DoomedNYC


DOOMEDnyc

Rachael Inman


Where do you live?  


Brooklyn, NY


When did you start your brand? How did it start?


2013 - I was working at Art Partner producing campaigns for Rag and Bone, Coach, Joie, etc. and editorials for Vouge, Vanity Fair, W, Love, Purple, Etc. After a year of being overworked and tired of not having creative voice I quit to start my own thing.


How did you decide to turn your skills into a 'real' job? Do you work on the side?


I'd been gifted Leather working tools in college and had spent a decade creating products for myself and my friends. People loved what i had been doing so i thought hey why not make a go at this.  A lot of sleepless nights and a very empty bank account DOOMEDnyc was born.

I still work as a producer here and there when it's the right people and the right project. I'm also the artist-in-residence for a non-profit called COLLAGE, where I spend one day per week doing artwork with cancer patients while they undergo treatment.


What makes you happiest about what you do?


My clients. I get to work with the most amazing people who appreciate and respect me as an artist. As well as my work, constantly creating new products learning more and more and honing my skills.


Whats the hardest part about what you do?


Time, there is never enough time. as well as trying to retraining the public about handmade, I don't have a factory making these for me each one is handcrafted and that takes time.


Where do you hope to see your brand in 5 years?


My goal is to continue to grow and adapt. In 5 years I would love to have a community space that allows other to come and work giving them access to equipment they otherwise wouldn't be able to use.


Whats product that you make is your favorite?


The Parfleche Laptop Bag. It's one of the hardest to make, but definitely a show stopper.


What do you like to listen to while you work?


for the last few weeks it's been Bowie on repeat for the last foe weeks for obvious reasons. My taste is music is pretty wide from Tom Waits, Ryan Bingham to Sia, Coco Rosie to Twisted Sisters and Slayer.


Where can we buy your stuff! Do you have a favorite shop?


Just on my website! I was in a horrible accident last year and I had to close down shop until I was able to recover. D&D will be sort of a relaunch for me and i'm looking forward to meeting new shops!


What about Desert & Denim are you looking forward to most?


SO many things, the location, the people! Most of all I'm looking forward to showcasing my art, DOOMEDnyc is so much more than just the products I make. I love that Desert & Denim allows for me to express the culture around the brand beyond just the booth space.


Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start their own business?


Forget sleeping. having your own business is kind of like having a small child.

Also don't try to fit into anyone's mold, if people don't understand what you’re doing that's okay. As long as you are passionate about what you’re doing and willing to work hard the right people will find you.

DOOMEDNYC

Hot Rod Surf

HOT ROD SURF

Mark Whitney Mehran

 

 

Where do you live?

Our beach community of Pacific Beach in our hometown of San Diego, California and www.hotrodsurf.com

 

When did you start your brand? How did it start?

Hot Rod Surf was started in 1996. At the time I was touring and recording original music with my band The Green Leaf and I always had a passion for branding and retail. So one day I started a surf shop and brand which combined my interests and became a type of home base of creative ideas and merchandising.  A modest $500 investment and a love of making things and bringing unique quality products to our customers while selling one item at a time is how it started and continues today all these years later.

 

How did you decide to turn your skills into a 'real' job? Do you work on the side?

From the beginning it has always been a real job sometimes with very real stresses and expenses attached to it. In 1996 there were not many boutique brands trying to make things by hand in the USA. The creative process is so personally important to me it has always been the paramount priority. Balancing the art of making things and developing product and the reality of business numbers is always an on going process. The artistic, utilitarian, and creative side usually wins out most of the time over the strictly business side just working. All Hot Rod Surf products are items we use ourselves and each item is of a quality and price which I would personally expect as a customer. There is a lot of work involved maybe a little too much sometimes but it is worth it once the product or project is complete and put to use.

 

What makes you happiest about what you do?

