Manufacturing is sexy. Sounds crazy? Just wait! Every Thursday, Z Holly takes us on a behind-the-scenes look at how people who make stuff are trying to ‘make it’ in their industries. Get a sneak peek inside these risk-takers’ factories and studios — and most of all, their minds. If you’ve ever wondered how to build a brand, a business, or just a better mousetrap, tune in and enjoy. (More: http://makeitinla.org/artofmfg)

Julio Ruiz: LiquidSky Sports

May 17, 201859 min
A skydiver with an unusual past shares how his business delivers custom apparel for action athletes and Hollywood by adopting new digital design and manufacturing technologies. Julio Ruiz had a career in Puerto Rico shoeing horses and inseminating cows before he decided to become a manufacturer. It was Julio’s passion in skydiving and mad skills in graphic design that gave him the idea to start his action sports apparel company, LiquidSky. LiquidSky specializes in custom apparel, and I was curious how he minimizes the lead times behind making custom gear when he’s such a small business with uneven demand. I also wanted to learn what kind of technologies Julio uses to make customization easier, like computer aided pattern-making and digital manufacturing, and how a small business like his makes the decision how to adopt these technologies. We also hear some fun stories about working with some big-name celebrities and some of my skydiving heroes. LiquidSky is definitely not a typical apparel company. For more information, photos, and links, check out the show notes at http://makeitinla.org/julioruiz.