Go Softwear is one of those companies I love the guys behind. I got my first pair in 2002 I think. Long before UNB. I have gotten the chance to get to know them over the last few years. Here is how they started the company
What made you start Go Softwear? Greg (the company founder) got the idea when he attended Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. During one of their groups discussions at the business school, the subject of the success of the women’s wonder bra (a novel and popular garment in the mid 1990’s) came up. A light bulb went on in his head and said “why don’t men have anything for enhancement? in 1996 he started the Go Softwear line. It began with that report he did in class.
He saw there was nothing like that in the market, now enhancement is common themes. He developed the initial collection with 5 underwear designs with padding and 3-4 tank tops. Then started to shop it around in the LA boutiques and got it started. It then evolved into colors and more!
Some of the challenges for them were different. Underwear was a novel product. It was not colorful, underwear back in the day when it was black/white/grey and it wasn’t easy getting the buyers to sell in the store. Enhancement was a little too novel for them to sell to their customers. Some buyers saw the line as something they needed to have to expand their underwear section. For those who didn’t understand it they had to educate the stores on the products. It was getting them to try it. Once they tried it they saw it sold well.
I asked them what some of the biggest surprises were. The biggest one was when they started getting reorders from Boutiques. We knew there was something different the reorders confirmed their initial thoughts that there was a market for their undies. They knew it would take off in the bigger market outside of the LA market. Feedback from customers and buyers allowed them to get ideas on how to improve and grow the biz.
Some of their best sellers over the years are: Enhancement body shapers, super padded, M Body enhances (new collection) does very well well on their site and stores that carry the Go Softwear Brand. California Colors and American Jock also does very well. American jock is athletic. Jock in shorts, which are gym shorts that has a built in jock.
I also asked them how the market has changed since the benign. Market has changed since 1996 and radically in the last 5-6 years. More competition, some do a great job and some are just a water downed version of other companies. It’s has grown amazingly over the last few years. It’s a Saturated from the brand perspective. its not easy to produce a brand from design, production to retailing. A lot of compeition, foreign sourcing, and a big selection.