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Franklin businessman, NASCAR legend invests in Brentwood business that sells American-made clothing


Franklin businessman, NASCAR legend invests in Brentwood business that sells American-made clothing

PHOTO: Darrell Waltrip and Dean Wegner, founder of Authentically American. / Photo courtesy of Authentically American

By MATT BLOIS

A Franklin businessman, who is also a hall of fame NASCAR driver, has invested in a Brentwood business that sells American-made clothing.

According to a press release, Darrell Waltrip said he invested in the clothing brand Authentically American because it aligned with his values.

The Brentwood based company only sells American-made clothing. Small businesses, universities and Fortune 500 companies buy clothes from the company with their branding on it.

That could include polo shirts with a simple company logo, or an athletic jersey for a university. Dean Wegner, the company’s founder, said he started the company about 18 months ago.

Wegner said he wants to create a brand that rivals Nike or Under Armor, except everything will be made in America.

“That vintage U.S. flag logo, that’s the equivalent of our Nike swoosh,” he said.

Wegner said right now the business is relatively small. They have about 100 clients. But he thinks that customers are looking for a product that is made in America. He said most of the company’s clients are company’s that share similar values.

“Your story, your values, everything you guys stand for at Authentically American aligns better with who we are,” Wegner said, describing why customers choose his business.

He met Waltrip, who owns several car dealerships in Franklin, through a mutual friend. In a tweet, Waltrip said that he was excited about the new company.

Wegner said the biggest challenge for the business is spreading the word. Nike and Under Armor are already ubiquitous, but many businesses haven’t heard about Authentically American. 

Over the next six to 12 months, Wegner plans to launch a focused social media and marketing campaign to raise the company’s profile.

Once businesses know about the company, Wegner is confident they’ll choose American-made clothing for their company apparel.

“We’re a niche right now,” he said. “We have big dreams and aspirations.”

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