I’m a sucker for any type of apparel that represents New York, my area, and my hometown. This next small business was created by someone who also felt that their area was so unique and beautiful, why not show it off to the world? What started as a vision in 2020 quickly turned into a company that has continued to expand to new heights. So, let’s learn more about Eddie and his apparel company, Hudson Valley Apparel.
Business Name: Hudson Valley Apparel
Owners: Eddie Eliassen
Established Year: 2020
Location: Hudson Valley, NY (I live in Newburgh)
Tell us about your business and the story behind its creation!
Hudson Valley Apparel Company is comprised of myself (Eddie) and my childhood friend Ethan (not really business partner anymore but still a close friend ). We grew up in Wappingers Falls and have been life-long Hudson Valley residents. We know that we live in such a beautiful and unique area, so why don’t we show it off to the world? This is when we came up with Hudson Valley Apparel, highlighting all the wonderful pieces which, as a collective, come together to make this place a home to so many. The Hudson Valley!
What products do you offer and what makes them unique? What is your favorite product?
We offer uniquely and originally designed apparel distinct to the Hudson Valley. My favorite piece is the first one we ever released which was the towns/cities/villages shirt. That was our first design and the one that started it all. Now, I really like the Valley vibes long sleeve. We worked with @hvhandwritten on this one, and the design on the front was handwritten and made into an embroidery which is as local as you can get. The garment is super soft but also comes from a sustainable company, so it truly is a win win win..
What makes your products so special? Why should people buy your products?
We truly started with nothing more than an idea and a dream and are in the process of making it come true. We’re not quite there yet but we are ecstatic with the local response that it has gotten and are really excited about the future.
What do you love most about running your own business and being a business owner?
My favorite part of this all is the feedback we receive from the people who buy, or even who don’t buy, and just hearing their thoughts (good and bad) on a certain piece. It truly is invaluable to us, and to all small businesses I would hope, because it truly impacts and sets our direction for the future. And I haven’t seen it yet, other than with close friends, but I am just waiting for the day that I am out and see somebody random wearing one of my products. That’s when I will know that this has truly made an impact and can be considered a success.
What has been one of the most memorable experiences or opportunities that you’ve experienced since opening your business?
I guess I have two memorable experiences I would like to share. One was about a year ago when @colorcubecreative let me display and sell my products for small shop Saturday (or Sunday I don’t remember), and just the response and turnout we got was more than I thought it would be. That being the first time actively displaying and selling the product and its success was very memorable. The other one was just the support we encountered after seeing Walmart selling a shirt that pretty much had our identical design on it. Just the support and loyalty we saw was amazing and truly heartwarming.
What advice would you give to aspiring business owners?
My advice for anybody interested in starting their own business is just to DO IT! We started with literally $300 and an idea and we have grown and are continuing to grow. Yes we have had setbacks and things like that but my true advice is to start small. Don’t overcomplicate it in the beginning, and to just be yourself with it. People feel authenticity and as long as you are true to yourself, you will be fine. Lastly, everything takes time. It’s not gonna happen overnight or even that year, but be patient and good things will come.