Bristol business finds new customers while staying true to tradition

Published: Apr. 14, 2023 at 5:27 PM EDT
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BRISTOL, Va. (WDBJ) - Thursday, our tour of downtown Bristol took us to L.C. King Manufacturing, a family-owned company that’s been making work clothes in the same factory for more than one hundred years.

If you visit L.C. King Manufacturing in downtown Bristol, don’t be surprised to find Jack King on the factory floor attaching buttons to the company’s five-pocket jeans. He’s the fourth generation of his family to lead the company

“We are a part of Americana. We are the last family-owned textile mill making their own brand. Nobody makes their own brand any more. We’re the last ones.”

It’s also one of the few companies with a product line that’s 100% American-made. Fabric, thread and zippers come from Georgia. Buttons from Kentucky. Other materials are from Texas, Massachusetts and New York.

Jason O’Dell believed in the brand, before a career change brought him to the Bristol factory.

“And so it’s been an amazing journey - of the heart - is really what this is all about.”

The brand is known for its durability and comfort

“One of our bestsellers now is this olive duck, five-pocket jean; it’s really beautiful here,” said King.

The clothes are popular with traditional customers and trendsetters, even finding favor in Japan. Still, King describes the company and its clothes as a little secret made in Tennessee.

“You know we’ve been here 110 years. Most people watching this right now, don’t even know we exist. And you know what; that’s okay. We just let the garment tell the story of who we are.”