Having an idea and concept and bringing it to life.  I do a lot of different things from graphic design, printing, music, motorcycle and hot rod frame design and fabrication to custom engine work. There is something very magical about customizing and reviving vintage parts when it comes to a moment, and for the first time the key gets put into the ignition and it starts, or restarts after many years and the work literally comes to life as the engine roars and purrs. It is part mathematics and confirmation the measurements and calculations were right and all the parts functionally work together harmoniously in a performance spectrum, part total expression and creativity of making something aesthetically look how you want, and part the beginning of a new and unknown adventure.  The machine will most likely out last us and still be there when we are all long gone.  In many ways when any craftsman makes something of quality we are only momentary care takers in a journey we helped start.  Sometimes there is a liberating destruction in the process.  If there is something I do not like or is not performing up to my standard I tear it apart and do it again.  Luckily for me it usually works out pretty well the first or second time so there is not too much destruction. Hot Rod Surf leather items, clothing, and accessories are made with the same process of form and function as the motorcycles, hot rods I have built over the years they are an accent to the overall picture of performance, speed, calculated risk, art, life, and freedom. Being in my own world of mechanical and poetic dreams and sharing it with others who are into similar obscureness makes me pretty content.  

 

What is the hardest part about what you do?

Navigating everything. The worst part is when I see someone who genuinely wants one of our products and cannot afford it. Maybe they are a customer we have had for years, or youngster who just does not have enough cash on hand. You want them to experience the fun of having the item and I deeply relate to the feeling of not having enough money to get something. I always try and set the pricing right so Hot Rod Surf products are affordable in the quality goods category and sustainable while keeping the quality high.  I have seen quite a few things over the years and how the overall economy has affected every aspect of our great county. Watching machine shops go out of business and the equipment being loaded on pallets to be shipped overseas was just terrible.   Hot Rod Surf has always been a brand of the people so I always do what I can to keep it affordable and also support other crafts people and local quality businesses. I wish I could do more.

 

Where do you hope to see your brand in 5 years?

Doing what we always do.  Providing quality products and following adventure and creativity wherever it flows. Maybe we will all be driving around is space ships with aliens as our best bros. I really do not know. Realistically, I take one day at a time and it usually goes places that are sometimes unexpected much like a Kerouacian trip of the back roads of American life.

 

What product that you make is your favorite?

Every Hot Rod Surf product is my favorite. I am pretty sure that is the point of the brand. I only have energy for trying to produce things that are my favorite or soon to be favorite but if  I had to absolutely choose it would be the motorcycles and hot rods because they take you places when they work and its super fun to drive and ride custom performance machines.

 

What do you like to listen to while you work?

Of course I listen to the rock & roll sounds of The Green Leaf and an eclectic mix of The Stooges, Wagner, Hendrix, Zepplin, Floyd, Rhiana, Black Flag, Exploited, Stones, Beethoven, Britney, and even the occasional Flo Rider.  Sometimes it is freeing to listen to something I would have totally disliked when I was younger so I listen to weird stuff now to freak my kids out. I have no musical boundaries.  

 

Where can we buy your stuff! Do you have a favorite shop?

You can find Hot Rod Surf product at our online store www.hotrodsurf.com, and we sometimes set up pop up shops at selected events which match the things we love doing like racing, partying, and hanging out.  We also have items available locally at Pangaea Outpost in Pacific Beach and Seaweed & Gravel in Encinitas. A few years back I produced some automotive tech movies which are internationally distributed by One World and Speedway Motors. Our custom specialized Hot Rod Surf pinstriping art brushes will as of this year be available through Mack Brush Co. The Green Leaf music is available on iTunes and a bunch of other music sites links through www.thegreenleafband.com  . I really enjoy the experiences of all of the retailers and distributors we work with. It would be great to add more so if anyone has ideas where we would be a good addition for sure forward the info.  

 

What about Desert & Denim are you looking forward to most?

It looks like it will be a cool event with a bunch of craftsmen and women.  One of my hobbies this past year has been steam distillation of hydrosol and essential oils, as well as some effleurage. There is a definite art to painting a picture with fragrance. Nature stuff is cool, and smells and feels good also.  One of my all time favorite authors Walt Whitman would crawl around the dirt with nature to feel the realness of life and any event that harkens back to some of our great American traditions I will try and go to.   

 

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start their own business?

Follow your dreams. Be true to yourself and the community you inhabit. Success is not only about monetary gain but better measured by the knowledge and relationships you are blessed with.  The often harsh reality of business is a gravel pit will make more money than a gold mine. Make sure to take time to have fun and spend time with family.    

 

Final thoughts?

I think I said enough. Hopefully I will see you at the event and maybe even the races.

HOT ROD SURF

Life Art Style

 

Photo Credits: Blake Mehran, Jeanine M. Mehran, MWM

 

HOT ROD SURF

BYRD Hair

 

BYRD

Chase Wilson

 

Where do you live?

Currently in Culver City, California.

 

When did you start your brand? How did it start?

