When was your company founded?
Tasc Performance was brought to life in 2009. However, our homegrown, family-owned business has a 40-year legacy in the apparel industry.
What were you, as the founder of the company, doing before this?
I grew up in the apparel business, working summers in the warehouse at Wembly Tie Company, where my father ran the Resilio sportswear division. After graduating from Southern Methodist University in 1996, I joined my dad, Al Andrews, former Tulane University basketball standout, in our first family start-up, Andrews Sport Company, Inc. On an early, eye-opening trip to India, I quickly learned the entire knit production process from a vertical factory. After 10 years building the business with key uniform and corporate identity accounts, I started a resort division under the Andrews Sport label. I was responsible for design and sales of a men’s collection of polo shirts and fine knitwear.
How has the reality of starting your business differed from the dream of it?
Through my experience with Andrews Sport, I have been familiar with the unique pressures and demands of a small business. The dream helps me keep focus and gets me through the tough patches. I know the full journey will be the reward.
Where did your inspiration come from?
It is really a family story. My dad was working out at Tulane and noticed a constant smell in the fitness center that was unique to just a regular gym smell. After a couple weeks, he realized it was the clothing people were wearing, and the common denominator was that all of them were wearing polyester. My brother Scott, who is an avid outdoorsman, explained that he had experienced the same issues with his fishing apparel and my mother complained that she had to buy special detergent to combat the smell! So we realized there was a common problem with all the synthetic performance apparel dominating the market.
What’s the one best feature of your product?
Versatility is the best feature of our products. Although Tasc Performance is known for [our proprietary] Bamboo Performance Technology and the amazing feel of our fabric, we take pride in the fact that the consumer can move in our product throughout the day. Our garments are not single use, or specific to just one activity. The customer is getting great value from our product in that they require performance in all aspects of their life and our fabric can provide it 24/7.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Being a homegrown business based in New Orleans and competing in the crowded athletic apparel industry, our biggest challenge has been raising awareness of our company name and products we offer. However, we are gaining traction rapidly and are receiving very positive feedback. Most consumers have shared with us that although they were unaware of the product before, now that they’ve tried it, they would not use any other apparel brand. We are very pleased that so many consumers are having positive experiences with the performance product we have worked for years to perfect. It is very encouraging and we can’t wait for others to try it, too.
Who do you look up to in the industry?
The outdoor industry is full of innovative and forward-thinking companies with state-of-the-art products that are usually game-changing. We are thrilled to be in a flourishing space alongside other incredible brands. We look up to various brands, including Nike for building such a renowned brand, and Lululemon for their innovative styling and positioning.
Who do you want to compete against in the industry?
We are competing against every brand that offers performance as a part of their story. We look at both new brands and companies with great heritage, such as Patagonia and The North Face.
--Compiled by Ana Trujillo