Southeastern Performance Apparel was born unexpectedly - but appropriately - during a choral performance. One evening in 1980, J. E. Saliba attended a local high school chorus program. He noticed the performers’ garments and casually asked about them later. The question brought J.E.’s attention to the numerous challenges that music educators and directors have outfitting their ensembles, especially when they want to focus on teaching, not sourcing apparel. J.E. determined there was a gap here that he could fill with his experience and resources in retail clothing.
Two years later, J.E. was on the road with a selection of dress samples, visiting school chorus and orchestra directors throughout Alabama to see how he could help. By the end of that first official year, we had developed apparel relationships with twenty schools. And by 1983, we had expanded into Georgia and Mississippi as well with further plans for outreach. This year also brought Jim Paxton, one of J.E.’s good friends, to our company. Jim began his career as a music educator, and as such was able to bring a special insight to our customer relations.
Over the past two decades, our offerings have grown from these humble beginnings to include design, fabrication, manufacturing, fulfillment, customer support, and more. We began with dresses and now offer full lines of Concert Dresses, Show Choir Dresses , Menswear, and Accessories. And now, Southeastern Performance Apparel is proud to be the largest supplier of performance garments for groups in the United States, with additional customers across Europe and Asia.
Innovation has certainly been a theme for us these last 20 years. In fact, we actually coined the phrase “performance apparel”! Proprietary software built and maintained by an onsite team displays real-time shipping and order status, inventory levels, accounting information, and reporting, enhancing the ordering and fulfillment experience for our customers. Improvements in quality control – both of materials received and products shipped – ensure our customers get the best apparel possible. And last year, we introduced three new dresses in eco-friendly poly knit, made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. The dresses are stunning and sustainable, helping us to serve as good stewards of the environment
But many things have not changed since 1980. Our roots are in music performance, and that’s still our primary focus. We were founded to provide apparel solutions for the music educator and performance groups, and we continue to dedicate ourselves to this purpose. Further, we are still driven by the intimate sense of family and tight internal teamwork with which we began.
It would be a pleasure to support the needs of your performance group with our experience, industry leadership, innovation, and quality.
Call us at 1-800-821-8270 to learn more – we look forward to getting to know you!