Monona Area Business Spotlight: Epic Wear

Error message

  • Warning: array_merge(): Expected parameter 1 to be an array, bool given in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 133 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Notice: Trying to get property 'settings' of non-object in _simpleads_adgroup_settings() (line 343 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Warning: array_merge(): Expected parameter 1 to be an array, bool given in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 157 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in include() (line 24 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/templates/simpleads_ajax_call.tpl.php).

Mandy and Tyler Halverson, pictured with their children Harper, Havanna, Hadalyn and Huxley, are the owners of Epic Wear. (Submitted photos)

Epic Wear started in Waukon and, in 2018, opened a second location on Center Street, in downtown Monona.

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


Epic Wear has been offering custom apparel, promotional products, trophies and awards since opening in Waukon a decade ago. The business launched a second location in downtown Monona in 2018.


The move, which owner Mandy Halverson said has been well received, has helped Epic Wear offer even more to the surrounding communities.


“In Waukon, on our sales floor, we were carrying Waukon, Monona, Postville and St. Patrick’s Catholic School. But we only had limited space to put all that out, and we wanted to be able to offer more—toddler and infant sizes all the way up to 3X, plus all the accessories,” recalled Halverson, who operates Epic Wear with husband Tyler.


“We had talked about opening other locations but didn’t know where. Then this building came up for sale,” she said. “We found people liked to be able to go to a certain spot to see the apparel, try stuff on, talk to somebody face to face.”


Halverson said T-shirts remain one of Epic Wear’s most popular items, but hats, can koozies and drink tumblers are also high in demand. Stuffed animal “Cubbies,” which can have names, dates and other information embroidered onto their stomachs, make for special gifts.


Epic Wear has even created its own branded line, Epic Iowa Threads. Apparel features a shape of the state of Iowa along with words like home and love, as well as  agricultural images of corn, pigs, cows and chickens.


“We wanted to capitalize on everything that’s in the area. I have some in the works for a horse, deer and turkey,” Halverson said. “We sell those in both locations and also wholesale to a few boutiques in Iowa. That’s done very well.”


Epic Wear can customize items through screen printing, embroidery, dye sublimation and, now, laser engraving.


“When we first started in 2012, we only did screen print and embroidery,” Halverson said. “Then we had people wanting personalization on items, like last names on the back of a shirt or jersey.” After originally outsourcing products, the couple added heat transfer vinyl as an option. 


“Then people were asking to put photos on stuff—a coffee mug, apparel, cutting boards, dish towels. So we added that,” Halverson shared.


Dye sublimation allows Epic Wear to take any color image and put it on a product. The process fuses the image into the material, making it more resistant to scratches, cracks and fading. 


Quilt squares have been one of the most popular, and unique, options.


“A lot of grandmas are making their grandkids blankets, and the kids don’t want to cut up their T-shirts, so grandma brings me pictures of T-shirts, I recreate it and make it into the quilt square size they need,” Halverson explained. “They can also bring me sports pictures, family photos, any type of photo. Then they have long lasting memorabilia.”


According to Halverson, Epic Wear tracks customer requests and trends, adding new services when demand grows large enough. Last year, with a demand for etching and customized leather patches for hats, the business began offering laser engraving.


The machine works with wood, leather, acrylic, glass, powder coated metal and rubber. Projects have included personalized basketballs, picture frames and cake pan lids. Tumblers are also common.


“We have our own brand we use, but if someone brings in a tumbler, I can etch on that as well,” Halverson said. 


“Then I also do a lot of leather patches for hats or apparel, which I then sew on,” she added.


All Epic Wear production takes place in Waukon. Halverson said the business can take images and suggestions from customers to create designs, but an in-house graphic designer is also available. They pride themselves on being friendly, easy to work with and accommodating. 


“We like to put out good product, and we try to get everything out as soon as possible,” Halverson said.


Although paper copies are still available, Epic Wear’s online store, which it launched in 2018, is a helpful ordering option.


“It’s easier for teams and clubs. They can give all the parents a link, they can click on it and order their stuff, and then it’s categorized on our back end so nothing gets missed. All the money is collected up front,” Halverson noted.


As word spreads about Epic Wear, Halverson hopes additional people will consider giving the business a try.


“We enjoy bringing people’s ideas to life,” she said. “People come in with something in mind and we’re able to produce that for them to wear it, use it or give to other people. That’s fun.”


This business spotlight is supported by Monona Chamber and Economic Development, Inc. 

Rate this article: 
No votes yet