Inside a nondescript building just off the main square in Lafeyette, exists an industry that is of a dying breed in the United States: a custom-made shirt facility. Measure Up began in Macon County in 1990 in a 10,000 square foot facility. Twenty-four years later, it occupies 30,000 square feet of space and employs 85 people.
Step inside the manufacturing facility and the first thing you will be struck by is the sound – dozens of whirring sewing machines creating custom-made shirts. Measure Up receives hundreds of daily orders from high-end retailers and custom clothiers all over the country. And every order is different, right down to the placement of the buttons and color thread used for a monogram.
“The special thing about Measure Up shirts is that we’re really detail oriented,” explains Melissa Wooten, the company’s CEO and CFO. “You can order the shirts any way you want to. They’re made exactly to your measurements, exactly to your liking or your style.”
And while there are a few machines that assist with creating and cutting out the patterns, everything else is hand sewn. The operation at Measure Up is truly custom-made.
“It is a skilled workforce,” explains Wooten, “When we hire people, we don’t necessarily look for someone who has sewing experience. We do look for people who are quality driven. They want to do things correctly. We look for people who are fast with their hands.”