The Basecamp terry-looped sweatshirt is a classic! It was the second product we ever sold and it was a huge hit. But it was somewhat unexpected.
As some of you already know, Alpaca began as an attempt to make awesome outdoor gear like jackets, backpacks, and sleeping bags. The point was not just to make awesome gear, but to give Hope with it. We wanted our gear to be of the highest quality and also make a difference in lives around the world who don't have clean drinking water or jackets to keep them warm.
All that is great! But I was broke and only had a dream, so I had to start small. So I set out on an obsessive journey to find sweatshirts made in the USA that had a classic look with a hint of uniqueness; timeless but will turn heads.
After looking long and hard and countless hours on the computer and phone, I almost gave up. But a glimmer of hope came when I stumbled upon a US manufacturer that made sweatshirts and tee shirts for the average joe like myself. I went out on a limb and bought 50. I was completely unaware of certain vocabulary terms for the clothing industry. They described the sweatshirt as terry-looped.
I didn't pay any attention. I had this huge idea in my head that these will be the softest, coziest sweatshirts on the planet. The inside of this thing is going to feel like angel hairs next to your skin when you wear it. But boy was I wrong.
The box finally arrived with the first Alpaca sweatshirts, and I was like a kid on Christmas morning. I opened the box to put the first sweatshirt on and sport it around the house and show it off to Kylee. I will be the first to say that I was highly disappointed. Why did the inside of this sweatshirt not feel like angel hair? It was terry-looped. For those who don't know what that means, it feels like the inside of a sock or like a towel.
I immediately felt the weight of the purchase on my shoulders and the heat of my anxiety on my face. What have I done?! But I gathered myself and looked at the positives. They look great and it's just the first purchase. We can learn from it and change the next time.
I made my first sweatshirt sale out of the trunk of my beat up 2000 model 4Runner, and I was extremely nervous. This is the first impression I'll be making for something that I want to do for the rest of my life! And to my complete and utter shock, they didn't just like it. They absolutely loved it. It instantly became their favorite sweatshirt and told so many people about it. There were people messaging me about sweatshirts that had no idea what Alpaca was, but they just wanted the sweatshirt that their friend was raving about.
Why was it such a big deal? Because it was terry-looped. The very thing I thought people would hate is what they loved most. It was exactly what people had been searching for. Something timeless, something classy, something... unique. It wasn't too hot, it's perfect for layering, and the terry-looped interior is unbelievably comfortable and airy. The 50 that I bought went like hotcakes.
After doubting the terry-loop, I became a believer in the power of Terry, whoever he is, and his loop. So if you're a doubter of terry-loop, give it a shot. It may surprise you! The Basecamp sweatshirt could become your favorite too!
Written by: Keith Wilson