It Might Get Loud: 8 Questions with Loudmouth Golf
1. Where did the name “Loudmouth Golf” come from?
The entomology of ‘Loudmouth’ has 3 parts, like a water molecule.
The first part comes from a scene in Dumb and Dumber, perhaps the most intelligent movie ever made. (Yes, I know it’s etymology–just a little Lloyd Christmas humor there!) The first ever pair of Loudmouth pants featured Bugs Bunny, so entomology may be correct diction after all…or would it? Dressed in their bright orange and powder blue tuxedoes at a high society charity event in Aspen, Harry Dunn says to Lloyd, “Time to show a little class.” Then Lloyd suggests, “Let’s go get a coupla bowls of loudmouth soup.” In other words, let’s get the party started in earnest. That’s what these pants do.
The second “atom” is of course Rodney Dangerfield’s iconic character Al Cervik. Even though he was an obnoxious loudmouth, everyone loved him, and disliked Judge Smails with his reserved, polite, but uptight decorum. I’m not suggesting we all play Journey’s Anyway You Want It in the middle of the fairway wearing ridiculously loud pants. No, I would’ve chosen something pre-Steve Perry.
The third part is simply the word ‘loud’ which is commonly used to describe an ostentatious piece of clothing–a loud necktie. It also means emphatic.
So the name came about very scientifically using the periodic table of elements.
I hope you weren’t asking just a rhetorical question.
2. How would you define the Access Effect? Can you give us any examples from your company’s history?
Loudmouth would never have gotten off the ground without the internet. I didn’t have the time or inclination to walk door to door to try selling my pants. So, being able to set up a website and drive people to it by placing a classified ad in Golf Digest was all I needed to do to start a business. Fast forward to today, and we’re having 9-way video conference calls hooking up Loudmouth representatives and employees in Thailand, China, Florida, New Jersey, and California. Access is certainly a benefit, and allows us to enjoy the Loudmouth lifestyle without driving to an office for 8-hours a day. Even though we all spend about 10-12 hours a day at our jobs, we still feel like we’re “doing it on the side.”
3. As a growing business, what were the most challenging points for expanding abroad?
The Access Effect is great but the success of our company depends on DELIVERING THE PANTS IN A TIMELY FASHION AT A REASONABLE COST. Our first expansion abroad was shipping single online orders to customers literally all over the world. We used the US Postal Service at first and crossed our fingers that the package would arrive. Not so much because of the USPS. They were able to get it to the countries’ customs location, but then the package was handed off to the countries’ national postal service. There were numerous orders that never arrived and never returned. We were able to discern that it would be worth it to open shipping depots in strategic locations around the world.
Those depots would only be feasible if we could set them up with the same efficient automated shipping FedEx system that streamlined our domestic shipping operation. Each international FedEx representative spent a lot of time with us in Canada, Great Britain, and Australia. They were very hands on and trained our staff.
[More about Loudmouth on the Access web site]
4. Which factors contribute most to the success of your supply chain?
To produce a new pants design or new shirt, etc. samples and instructions must be shuttled back and forth between California and China. Each day that goes by during this process costs us weeks in bulk delivery time. Between the International Dateline and FedEx, it seems like I receive my fabric samples the same day China sends it. I’ll get an email around midnight from China, and when I wake up my sample is sitting on my doorstep in California.
On the other end, we rely heavily on FedEx to navigate customs, and allow us to ship LOTS of product to our customers be they individuals or large retail chains with minimal staff. Our shipping departments’ productivity is extremely high.
5. Are there any challenges to having a supply chain that spans the globe?
Oh wait, YES! About a zillion.
Honestly, Loudmouth is about having fun. And supply chain “challenges,” as you euphemistically referred to them are NOT fun. However, FedEx has been able to solve most of them, so the supply chain isn’t as much a “ball and chain” for us, which frees us up to be the fun stylish guys designing, producing, golfing in and partying in LOUD PANTS.
6. Have you seen any shifts in the global golf apparel market since you started?
You’ll notice that bright colors are slowly showing up on the PGA Tour now. Can Loudmouth take credit for that? Whether we’ve influenced it or not, we’re ABSOLUTELY taking credit.
7. What’s your biggest market?
The U.S. is still the biggest market. It’s where we started. We’re still the loudest country. The countries where we opened up the international depots are the best markets. Canadians are crazy, they’ve always bought the loudest pants we offered. I think it’s because they’ve been inside for 9 months, and they need to pack as much fun as possible when they emerge outside into 3 short months. Look who came from there, John Candy, Dan Akroyd, Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, etc. — they’re nuts. The biggest potential market is China. They’re just starting to play golf; we need to show them how to dress for golf.
8. What’s your next frontier?
We have something very interesting in the works; but, it’s classified. I can’t tell you about it.
Actually, we are developing “Made-To-Order,” which will allow online customers to order whatever size they want including odd numbered sizes in 3 different styles of fit — regular fit, Euro fit, and jeans fit. We’ll offer several detailing options such as embroidery and ankle vents. The key piece of this puzzle is to integrate the ordering process with our manufacturer in China to produce the order and make the shipping label. Then FedEx will batch these orders at week’s end in one bulk shipment to arrive in Anchorage at which point FedEx will separate the pallet into single domestic FedEx shipments that will end up on our customers front door.
We are also expanding out of golf. Be on the lookout for the Loudmouth Lifestyle. Soon we’ll be offering resort shirts, boardshorts, bathrobes, jeans, wallets, sandals, and even cologne! Once you see Loudmouth Exterior Paint in your Home Depot, you’ll know we’ve made it! If Ralph Lauren can go from selling neckties to house paint, SO CAN WE!