10 questions with Craberdashery NOLA Apparel
What started as a simple wedding gift turned into a multi-generational brand in the hands of Paul Miguez, founder of Craberdashery NOLA Apparel. After blending “crab culture” from northern Maryland and south Louisiana to create a specialty baseball cap for a 2013 wedding on a golf course, Miguez realized he had a hit on his hands—and thus his brand of T-shirts, hats and polos began.
As he comes up on nearly a decade of business, we asked Miguez to let us in on the experience and vision behind Craberdashery. Check out his answers below:
1. What inspired you to create Craberdashery?
I have been in the men’s apparel business for more than 40 years as a clothing salesman. Designing my own clothing line was always one of my ambitions. In 2009, I used my experience in the industry and founded my company, NOLA Apparel. We designed corporate logos for businesses and also supplied wholesale goods for Mardi Gras krewes.
In 2013, a friend requested a specialty hat as a gift for his son’s wedding party. The wedding was held in Maryland. When designing the hat, I decided to merge Maryland and Louisiana’s love for crabs, and the blue crab logo was born. By combining the traditional apparel of a haberdashery with the blue crab flair, Craberdashery’s distinctive logo and name were born.
3. What sets Craberdashery apart?
Craberdashery combines traditional Southern apparel with a simple-but-unique design inspired by the Louisiana blue crab. Whether it’s gameday, a night out or a family gathering, our collection of shirts and accessories will keep you looking your best.
4. What is one thing you think customers should know about Craberdashery that they may not be aware of?
Craberdashery is a locally owned Baton Rouge business. It is also a multi-generational business since my grandson, Brandon Miguez, has joined us in this exciting journey. Brandon designs our T-shirt line, which has expanded our marketability.
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5. What is your professional background? How did you get into the retail field?
I have represented men’s clothing lines for several companies, including Wembley Industries, Nautica Sportswear, Cutter & Buck and Alex Cannon Sportswear. While working with their design teams, I gained experience in the design aspects of the business.
Craberdashery opened in 2013 and at that time was sold in one men’s clothing store. The line can now be found at both of The Royal Standard stores in Baton Rouge and Grandmother’s Buttons in St. Francisville. We also have our website. Providing our customers with quality local apparel is our goal and our success has been above our expectations.
7. What can we expect to see from Craberdashery in the future?
Craberdashery will be expanding to five additional stores in 2022. We are also expanding our shipping to the East Coast and down to Florida.
We do this by visiting the stores on a weekly basis to check inventory levels and replenish merchandise as needed. Should any special needs arise, the stores contact me personally.
9. How has the brand grown since its launch?
Craberdashery has grown from the hat that was designed for the golf outing to the collection we have today. The initial hat design was not intended to be in the marketplace. It was that design that inspired me to go forward with the Craberdashery line. We are now in five boutiques and will grow to another five locations in 2022.
10. Where do you seek your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from designing a line where people tell me how unique the logo is and how much they love it. I am also inspired by how well Craberdashery is performing in stores.