In October, Forbes.com reported that business was booming at Aspetto, makers of attractive bullet-resistant clothes and tactical gear. The company, started at UMW by Abbas Haider ’12 and Rob Davis ’12, expected revenue to reach more than $12 million in 2020 despite the pandemic, the magazine said.
2021 looks even better. Revenue is projected to pass $25 million because of multimillion-dollar deals to make tactical gear for Air Force women, armored vests for Homeland Security, ballistic shields for the Internal Revenue Service, stab vests for the Bureau of Prisons, and more.
The Fredericksburg-based business has adapted and grown from its early days of making bespoke clothing, innovating while meeting customer needs – and always being fashionable. Haider told Forbes that after winning the bid for Air-Force female-specific gear, he started getting inquiries from other nations, including the Netherlands and Australia.
Haider told the magazine Aspetto’s next move is cybersecurity, with its acquisition of a small company in that area. “The goal is to continue doing innovative stuff on the armor side and diversify.”
Haider and Davis have rebuffed all venture funding and the attention of larger companies. From the beginning, they’ve innovated into areas that are new to them, Haider said. “We don’t have master’s [degrees] from top business schools, but that’s how we’re learning.”
See Fall/Winter 2017 UMW Magazine’s Tailored for Protection to learn more about Aspetto’s roots at UMW.