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How an Outdoor-Clothing Company Is Building Up Manufacturing in Mountain Towns One entrepreneur is bringing the 'microbrew' model to manufacturing.

By Grant Davis

This story appears in the October 2015 issue of Start Up.

Dustin English
At work in Voormi’s Pagosa Springs, Colo., HQ.

Voormi CEO Dan English, a Microsoft veteran, has set out to remake the outdoor-apparel industry. His company, which he founded in 2010, has patented a water-resistant yet breathable fabric that's being used in outerwear, attracting attention from mountaineers, cyclists and other outdoor-sports enthusiasts.

Voormi's headquarters are in Pagosa Springs, Colo., a town with a population of fewer than 2,000 amid nearly 1.9 million acres of national forest. It was a strategic choice, as English wants to build up a web of manufacturers scattered throughout the small mountain towns of the Rockies—places where many people want to live, but jobs are scarce.

English says he is simply applying the "microbrew" model to clothing manufacturing. "Our goal isn't to build a 150-person garment factory here in Pagosa Springs," he says. "We want to spread the work among other small manufacturers who, combined, will equal that big factory. The idea is to give us the flexibility to move work around and allow certain factories to specialize in certain tasks."

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