Hope your weeks’ have started on the right foot and Monday is winding down nicely for you all?! Firstly, if you haven’t already (and there’s no excuse really) you should go read the Special Feature we sent out on Saturday where @shockoe_atelier gave their thoughts on @clobbercalm.threadsnfades2017 and the guy’s/denim’s journey so far…read it HERE.
However, the question AGAIN (as always tbh) is, how do we follow up this evening?
Well tonight we shift to ‘The Brands…’, but you knew that already, and focus on Chicago-based, American-made, premium garment designers @stockmfgco. A favourite of many of the usual denim stalwarts inc. @cuffington, @awalker4715 & @whaleysworld etc this is definitely a brand worth following!
If you want any further proof here’s how Stock Mfg. Co., themselves, say you should describe them to a friend, “…tell ‘em that we make menswear staples with a modern spin. Tell ‘em we make clothes in Chicago. Or just tell ‘em we make the best damn shirt you’ve ever worn.” Good enough??
MEET THE BRAND BEHIND THE MENSWEAR
NAME: Jim Snediker
BRAND: Stock Mfg. Co.
SIZE OF TEAM: 7 full time
SPECIALITY/COMPANY FOCUS: Premium, American-made menswear at a fair price.
1. Straight forward, please tell us, how did your company Stock Mfg. Co. start out? (For people that don’t already know)
We started Stock because we wanted to build the type of heritage-inspired, high quality, USA-made menswear brand that we admired…but one that was priced a little closer to what guys like us would actually spend on clothes. We’ve evolved quite a bit over the years, but still operate with a singular focus on creating interesting, well made clothing, and offering them at an approachable price.
2. Tell us. What does a day in the life of yourself look like? What’s your daily work routine?
Ship orders, answer emails, create financial projections, work on partnership opportunities, give creative input, clean dishes, go to meetings, pay bills, manage social media…there is honestly so many different things going on at all times, it’s hard to say a “daily work routine”!
3. What are your top 3 bestselling items? And why do you think this is?
Denim Work Shirt. It’s become our staple item, and does well every year because we are always doing something different with it; tweaking the design, sourcing great new fabrics, etc. I think it resonates because it’s really unique, but not totally out there. It’s well built, sturdy, and a piece of clothing that looks like it could be “iconic” some day.
Our Hula Girl shirt was limited, so not a best seller in terms of total units, but it’s the fastest selling thing we’ve ever done. The design is just so fucking cool and summery, it really caught people’s eyes, and the fact that it’s jacquard and not a print really set it apart.
Then after that, our buffalo plaids. Can’t beat a solid buffalo plaid at a good price.
4. What’s your personal favourite garment when it comes to the items you manufacture?
I love the rider jacket for it’s uniqueness and the way it’s worn in, and the white colorfleck buttondown because that shirt looks good on everyone…myself included.
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?
Like anything, I think it’s great when it’s done well.
6. Has it made an impact on your business at all, do you think?
It’s generally hard to direct attribute sales to an influencer posting about us, but an overall lift in social activity tends to create more of a groundswell of traffic, which ultimately leads to sales down the funnel a bit.
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?
For brands? Taylor Stitch is a favorite brand of mine, and they do a great job consistently conveying what their brand is all about. Knickerbocker MFG has also done a great job crafting a very artistic IG presence that feels fully formed around their brand. I don’t have anything from Bradley Mountain, but they kill it on social as well. It makes you want to grab one of their bags and go camping on a mountaintop. As far as other accounts I enjoy…way too many to name to be honest. I don’t wanna leave anyone out.
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?
I hang out with my wife and kid a lot. She’s two, so a really fun age now (the kid, my wife is an adult). I try to hang out with my buddies when I can as well, but time is tight these days. Other than that I play hoops once a week, box here and there a bit, and have been playing a little guitar lately. Just things to try and pull my brain away from work for an hour at a time.
9. What do you consider to be the best thing about your business and why?
The fact that we have built our own manufacturing entirely in house, and the way we’ve gone about doing it. It’s been a ton of work and painful at times, but it’s providing us the infrastructure to compete at a very meaningful level, and for a long time.
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) Vintage Wash Pocket Tee (Stock) (my favorite tee shirt of all time) (2) Indigo Vintage Wash Canvas Shirt (Stock). It’s sturdy, durable, and super soft. I also guess I just like our vintage wash products. (3) Patagonia Torrent Shell jacket (not the most stylish jacket I own, but it’ll keep me insanely dry). Even though you said its a desert island, I’m prepping for rain. (4) Jeans. Noble, Shockoe, Levi’s…whatever is comfy and sturdy. Gotta take something already broken in, can’t be breaking in new raw denim while trying to survive on an island! (BONUS 5th) Nike Waffle Racers. Because I need shoes, and these are my favorites. Drink – Journeyman Featherbone Bourbon. I should say water to keep me alive, but I’d rather have the bourbon to keep me sane. Water I can always catch.
Great stuff Jim! It’s easy to see why you’re clobber is being adorned + adored by THE blue bloods. Your shop looks mega cool and if @clobbercalm ever visit the Windy City we’ll have to pop in for a few frames (realised we didn’t include the picture of your shop with the pool table…Stock’s store has a pool table FYI). Thanks for your time with this bro and looking forward to seeing what’s next for you guys!
Onto Thursday and we have a treat for all you of the indigo persuasion as Wouter, Founder of @longjohn_denimblog, answers the 10@10. Wouter is a denim specialist and Long John is his vessel for delivering all the best denim-based stories, insights, reviews, facts, knowledge, history etc. Tuning in on Thursday is a MUST for any denim-head. Usual time, see you all there.
That’s enough from me this evening. Stay close…