I launched BYRD in 2012 in my hometown of Newport Beach, California. Growing up as a surfer, I was always drawn to classic 50s & 60s surf culture and looked up to style icons like Steve McQueen. Since high school, I've always been an aficionado of pomades and wanted a product that worked well being in and out of the ocean, while having something I could easily travel with in my back pocket. My quest for a modern day pomade began there.

 

How did you decide to turn your skills into a 'real' job? Do you work on the side?

I grew up surfing professionally for Quicksilver and traveling the world on the WQS. I wouldn't say those skills directly relate to what I'm doing with BYRD now but surfing is definitely rooted in the brand DNA.

 

What makes you happiest about what you do?

BYRD is a product of my lifestyle and it's something I live and breathe everyday. I'm not just clocking in 9-5 during the week. There's something fresh and new happening on the daily, whether it's working on a new product with our creative team or collaborating with another like-minded brand. That keeps it exciting for me.  

 

What’s the hardest part about what you do?

I'd say the hardest part is the stuff that keeps me up at night but at the end of the day, our goal is to make great product and tell our story by keeping people looking slick.

 

Where do you hope to see your brand in 5 years?

World domination.

 

Whats product that you make is your favorite?

The product I use religiously right now is Matte Pomade. It's a great everyday matte finish styler for. For those nights out on the town, I slick up with our original formula, Classic Pomade.

 

What do you like to listen to while you work?

Currently listening to Tame Impala pandora radio at the office.

 

Where can we buy your stuff! Do you have a favorite shop?

My good buddy Damien just opened a new menswear shop in Venice called General Admission. They did an amazing job on the build out and offer elevated surf wear brands so it’s rad to see BYRD in great alliance there. Definitely a must go if you're in Venice.

 

What about Desert & Denim are you looking forward to most?

Bringing our beach culture to the dunes of the desert!

 

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start their own business?

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Believe in yourself and have passion in your product.

 

Final thoughts?

Look Slick!

BYRD

Indigofera

Indigofera

Mats Andersson

Where do you live?

Stockholm Sweden

 

When did you start your brand? How did it start?        

We are a brand that started out in 2009 (first products reach the market) with the intention of making good products. We had our day job  in the denim industry and also have been collecting vintage denim we think we had/have a point of view that few have in this industry. At the time the quality aspect of making products  went out the backdoor, and production moved to low cost production areas in Asia. We have a couple of  tagline that we use when we communicate with our users. Prima Jeans and Wear Well. For us Prima is the best tomato in the farmers market. Its not about luxury its about finding right materials and make great products. And we do ask the people who buy our stuff to be honest in feedback and put us to the test. Wear Well, because it is meant to be worn, every day and always. It will fade and it will brake in the end, but maybe you mend it and make the life span longer. The beauty of quality fabric is that it is worth repairing. Like good leather boots, resole and oil up and its ready for the road again.

 

How did you decide to turn your skills into a 'real' job? Do you work on the side?

I guess it just happened over time, the interest of good quality, ways of producing,  aesthetic, denim and durable goods made us/me dig deeper and deeper and one day you realize you are in a good place you do not want to leave. Then you have to make it a job, or what else is there?

 

What makes you happiest about what you do?

Nowadays i I’m happy to say i meet people that have been wearing our stuff for many years, i see them mended and patched as the owner have given them a second or even a third life. When i realize people think it's worth a while to fix the clothing after wearing them hard, i think we have reached our vision of making quality goods that stands the test of time both from design and quality aspect.

 

Whats the hardest part about what you do?  

Things take time. We start the process with designing our fabrics. Actually meeting the weavers and design the weave we later will make garments/jeans out of. It takes time to learn how to get that right, but when you do its so great. And you know nobody else have this.  

 

Where do you hope to see your brand in 5 years?

We will still do the same thing but hopefully for a wider audience. Going on seven years in the market we have grown more confident and found our voice. We still have products in the collection that we had 2009. I can’t see a reason they will not be here in 5 years time. And if so we have truly made something good. Classics that can last. In other words, Prima Jeans.

 

Whats product that you make is your favorite?

They are all our favorites, if not it would not be in the line. Some things does not always turn out good, but you will never see that. Our line/collection is relatively small and i have a relation to all the products we make. The fabrics we make our self is very precious to us/me, so I’d make them favorite if anything.

 

What do you like to listen to while you work?

