organic cotton products outperforming comparable synthetic options, so we’re transitioning more and more to natural fibers and tightening our selection of synthetics in response. ​

If you'd like your shop to be featured in Hot/Not, a periodic column that looks at retail sales trends around the country, shoot us an email at


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