The Profit: Detroit Denim Creates Unique Designs After Marcus Lemonis Pushes for Change

By Erica Abbott

Detroit Denim

This week, Marcus Lemonis travels to Motor City to help Detroit Denim, a clothing brand that creates high-end, handmade jeans and denim accessories. According to CNBC, the owners are “stiff” and “if Marcus can’t get them to embrace new ideas, this Detroit dream will come to an end.” The denim apparel business needs a serious makeover or else the company could fall apart.

Visiting their shop, Lemonis is immediately greeted by owner Eric Yelsma and production manager Brenna Lane, who reveal that they are “romantically involved.” Trying on a pair of jeans, he admits that they become more comfortable over time Lane thinks they need to expand to women’s jeans, which Yelsma disagrees with. Lemonis is also shocked by how long it takes to make the jeans and how much more expensive they are when compared to others.

The face you make when you realize it takes 3.5 hours to make one pair of jeans. #TheProfit pic.twitter.com/yvDRNFLnHL

— CNBC’s The Profit (@TheProfitCNBC) December 6, 2017

Lemonis also worries that Yelsma is “constricting” the business after seeing one of the stitcher’s custom bags, which are not being sold. Another stitcher, who doesn’t view the company as a “fashion business,” thinks that they need to offer women’s apparel as well. Lemonis quickly notices a problem with their 67-step process too, which he views as inefficient. He likes, however, that Yelsma views the company as his calling, which involves helping to rebuild the city they call home.

Next, Lemonis meets Steve Wisinski, a CPA and another partner in the business. After reviewing their outdated financial statements, which reveal margins of 25 percent, Lemonis decides to offer $300,000 for 51 percent. He hopes to improve the efficiency, lower costs, provide working capital and research and develop new products. The partners counter 35 percent, which Lemonis declines. They ultimately agree to his original offer.

We have a deal! #TheProfit pic.twitter.com/2ZyEuOp67g

— CNBC’s The Profit (@TheProfitCNBC) December 6, 2017

Back at the shop, Lemonis encourages the team to come up with more diverse ideas, including a line of women’s jeans, which Yelsma pushes back at again. The team then visits a thrift store next to get some inspiration and new materials for products that can be embellished and redone. Lane admits that she’s overwhelmed but stitcher Marguerite quickly finds a variety of options, which are immediately shot down by Yelsma.

Lemonis then asks the team to show their creative side by repurposing the clothing that they got at the thrift shop. He quickly notices, however, that Lane may be taking herself too seriously and slowing down the process. She starts crying and admits that it’s very hard for her when things aren’t structured enough. Lemonis still hopes to “break her from her mold.” Lemonis is very impressed with their new ideas and he encourages them to continue pushing their creative limits. Yelsma pushes back at the idea again.

Brenna is one of my Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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