Glad to have you with us for another insightful instalment of ‘The Brands…’ edition of the 10@10.
Tonight’s post revolves around an American handmade leather goods company based in the heart of Indianapolis, @howlandhidesupply takes it’s turn in ‘The Brands…’ hot-seat.
Christian (Owner / Designer) has taken time out of an extremely busy schedule to give us an insight into what makes his brand tick and it’s all good stuff guys.
Tasking themselves to bring to life a trade that has been embedded in the history for centuries, using the tools of brain and hand they are not only surviving, but flourishing.
“The tradition of hand crafted goods is a dying force that is being revived by a limited number of individuals that are holding on by the passion they have for the lifestyle.”
MEET THE BRAND BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
NAME: Christian Resiak
POSITION: Owner / Designer
BRAND: Howl & Hide Supply Co.
LOCATION: Indianapolis, In
SIZE OF TEAM: 2; Myself and my apprentice
SPECIALITY/COMPANY FOCUS: Handcrafted leather goods
1. Straight forward, please tell us, how did your company Howl & Hide Supply Co. start out? (For people that don’t already know)
While making a very rare appearance at the mall with my fiancé I saw a leather tote breaking at the seams on a shelf. I won’t name the store but I felt it was super dishonest to offer a bag, made from one of the oldest materials being leather, at the price that they were. I looked at my better half and simply said, “I could make that”. What started as a tote turned into an obsession. I bought every leather jacket at every vintage shop and began teaching myself how to hand stitch. While I know now the different types, weights, and cuts of leather it was that time when I knew nothing about the craft that the technique of traditional leather working was formed.
2. Tell us. What does a day in the life of yourself look like? What’s your daily work routine?
Hectic, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. This is a two man operation so I have a ridged weekly schedule. My main office day is Monday where I answer emails, tidy up the website, run errands, and pretty much do everything business related. Through growth I always wanted to keep all of our items 100% hand stitched so we have a production line throughout the week. We can knock out roughly 10 bags and 20 wallets in 7 days. We do prep work first, for example, cutting out products and punching holes, then piecing together everything. Fridays are pulling everything together and conditioning the finished product. I’m midwest born and raised where the appearance of folks and the products they buy are very much different then coastal larger cities. Getting my name out there has been the biggest obstacle so we have focused in the quality of the products to speak for themselves.
3. What are your top 3 bestselling items? And why do you think this is?
Hands down the first three items we produced. The Booker’s Rucksack, The Jefferson Messenger, and The Daniels Bifold wallet. I think the classic look and style really impact the way a guy shops. Being staples in our line these items have always been a go to for our customers. I’m a no frills kinda guy and love items that are simplistic, timeless and classic which resonates in the collection. We launched ladies at the beginning of this year and our market took such a rapid turn where guys who are buying bags now have a christmas present for their lady creating a true one stop shop in terms of buying accessories.
4. What’s your personal favourite garment when it comes to the items you manufacture?
I’ve carried one of my first rucksacks every day and it will always be my favorite. Its a big bag but has a slim look. The roll top is awesome and I made it because there was nothing on the market like it.
5. What are your thoughts on the rise of Instagram fashion and the chaps that post their clothing on there to help spread the word of their fave brands?
This is a great question. I love seeing dudes represent small based clothing manufacturers. We lost so many jobs in terms of the garment manufacturing industry and its on the rise because of the advocates for well made goods made here domestically. I also think this was a push for higher quality standards producing internationally as well. Some might think that these influencers are doing it for followers or likes but there is a much larger picture and I can not wait to see more individuals voicing and showing their favorite wears!
6. Has it made an impact on your business at all, do you think?
Tremendously. Long gone are the times when a customer shops at big boxed retailers. Everyone loves a story and every brand has one. Its awesome that folks can get on IG and see what products look like on an actual person. Its a connection you can’t find in an old Sears catalog. It has driven a sense of community where you can ask questions about what you are buying that you couldn’t ask before. People are buying smarter because of IG and not wasting their money on mediocre products.
7. Is there any feeds on IG that you particularly like to check-in on regular. What brands are you fond of on there? What menswear feeds to you like to peruse?
Besides checking in on @clobbercalm some of my favorites are @refueledmagazine, stoked for these guys and the magazine, @brandonburkphotography kills it with his awesome content, and finally @havstadhatco, such amazing products.
8. A quick one about you. Other than the business, what passions do you have in life? What flicks your switch and helps you relax?
Its funny when I decided to take a leap and start my own company I never thought I would have worked so hard but its super rewarding so hours are long. I love jamming on my motorcycle with my buds and really just being around other likeminded individuals. Indianapolis has become such a killer city and I love being out and about.
9. What do you consider to be the best thing about your business and why?
Our new program, Project American Made. I knew starting Howl & Hide Supply Co. that I wanted to keep everything true and hand stitched. Knowing that I wanted to create a program to help in production but that gives back to our community. We are starting monthly workshops hosting disabled veterans teaching them how to work with leather as a means of occupational therapy. The goal is for them to comfortably transition from soldier to civilian. After every workshop the vets will have the choice to keep what they made for themselves of we can sell them for them and they will receive a portion of the profits. I always have had a soft spot for those who serve our country and I needed to help in any way. From the workshops we are looking for a few individuals to work for us stitching all of our wallets.
10. And Lucky Last, You’re going to be stranded on a desert island and you can take 1 outfit (4 items) only with you. And 1 choice of drink.
What would they be? And Why?
1. My Red Wing Iron Rangers. Ive had them for like 5 years now and they have become a second skin.
2. My signature trucker hat. I have so many but I wear them everyday.
3. Levis Made & Crafted denim because I’ve worked super hard to get them to look good.
4. Freenote Heavy Gauge Pocket Tee. Again, I have a ton of them and they have become kind of a uniform for me.
Drink: Woodford Reserve 1838 Style White Corn, no ice. They use a honey elixir and its triple distilled making it super tasty.
Strong Christian bro! The ‘Project American Made’ obviously speaks for itself, really good thing you’re doing there. Plus the Woodford Reserve Double Oak is one of my favourite bourbons so I’d happily join you in toasting our safe arrival on the “island” with a nip of the 1838, sounds so sweet! Thanks again for your time.
This week’s ‘The Men…’ feature we have Evan aka @evanholahan in the 10@10 chair. Menswear. Motorcycles. American-Made Goods. That’s a few of the keywords in Evan’s bio on IG and with brands, on brands, on brands that we all love to wear/see/talk about it’s a clear choice to tune in at 10pm Thursday!
Have a tip top week folks and stay close, below is a few things listed FYI…
1). There’s new product on the CLOBBERCALM STORE. Stay tuned, the independent craftsmen & woman that make our product are the real deal.
2). @threads.and.fades.2017 is starting to pick up steam so bob over and check it out.