I/We love music. There is many and I can’t name them all, but here is some we listen to and that have inspired us for different reasons:

The Band, Neil Young,  Jack White,  My Morning Jacket,  Richard Hawley, Grateful Dead , The Hives, The Verve, Phosphorescent, Ryley Walker, First Aid Kit, Kurt Vile, Israel Nash, Daniel Nordgren, Bruce Springsteen, Brian Wilson,  Bob Dylan. Pink Floyd, Christian Kjellvander and many more.

 

Where can we buy your stuff! Do you have a favorite shop?  In USA there is

http://standardandstrange.com , lhttp://www.cedarandhyde.com

Looking in EU there is  

http://panchoandlefty.se , www.burgundschild.com http:// , http://rivetandhide.com , http://vmcoriginal.com  

to name a few where you find a good range of Indigofera.

 

What about Desert & Denim are you looking forward to most?

To meet everybody again, and some new i hope. We attended last February and this is our second go. We loved it then and have cravings to go back.

 

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start their own business?

Love, or at least like what you do. Have good financing and work hard. Things will go wrong. But they will also go right if you follow through and have stamina.

 

Final thoughts?

Cant wait to see the desert and interact with everybody.

Photos by Gustav Karlsson Frost aka Frosty www.frosty.se

INDIGOFERA.COM

TINCUP

TINCUP American Whiskey

Where do you live?
I live in Woody Creek Colorado, an un-incorporated area of Pitkin County. “Downtown” consists of a Post Office, Fire Station, Community Store, and the Woody Creek Tavern. 

When did you start your brand? How did it start?
TINCUP was a successor to Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. I had been conducting “practical experiments” with whiskey making since 1972 and eventually started Stranahan’s. TINCUP started, in 2009, after the success of Stranahan’s. Friends and public were requesting an American style whiskey, like a bourbon, so I put a “Colorado “, twist on the whiskey. 

How did you decide to turn your skills into a 'real' job? Do you work on the side?
I previously had a career in hell as a building contractor. Transitioning into making whiskey started in 2002 and my last construction project was in 2005. 

What makes you happiest about what you do?
Seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they taste my whiskey. 

Whats the hardest part about what you do? 
Making enough whiskey to meet demand without sacrificing quality. 
 
Where do you hope to see your brand in 5 years?
I hope to see if as a strong national brand on virtually every shelf of quality stores. I want to see it as a premium whiskey that consumers can rely on. 

Whats product that you make is your favorite?
I make Stranahan’s and TINCUP. The one that’s in my glass in front of me is my favorite. 

What do you like to listen to while you work?
I’m all over the world on different kinds of music. Variety is entertainment. My go to is probably country rock. 

Where can we buy your stuff! Do you have a favorite shop?
I’m assuming California. We are starting to populate the state. We can be found in most of the larger stores and chains in metro areas. We’re working had to fill in the gaps in the rest of the state. 

What about Desert & Denim are you looking forward to most?
I looking forward to the diversity and exchange of ideas. I’m excited about being in an atmosphere of creativity. (plus party on) 

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start their own business?
Your own business is your baby. Nurture it, feed it ,love it-it will grow. 

Final thoughts? 
Life is too short to drink bad whiskey. 

TINCUP

SWEETTRADE

SWEETTRADE

Michael-Todd Moen 

Where do you live? 
Warren RI ( smallest town in the smallest county in the smallest state in the USA).

When did you start your brand? How did it start? 
“Brand” started approx. 5 years ago. Been doing leather work as a hobby for approx. 17 years. Started as just a artistic outlet.

How did you decide to turn your skills into a 'real' job? Do you work on the side? 
I worked for PATAGONIA for 8 years in the surf division, left them do “find” something else creative. 3 months later a position on the build crew for BMW/ORACLE racing in their bid for the Americas Cup boat came my way, couldn't pass it up. 2 years of very hard and challenging work occupied all of my time for this campaign and it paid off, we won the cup back for USA. I decided right after this to finally launch SWEETTRADE and jump in 100% as a “job”.

What makes you happiest about what you do? 
A combination of so many things but probably seeing my pieces being worn by people I don't know that “get” my vision and designs. Or maybe they don't “get” it but like it anyway!

Whats the hardest part about what you do? 
The hardest part for me is the ANYTHING that doesn't envolve design & creation! Im so lost in the day to day “behind the scene” work that is a MAJOR part of a building a Brand and sustaining it, whether it be marketing or webpage updating. My adult ADHD
kicks in and constantly pulls me back to the workbench or sketchpad which feels most comfortable.

