In 1848, San Francisco exploded – it went from a sleepy, little village to a boomtown, overnight.
Gold was discovered and men from all over the world came to San Francisco Bay and traversed to the famous gold mines to make their fortunes.
It was a rough and tumble, rowdy time.
Shopkeepers and rooming houses were making a killing and quickly building store, cafes, and hotels.
Far, far away, in a small cow-town called Stockton, a beautiful young women, Long Ng, heard the news of the overnight explosion and the thousands of men who were landing in San Francisco bay each week. An exquisite seamstress, and and entrepreneurial business woman, she bravely hired a buggy, paid the driver with clothes for his six children and set off for the City.
As legend has it, she noticed men arriving in lightweight pants, which were worn and torn in no time. She bought yards of cotton, sailcloth, denim and created much needed rugged pants for the droves of men arriving, each day.
Long Ng set up the first clothing factory in San Francisco. Denim was her most successful fabric and the radical factory was the first female-owned, first company to sell denim work pants to the gold miners.
Some nefarious guy name Levi waltzed in one day and stole her idea. Not to be undone, she started a men’s clothing store on a lane called Grant Street. Men from the gold fields spent money like water. Then she built two hotels and restaurants. The high demand for clothing inspired her to build an emporium where she sold clothes, household and supplies. She opened six more stores in two years.
And the rest is history.