SawHorse, a 22-person, $6 million design/build company in Atlanta, has always been more fashion-and brand-conscious than your average remodeler. “Every year for 20 years, we've made sure to come out with one unique item of clothing just for our employees,” says president and CEO Jerome Quinn. “People love the logo,” a distinctive horsehead, and anecdotal sightings have placed it on bodies visiting locations as far-flung as Qatar and Glacier National Park.
Now, if a clothing manufacturing deal succeeds, the SawHorse logo will also become a wardrobe staple at other remodeling companies — perhaps even among brand-conscious consumers. Available at www.sawhorseoutfitters.com participating hardware stores, SawHorse Work Wear consists of horse-branded jeans, carpenter pants, hats, and boots that Quinn describes as “a cut above” the usual construction gear. “It's something that can take the pounding of construction,” Quinn says, thanks in part to input from his own field staff on such features as durability, utility, pocket size, and fabric weight. He says that the line is comparable to such brands as L.L. Bean, Orvis, and Timberland, and is priced very well for the quality. SawHorse caps are $13, and leather boots top out at $64.
Behind the scenes is a national clothing manufacturer that approached SawHorse a couple of years ago. “They were planning to come out with a line of good-quality work wear,” Quinn says, and found the right look only when an executive saw a SawHorse sign. Quinn had trademarked the logo several years before, letting him negotiate an agreement that gives his company the license for the line, a percentage of sales, and several shelves full of the gear itself.
Now that anyone can wear SawHorse gear, is there a risk that the brand might be diluted, or co-opted by dishonorable remodeling companies? Quinn isn't concerned about that. “We're a small company, and we've already given away a lot of clothes to our trades [and clients],” he says. What's critical, he points out, is that the clothing quality matches the quality of his company's work. “It's designed by remodelers, for remodelers,” Quinn says. If that's not distinctive enough, he adds, “we're probably the only remodeler on the planet with a licensed clothing line.”