The Premier, One Stop Solution for American-Made Merchandise
Christl Mahfouz founded Ace Specialties in 2007 with one client, one product and one HUGE American Dream. Based in Lafayette, Louisiana, a major oil and gas industry hub, the company launched with branded work gloves for local oil field workers until a few months later, a chance encounter at a local restaurant led to a meeting with top executives at Anadarko Petroleum in Houston. She pitched her product and left that meeting with a contract to provide work uniforms to the company’s oil field clients.
Applying technical knowledge gained in college, Mahfouz created a web portal that allowed offshore employees to order branded work gear online. This transformed the company into a one-stop shop for workwear, safety gear and uniforms.
As its client roster swiftly grew, Ace expanded its offerings to include other branded items for their corporate offices, including shirts, pens, and hats.
In 2015, the oil and gas industry—Ace’s core client base—plummeted, hitting Lafayette especially hard. Mahfouz hit a point where she couldn’t pay her bills, and made some difficult decisions: maxing out credit cards and taking out high-interest loans. Struggling to make payroll, she was forced to lay off staff.
Mahfouz says she turned to God and began to pray for a solution. A few months later, she saw Donald Trump on television and conceived a new direction for her company. She called her coworker saying, “I know what we’re supposed to do.” Mahfouz and her coworker sent design ideas overnight to Trump Tower. She received an immediate email response inviting her team to New York to pitch to the campaign. Mahfouz sourced every U.S.-made product she could find, including t-shirts, drinkware, and of course, hats.
Once again, Mahfouz found herself staring up at a skyscraper, ready to make a career-defining pitch. The campaign team was immediately drawn to the display table, trying on the promotional materials Ace Specialties prepared. When Mahfouz pitched the company’s “one- stop shop” branding services for the campaign, staffers called in Mr. Trump to view the merchandise. That’s when the idea for the Make America Great Again hat was born.
“We’ve built the most iconic brand in political history,” Mahfouz says. “It doesn’t matter where you go in the world—the red hat—everyone knows it.”
While business has pivoted since the 2020 election cycle, ACE continues to grow its print-on-demand and decoration capabilities, while also building a hefty stockpile of blank USA-Made goods. In addition to producing and shipping print-on-demand products to supporters across the U.S., ACE is proud to supply candidates across the country with the bulk collateral needed to succeed in the midterm elections this year.