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Maker's Row Ushers in a New Wave of U.S. Manufacturing

A tech startup helps burgeoning designers connect with U.S. manufacturers -- and paves the way for a small-business boom that's made in the USA.

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By Jenna Schnuer

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When Roberto Torres and his business partners founded their Tampa, Fla.-based clothing com-pany Black & Denim in 2008, they had no idea how long it would take them to turn their made-in-America mission into a reality. "We spent the first three years finding vendors to manufacture in the U.S.," Torres says.

The process included trips that would have tested even the sturdiest shoe leather. Torres spent weeks visiting factories in New York City's Chinatown, in Los Angeles and in El Paso, Texas, in search of a manufacturer that would take a chance on a new menswear designer--from Tampa.

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