Kitsbow is Making Mountain Bike Apparel in the USA With Lean Manufacturing [Podcast #289]

David Billstrom is the CEO of Kitsbow, a North Carolina based cycling apparel company known for producing high-quality products. The company utilizes a made-to-order model for many of the items in their catalog to reduce waste, cut lead times, and support the local economy.

In this episode we ask:

  • What is lean manufacturing? How does it work specifically for an apparel company like Kitsbow?
  • How significant are transportation costs associated with manufacturing your products overseas?
  • Has it been difficult to find manufacturing workers in Old Fort, North Carolina? Is hiring a bottleneck in terms of expanding domestic production?
  • How much waste is due to forecasting errors on sizing, styles, etc.? Does lean manufacturing eliminate most of this?
  • What are some of the things you’ve learned from your customers or been able to improve about your products?
  • What does the future of cycling apparel look like for Kitsbow?

This episode is sponsored by Explore Brevard.

Picture yourself in the middle of 100,000 acres of public lands and over 300 shredable miles of single track. A place often referred to as one of the top mountain biking towns in the country. Brevard, North Carolina has countless epic adventures for every kind of rider on tap. Whether you love rocky, rooty technical lines in Pisgah, or flowy lines in Dupont State Recreational Forest, or something in-between – Brevard has it all…in spades. Come discover the place often referred to as the Cycling Capital of the South. Start planning your trip at

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