Where do you hope to see your brand in 5 years? 
Branching out into other areas that compliment the brand but that are not soley based on wearable leather pieces. 

Whats product that you make is your favorite? 
The “Bedford” belt and the “Miranda” key hook.

What do you like to listen to while you work? 
NPR WGBH Boston for the most part but I also switch it up with many other of the thousands of songs on my iPod. I do miss KCRW being on the east coast now and streaming it live just doesn't have the same feel even though i still give it a go quite often.

Where can we buy your stuff! Do you have a favorite shop? 
Anatomica Japan (4 stores), Brooklyn Circus, Kai D Utility, Select Patagonia stores in the USA, Japan and Australia for the specific pieces i do for them. Favorite shop ? 45RPM New York and ALL of the RRL stores, they just “get” it don't they?!

What about Desert & Denim are you looking forward to most? 
cliche but meeting other like minded individuals and connecting with people for inspiration and creative conversations.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start their own business? 
Be original. In my opinion there are SO many people doing what i see as the same thing in their field. I like to say, “You might not like what I'm doing but what I'm not doing is what others are” And i don't mean that in a conceded egotistical way but just be yourself and have confidence in your “own” designs.

Final thoughts? 
Well, until your actually “done” its never “final” is it??
Never say die!

 

SWEETTRADE

Third Eye Headlamps

Third Eye Headlamps
Sean Anderson


Where do you live?
Santa Barbara, CA

When did you start your brand? How did it start?
Our first sale was January 13th, 2015. Design and production started well before
that, but we really have only been in business about a year now. Desert and
Denim will definitely be a celebratory experience for us!
I have always had a passion for good design and have wanted to create functional
and beautiful products for a long time. Headlamps were something that I always
thought of as a ‘technical’ piece of equipment, which they are, but I found that
most on the market looked ‘technical’ too. I use a headlamp almost every day,
whether it is at home, on the trail or a longer journey. Hands-free light at night is
invaluable. But I wanted to make something that I wanted to wear, so I created
these lamps with hopes of balancing both high quality construction and powerful
lighting technology, paired with some sweet design options to spice things up. I
think that technically advanced gear doesn’t have to look ‘technical’ it can be
beautiful too. It can also be fun! To me, spending time outside is all about having
a good time and experiencing something bigger than yourself.
I came up with the name Third Eye Headlamps because it just made sense, you
wear them on your third eye (forehead) and it’s our goal that they will help you
achieve Outdoor Enlightenment, whatever that may be to you. It is also very
important to me that this brand is an honest and responsible one. All of our
customers are part of the Third Eye family and we like to take care of our family
members. All of our headlamps come with a lifetime warranty and are made with
recycled Plastic, are BPA Free and ROHC non-toxic approved.

How did you decide to turn your skills into a 'real' job? Do you work on the side?
I have been making things with my hands since I could hold my head up, and
decided early on it was what I wanted to do in life. I have been a professional
artist and designer for the past 9 years and I was classically trained in painting and
sculpture at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I have also had a
deep connection to the outdoors since I was young. I have been fortunate enough
to explore many different parts of the world. My artwork follows that connection,
and I wanted to create a brand that could support it all.

What makes you happiest about what you do?
I really just love the fact that people are using our lamps on a daily basis. Some
are taking the trash out at night, some are dancing the night away at music
festivals, and some are climbing mountains or lighting the way to the bottle of
whiskey in the campground. Sometimes I think about what it would look like if I
could have a birds-eye view of all our lamps shining at all these different places
around the world and what it would look like. It feels good to make something
that people can find ownership with and add to their everyday gear. Our
customers are awesome! And I love to hear about the experiences they have with
our products.

Whats the hardest part about what you do?
I love it all! There is a TON of work involved in creating a start up brand, but it is
more rewarding than anything.

Where do you hope to see your brand in 5 years?
I am in the process now of expanding the brand into a larger company based in
the roots of what we do now, but with a larger range of design-based, high quality
functional products. I hope to continue this over the next 5 years and beyond.
Look out for some limited edition guest artist designs in 2016!

Whats product that you make is your favorite?
At this point we offer one headlamp design and seven complimentary headband
designs. My favorite is probably our Third Eye lamp with the ‘Thunderbird’
headband.

