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We are so excited to announce the launch of our new website! Make sure to check it out 🙂


New Year, New School House

Ok, we’re reeling a bit from an amazing day yesterday. After our CEO and COO unveiled our 2012 collection to Barnes & Noble College (and received rave reviews!), we’re so excited to share our Fall line with you over the next couple of weeks.

The inspiration for this collection spurred out of many amazing conversations and months of soul searching. But in the end, we decided to let our mantra, American Collegiate Craftsmanship, lead the way. Our amazing designer, Emily, alongside Rachel and Susan put together a set of trend boards and hand-crafted designs (literally, she sketches amazing things for us just in her free time!) that are so truly special. Today, I just have to share a snippet of what we’re talking about, so without ado, here’s our inspiration – enjoy!

When I first met Charles Carroll, I could hardly believe there were still people making sweaters in the United States.  Like most young people in my generation, the labels in my closet are like sashes in a Miss Universe pageant: Mexico, China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Jordan.  Charles, however, has spent the past forty years making clothing in America, and, as I soon discovered, had more than a thing or two to teach us about making garments the old fashioned way.

School House’s fall 2012 collection features the very best collegiate fashion our team has created with our local factory partners.  What started as an effort to bring our t-shirt and hoodie line from Sri Lanka to the United States, evolved into a soul-searching opportunity to elevate our entire brand.  Our mantra—American Collegiate Craftsmanship—speaks to the journey we’ve been on and the products we believe in.

Here, you’ll find oxford shirts crafted in a historic factory in Garland, North Carolina, updated for the college girl of 2012, as well as covetable, cozy knits made by a worker-owned sewing cooperative in the Appalachains.  We even branched into accessories this season, bringing American made school spirit tights and a chunky, irresistable infinity scarf to the line.  Our favorite pieces, however, are Charles’ sweaters—the perfect pairing of our team’s trademark collegiate fashion sense with his old school approach to quality and construction.  The result?  A collection that’s both youthful and classic, modern and vintage, rooted in the legacy of American manufacturing but inspired by 21stcentury fashion.  We hope you love it.

Thank you, as always, for shopping School House!



Bringing Production back to America

Boston Consulting Group recently published a study titled “Made in America, Again: Why Manufacturing Will Return to the U.S.” In it, authors Harold L. Sirkin, Michael Zinser, and Douglas Hohner draw the conclusion that “rising Chinese wages, higher U.S. productivity, a weaker dollar, and other factors will virtually close the gap between the U.S. and China for many goods consumed in North America.” The implications? The U.S. is, once again, becoming an attractive option for manufacturing.

Made in America

As a company that prides ourself on our Made in America story, frankly we’re glad to see such conclusions drawn. At the same time, we understand that many companies that put the bottom line above all else may instead just shift production from China to other low cost countries. However, as Sirkin et al point out, “these nations’ ability to absorb the higher-end manufacturing that would otherwise go to China will be limited by inadequate infrastructure, skilled workers, scale and domestic supply networks, as well as by political and intellectual property risks. Low worker productivity, corruption, and the risk to personal safety are added concerns in some countries.”

The point these authors are making is that not only has American manufacturing not met its demise, as predicted, but the U.S. is in fact becoming an “increasingly attractive option, especially for products consumed in North America.”

We at School House couldn’t agree more, and we are proud to say we are part of that trend bringing production back to America.

We’ve Won a SCORE Award (!)

Not to brag or self promote here, but we simply cannot resist telling you about our recent SCORE win. Here’s why: Because of YOU (our faithful clients, customers, supporters) we were nominated and won Outstanding Woman-Owned Small Business Award of the year. Our CEO/Founder, Rachel Weeks, will be receiving the prestigious award at a ceremony on Sept. 15th in Washington, DC.

Here’s what SCORE CEO Ken Yancey had to say about the award:

“The SCORE Awards celebrates and honors successful and innovative entrepreneurs who inspire us all and the small business advocates who support entrepreneurship in America.” Yancey adds, “As the economy works to recover from recession, these small business successes represent America’s success through innovation and job growth.”

You can read the full press release here: School House, Outstanding Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year

Thanks for your support – this means so much to us!