From Designer to Businessman: Forager Company

Bryan Norris started Forager Company  in 2015 to provide handmade small batch clothing and leather goods located in Lancaster. Forager Company located in Lancaster PA, designs and produces utilitarian products while incorporating foraged vintage and historic textiles, old stock denim, and salvaged leather. The company brings the values and artisanship of Mennonite and Amish artisans from central Pennsylvania to consumers worldwide. 

“When I approached the Wharton SBDC for assistance in 2014, I was a designer without business experience.” He participated in the full sequence of Business Building workshops culminating with Strategic Business Planning and receiving counselling from instructor John McAdam in late 2014.  “Getting to present my project at the end of class was a positive experience that I needed to take the next steps in actually starting my business. It was the first time I thought about my business seriously and as having true potential.  The experience added to my knowledge and also to my self-esteem as a new businessman.”

The Forager Company team in 2016 continues to create part-time employment in business, production, and sales operations including a graphic designer, administrative assistant, photographer, and a team for sewing and leatherwork.  The company also has a sales representative in Scandinavia who works on consignment. Mennonite and Amish artisans provide skill, integrity and spirit, turning Forager’s ideas and finds into unique and functional pieces. A family that has been sewing for generations makes Forager’s clothing. An Amish harness shop produces leather goods lead by an artisan who has been at his trade for over thirty years.

Most exciting is the way in which this business is coming together and demonstrating the potential for growth.