Today we’d like to introduce you to Danh Tran.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Danh. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born in Vietnam, and I grew up working in my family’s small tailor shop. You could say I started in fashion on my mom’s lap. I used to sit there watching the needle go up and down and I was fascinated. I remember one day she told me, “Don’t ever play with this machine – it’s how I make money for us – and fashion is not good for you. You will grow up to be an accountant or a lawyer.” And then before I was ten, I was making my own clothes and dreamed of coming to America to become a fashion designer.
When my family immigrated here is 1994, I wanted to go to Otis College which was the best school on the west coast, but we couldn’t afford it. So I took fashion classes at a local college and landed a job at Mattel – eventually designing clothes for Barbie. When I had saved enough money, I quit and enrolled at Otis. After graduating, I was recruited by 7 for All Mankind, and later at Hause of Howe, a division of Union Bay. I left there in 2006 to become Head Designer at the Affliction brand for ten years.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
First, I struggled first with the idea of even starting Buttercloth. I kept questioning my courage and commitment to leave my comfortable job and salary for the unknown. Then a friend and mentor gave me a book by Steve Harvey called “Jump.” As I read it, I saw myself in the words. It really helped me see a clear path to follow, and the next day I walked into my boss’ office and gave my notice.
I’m a good designer, and I’m pretty inventive, so developing the product was easy for me. The next challenge was finding the right people to help me with the business and marketing sides. I recruited my long-time friend and mentor, Bob Stevens, who is our COO. Together we assembled a first-class team.
Capital is always a challenge. I started the company by selling my house and cashing in my 401K, so there is no “deep pocket” there. But we had a great product and a good story, and we got people to help us, one step at a time.
There are always challenges, however, I see them as opportunities to make a difference. I love it.
Buttercloth – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Our mission is to redefine men’s fashion by delivering comfort – without sacrificing style. When a guy likes the way he looks and feels, he has more self-confidence – and that translates to more success. So whether he’s sitting in long meetings, having a with friends, playing catch with the dog at the community park, or wherever his lifestyle takes him, we want to deliver both comfort and style.
What makes Buttercloth different, first is our unique fabric. It’s made from long fiber cotton, and double-finished to make it super-soft on both sides. It has 6-way stretch and breathability that keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. We say it makes you “look like a Friday night, but feel like a Sunday morning.”
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My passion for clothing design began in that little tailor shop in Vietnam where I grew up sitting on my Mom’s lap watching her sew. So being able to have her and my dad join me on TV, with Robert Herjavec on our “Shark Tank Update” brought tears to my eyes and was one of the proudest moments of my life.
- Website: https://buttercloth.com/
- Phone: 800-203-2650
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @butterclothshirt
- Facebook: @butterclothshirt
- Twitter: @Buttercloth1