This week's Hometown Business Connection features a Mankato company that stitches together forward thinking fashion and business techniques while adding to the fabric of our community. In partnership with Connect Business Magazine, Lisa Cownie brings us the story of F-X Fusion.

Today, F/X Fusion designs and manufactures a wide variety of men's and women's apparel to sell directly to retailers. But all of this started with neck ties.

Randy Appel, Owner and President of the company says, "I had worked for other companies since 1989. I was a Sales Manager and a Vice President and decided in 2001 to take the plunge on my own. I saw a need and felt we could have fun doing it. We do the whole process, design, manufacture, sales, everything!"
It has been fun and successful for Randy Appel and his daughter Karissa Baukol, who started working in the family business while an accounting student at MSU, joining the company full time in 2006.

Karissa says, "with a small business everyone gets to do everything." Small, but making a big impact on our community. In 2012 Randy and Karissa purchased long time Mankato business, Graif Clothing. Randy says, "It made a lot of sense and there was synergy between the two companies. We can take our product into the store that we manufacture."
Originally located in downtown Mankato, the duo decided to move the business to Riverfront Drive in 2015. Karissa says, "Our lease was up and they were doing all the renovations to the Civic Center downtown, parking was tight, so we decided if we were going to do something, now's the time." And it's time again to take action as F/X Fusion is outgrowing its facility on Webster Avenue. Randy says, "We have a great team that has allowed us to grow. We are growing even more, expanding the building here. We made a deal with the city of Mankato to buy the lot next door. Good things coming the future also."
For Hometown Business Connection, I'm Lisa Cownie.