Tony Ambroza and the Maker Movement arrived at the Dearborn, Mich., offices of Carhartt about the same time four years ago. With stints at Nike and Under Armour under his belt, Ambroza decided to welcome young craftsmakers, artisans and Brooklyn hipsters to the Carhartt brand, known for sturdy canvas work clothes. The svp of marketing–the brand’s top marketing post–obviously relates to makers “with blue-collar DNA” who create things with their hands instead of an app.
At the same time, Carhartt, with $600 million in revenue, has to keep close to its core consumers–carpenters, electricians and tradesmen. It’s a delicate balance for Ambroza, taking him on a marketing road trip across the Midwest last month that ended at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. We rang him up to see how it’s going.