Grace created dozens of uniform variations in his home — screening and pressing up to 300 shirts, daily, he said. His company, Designs by Marty Grace, offers navy blue polo shirts with “USPS” and “United States Postal Service” emblazoned in all caps across the front, along with tees that incorporate the eagle head logo and tops that identify employees’ position within the service. The back of the shirts showcase the link www.USPS.com to the company’s website.
Said Grace: “I wouldn’t be doing this if the demand wasn’t there. For the customers, the motto is, ‘When you look good, you feel good about the job that you do.’”
Although the employees get a uniform allowance, buyers purchase the exclusive gear online or out of Grace’s mobile store with their own money.
Grace said he, “trusted God, took a leap of faith” and resigned from his Brooklyn post office in 2007 to work full-time on his clothing business. Employees at the Brevoort Station were wearing MG, which piqued the interest of other postal workers in the borough, Grace added.
The agency-assigned light blue button-ups worn by letter carriers are standard uniforms for USPS employees, workers said. Many clerks and mail carriers said they prefer to spend their own money on Grace’s gear, even though supervisors can take action because they are out of uniform.
“The shirts they make us buy are outdated and uncomfortable,” said Mevy Valentino, a Staten Island letter carrier. “I saw a couple of carriers from Brooklyn with Marty’s stuff, and I brought it to my station. They’re modern, and I’ve gotten nothing but compliments on the road from customers. It just feels good.”
Bobbi Haden, a postmaster in Strafford, Mo., said that while her employees are not required to wear uniforms, her 10 workers prefer to wear MG to make them identifiable.
There are currently 185 vendors authorized to sell postal uniforms. When needed, the Postal Service will issue an online solicitation for vendors. Grace contacted the agency in January about selling his wares there, and was advised that USPS, which has not recruited new vendors in a few years, was not accepting new vendors at the time.
Despite being unable to work directly with USPS under their Uniform Program, Grace continues to sell his gear independently, and has expanded his gear to include USPS sneakers, hoodies, sweaters, hats, and cargo shorts in a variety of styles and colors.
While Grace said that it would be a great opportunity for all postal workers to be exposed to the comfort and durability of his brand, he’s content with having created the happy customers that he has, and will continue to create apparel that makes people look and feel good about doing their jobs. “Everybody’s buying my stuff,” Grace said. “I’m not going to give up, I’m too deep in it.