As Chairman of The Oved Group, Isaac Oved is a highly successful New York businessman. But what motivated him?
“It’s simple,” he explains. “My father owned a menswear store when we were growing up. He worked seven days a week, 10 hours a day, and I just didn’t want to be a slave to a store, even though it gave us a comfortable life.”
So, knowing something about the apparel business, Isaac started out on the wholesale side as a salesman for a shirt company. “I started developing relationships with all the accounts, but I was eager to start my own business.”
Knowing nothing about importing, Isaac began as a one-man operation, buying and selling goods, and eventually traveling overseas to work with factories directly. “Our sales were $400,000 in our first year,” he recalls. Soon he got engaged (his wife was his first bookkeeper) and eventually his three younger brothers, David, Ronnie and Mike, joined him in the business.
“Working in a business with your brothers is great because it’s important to have partners you know and trust, who have the same goals, especially during challenging times. We’re in this together,” Isaac says.
“In apparel, IDB is the only bank we’ve ever used. We’ve been approached by others, but we’re not interested. The relationship with IDB is very strong.”
Today, the Oved Group is a multifaceted business with a long and successful history, now offering 20 different men’s and children’s apparel brands (some owned, some licensed), as well as a diverse real estate portfolio of 15 office and retail properties, mostly in the New York area.
Oved Apparel builds its own brands and provides category experience and brand development to its licensor partners, serving clients ranging from JC Penney and Costco to Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus. Oved Realty, a privately held company, is self-funded and invested in each of its properties.
“Over the years, we have stayed true to our core values of integrity and respect,” Isaac says. “And in the apparel business, we always delivered an exceptional product, in terms of quality and design, at a competitive price.”
Through it all, Isaac says, “IDB has always been creative in structuring our credit line and helping us with cash flow. Even in difficult times, they understand our business. We started working with IDB in 1981, and it’s been a great partnership ever since.”
With that kind of support, the Oved Group is poised to continue prospering for many years to come, especially with a younger Oved, Joseph, and other young managers working in the business.
“Our plan is to stick with what we do best, but life always comes up with new challenges and opportunities,” Isaac says. “And we’ll be ready.”