The Encampment Company was started in 2015 by me, Mike Ranta, and my friend Matt. I had been riding trains for a while and finally landed in Wyoming and reconnected with old friends when the idea of making clothing struck me and I was off to the races. Matt has since gone on to work in a different industry and I have continued The Encampment Company out of love. I feel that I have made something really special because I have stuck to the one idea that we had when we founded the company: Be proud of everything we produce.
When the business was young it was hard to really understand what that meant. What are you proud of when it comes to fabric and thread? In time I realized that it was those little things, the small choices, that make all the difference. Whether its as small as paying a little more for a more sustainable button or deciding that you can’t choose a particular fabric because you don’t support the work standards of the country that it was produced in. The small things, buttons and thread, backed by big ideals.
I started learning to design men’s outerwear in 2015 and went through an unmentionable amount of patterns until I started to feel that I was on the right track. I used to joke that I named the first jacket I ever sold the “30-30” because it took 30 bad patterns and 30 good patterns to finally make one great jacket.
As I was developing patterns I was also acquiring all of the sewing machines needed to make a single product. I began by calling old upholstery shops in town and asking what they had laying around. After two years I had all of the machines needed, all back from the grave. Some are old and cool, some are just really old.
In 2019 The Encampment Company packed up all of its machines and moved shop to Phoenix, Arizona.
That about brings it up to date. I am truly proud of every square inch of fabric that comes out of my shop. I really am a small brand, just some guy named Mike cranking out an unreal amount of clothing. I hope to grow and have some more help one day but for now I am happy to be as dedicated as I can be to making great clothing.
-Mike Ranta, The Encampment Co.