Look Ma! No Sewing!


The Girl Scouts have been a Lion Brothers client since 1914, but the relationship took an exciting turn two years ago and has been going gangbusters ever since. What took the business to a new level? Lion Brothers, a full-package designer and manufacturer of embroidered products, developed an iron-on adhesive product to allow Girl Scout patches to be easily attached to uniforms at home.

In a Girl Scout world full of troop insignia patches, accomplishment badges and hundreds of "fun" patches, the real over-achievers are often the moms who must scramble to sew on the patches, pay a tailor to do it, or, more commonly, rely on after-market adhesives that are not designed to hold patches onto uniforms, says Mickie Holden, Lion Brothers vice president of market development. The result is a lot of lost patches and unhappy girls. Plus, "moms just don't want to sew anymore," she adds.

Unlike most off-the-shelf products, Lion Brothers' adhesive is embedded into the back of the patch during manufacturing, before cutting. Launched to great fanfare at the October 2002 Girl Scout Convention (Lion Brothers even created instruction kits and 24-foot-tall banners for the event), the iron-on patches have seen a tremendous growth in demand, Holden reports.

Lion Brothers Co., founded in 1899, operates manufacturing facilities in Maryland and China, where it produces hundreds of thousands of Girl Scout patches annually.

JORDAN K. SPEER is senior editor of Apparel. She can be reached at [email protected]

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