St. Clair Suspender Co.

... is a company inspired by the practical, utilitarian vision of Gary & Nancy Schleuter. These two know suspenders.  stclair4

Talk about the beginnings of your business. What inspired you begin this endeavor? Well, we all know that necessity is the mother of invention and that is totally how the St. Clair Suspender Company was born.

Let me tell you a bit about me. I am a retired guy that has worn suspenders for decades. I was not wearing them for the fun of it – I simply needed them. However, I was not happy with the fit or with the metal clips that seemed to always unclip at the most unhandy times. The clips also had a tendency to rip up upholstery, both in the house and in my vehicles.

I decided to redesign suspenders so that they would be comfortable, adjustable, durable, and most importantly – snag proof. After many prototypes, I feel that I have finally managed to develop suspenders that meet all of my design requirements and will accommodate any body shape or size.

There is no metal whatsoever so they are travel-safe, no setting off a metal detector. Made from the highest quality polyester, which means they are soft yet durable. In addition, they can be machine washed and line dried.

My wife and I build all of the suspenders here in our pet-free, smoke-free home. We send them to you via USPS priority mail. Have any questions? Give me a call at 507-720-5254, I’d be glad to talk with you.


How has your business evolved? How have you evolved? Initially we attended arts and crafts fairs as a way to show the suspenders to the public. That was fine, but we soon found out that those types of shows are attended mainly by women, who unfortunately don't tend to be suspender buyers. We have since switched to a combination of online sales and attendance at gun and knife shows. The gun and knife shows are well attended by just the demographic we are looking to serve - primarily men, with an active interest in outdoor recreation. From hunters to hikers, there's always some fellow needing a little help keeping his britches in place.


How are your suspenders different? Our suspenders are different from others on the market because ours are designed to loop around the wearer's belt.  The combination of suspenders and belt at the same time allows the belt to be worn more loosely and comfortably. They are metal-free and clip-free. Because they are a custom fit, even the need for elastic is eliminated.


Why is local important to you? Local is important because by purchasing items produced locally a ripple effect starts to take place. The local economy is bolstered, which creates greater opportunity for more entrepreneurial input, which broadens and strengthens our communities overall.


What do you see for the future of your business? We see a nice steady growth through our online and trade show presence. 


Do you feel like making and creating through St. Clair Suspender Co. allows you to contribute to something larger than yourself? Yes. We feel strongly that by owning our own small business we are better able to control our working schedules. That flexibility allows us greater opportunity to care for our extended family members and to participate in community events.

Santa and Mrs. 2015

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