Co-founder Allison Vanthof was inspired to create ALMAR™ by an everyday trip to the grocery store in March with her two college-age children. A routine trip to the grocery store became a stressful, worrisome outing after the new public safety rules including mandatory face coverings in public locations were announced. Vanthof easily pivoted since she always wears scarves that she could just pull up over her face, but her kids didn’t like wearing sterile-looking, uncomfortable masks. They dreaded the thought of going back to their college campuses and having to wear masks everywhere, so they asked their mother to create something more like what she was wearing, but in one garment -- and cooler. Vanthof took notice of the one item both of her kids wear daily and had multiples in their closets -- a hoodie, which she realized she could modify to give her kids a built-in solution. Vanthof, a solution- oriented professional and single mother was also being challenged with making the decision to sell the home that her children grew up in and close her business after sixteen years to survive these economically challenged times due to Covid-19 took this challenge without dropping the ball. Vanthof says, ‘when I got home that night, I just put my head down, started doing some research and started drawing out several concept designs on paper and out of that challenge the ALMAR™ Hoodie was born.
A veteran licensing executive, Vanthof turned to her trusted industry colleague Maria Vega to turn her idea into a reality. Vega, a 30-year veteran in the apparel industry who owns an Orange County-based manufacturing and screen printing business, saw the potential in this unique product and manufactured samples within 24 hours. Vega soon signed on to be a partner in ALMAR™. The name ALMAR™ (pronounced al-mar) is a combination of the two founder’s names – Allison and Maria. The samples generated immediate interest from universities and sports teams impressed with the campus and fan-friendly lifestyle gear that helped wearers follow COVID-19 face mask recommendations in a comfortable, easy, stylish and stress-free way. In just a little over one month ALMAR™ has sold over 3,000 hoodies just through word of mouth.
Allison Vanthof BIO
Allison is an accomplished entrepreneur with 27 years of experience providing brand building strategy, licensing and product development to start-ups, small businesses, Fortune 100 companies in sports and entertainment, college and university and brand management for Athlete and Coaches trademarks. She is a forward-thinking, curator and innovator of ideas, who combines vision, creativity, and business acumen, which keeps her clients brands thriving in today’s marketplace. Allison’s knowledge and expertise includes: consumer product development; licensing strategy & analysis; merchandising; licensing acquisition; consumer products specialist; cause related initiatives, event marketing & activations; corporate retreat planning; corporate branding; domestic & overseas sourcing; marketing strategies & solutions; gorilla marketing; sponsorship sales and trend tracking.
Allison founded Out of the Box Promotional Marketing in 2006, a boutique firm that provides creative solutions for global sports organizations, television and movie studios, motorsports teams and companies within the corporate sector, through licensed and non-licensed consumer products and merchandise. Her client list includes globally recognized brands such as the UFC, ESPN, NFL, FOX Sports, CBS, Warner Bros. Studios, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, ABC, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda, Lexus and Clemson University.
Originally from Belmont, North Carolina, Allison moved to Southern California and graduated from Pepperdine University in Malibu.
Maria Vega BIO
Marie grew up in Southern California after moving from Jalisco, Mexico to be part of the dream and promise of hope and opportunity. Maria is an accomplished success story in the garment industry with over 30 years’ experience building her business from the ground up. She gained her extensive knowledge and expertise with on the job training and due to her to passion and commitment for her work and thirst for knowledge, she earned the position of Production Manager for the global iconic company, Champion. Maria oversaw all manufacturing and production for all sports licensing contracts, including the NFL and NBA.
Maria founded Tailgate Printing Inc. in 2008 and hasn’t looked back as she continues to print her playbook with clients like the NFL, Disney, Stussy, artist’s licenses across all musical platforms and retailers like Fashion Nova, Nordstrom, Target, Zumiez & Walmart.
Her reputation is stellar for her leadership, compassion, and integrity. She is a forward thinker, who studies and understands consumer trends, and considered one of the most knowledgeable and aware professionals in the garment procurement, manufacturing, cut and sew, screen printing, and retail distribution platforms.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about Almar Apparel please email email@example.com.