What do you like to listen to while you work?
Recently I have been working as much as I can outside. I am lucky enough to live
in a beautiful place next to a creek and the ocean with a lot of trees and wildlife.
Just being able to work in this environment is amazing. I do love music though,
and I listen to a ton of different stuff. I dig Flamenco guitar, Funk, Reggae, Jazz,
Electronic and Hip Hop.

Where can we buy your stuff! Do you have a favorite shop?
Right now our headlamps are only available on Amazon.com. I know…Only
Amazon.com!? Let me explain…Since the beginning, I knew what I wanted to
create and how I would go about designing it. But I also knew that owning a
company meant selling things to people and fulfilling orders. Basically, I wanted
to create a business model that would allow me to be anywhere in the world I
wanted and continue to do business without being locked down in one place. I
found Amazon as a platform that would allow me to do this, while focusing on
design, research and development without worrying too much about packing and
shipping orders. That being said, our lamps will be available at some awesome
retail shops in 2016 and are also working towards an online shop with lots more
products.

What about Desert & Denim are you looking forward to most?
I am so excited to be among the creators of such amazing brands and companies
doing incredible things. I have admired a lot of brands that will be there for some
time. It is really an honor to be invited and I’m looking forward to seeing what
everyone is up to. I’m also looking forward to campfires and some whiskey!

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start their own business?
Everyone says it, but it is true. Find something you love and do it. It makes the
endless hours of work something bigger than a paycheck.

THIRD EYE HEADLAMPS

Endorfin Foods

Endorfin
Brian Wallace, Founder / Maker / Alchemist 

Where do you live? 
Oakland

When did you start your brand? How did it start?
My spark for chocolate began when I had my first sample of raw cacao beans - the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree and the botanical source of all things chocolate. A subtle euphoria gently washed over me, awakening my mind & enlivening me from within. I quickly realized that the “chocolate” I’d had most of my life was so over-processed and diluted with refined sugar & milk that it barely resembled the original food crop it was derived from. A few months later, I quit my job to travel the world in search of the perfect cacao bean, and to apprentice with any teacher who would share their skills with me. I became inspired to create a new style of chocolate, one that synthesized classical European technology, modern nutritional research, and the ethereal aspects of cacao familiar to the ancient Maya & Aztec. I founded Endorfin several years and hundreds of recipes later, to reintroduce cacao to the modern world as the highly nutritive, uplifting ‘food of the gods’ that it once was.

How did you decide to turn your skills into a 'real' job? Do you work on the side? 
I knew I’d need actual skills if I wanted to make it in the chocolate & food world, so I decided to spend my savings on chocolate school, live like a hermit, and work chocolate for hours on end almost every day for a year. I knew that if I could understand the way chocolate was made, I could apply my mind to modifying the processes & practices slightly to emphasize vitality & wellness, which was my goal. I like to say that I’m turning vices into virtues, primarily by changing the way they’re made and also in showing people how to have healthier relationships with their medicines. 

What makes you happiest about what you do? 
At this point the spatulas and stone grinders I use on a daily basis have become my paintbrushes to express my art. I’m at a place now where I’m crafting recipes based on molecular pairings, combining things like pink peppercorn & single origin Madagascar cacao because of their shared flavor compounds. Every molecule tells a story of interactivity, from the ecology of the plant it came from to how it interacts with your senses to how it tickles a receptor site in the brain. Crafting food w/ respect to all of these elements really lights me up, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing. 

Whats the hardest part about what you do? 
Educating consumers & fans about why our products costs more than what they’re used to can be challenging. In today’s information age, its hard to get anyone’s attention for more than 5 seconds, let alone educate them about the rampant use of slave labor in most of the chocolate trade, or how we modify our processing practices to prevent degradation of antioxidant compounds. 

Where do you hope to see your brand in 5 years? 
I’d love to see our products around the country in independent grocery stores & boutiques, and be working with an international distributor or two that gets what we’re doing. I’d also love to see us with a retail location somewhere with lots of trees & plant life, offering wildcrafting classes & herb walks along with culinary events & pairings. 

Whats product that you make is your favorite? 
I get this question a lot, and really it changes from day to day. Right now I’m working on a root beer float bar that is a formulation of the old school herbs & spices that were used to make this before “natural flavors” became an acceptable thing to ingest. Every ingredient has a way it likes to be used - fresh, dry, powdered, whole, infused into oil, distilled, etc., so figuring out how to balance all of the flavors has really been a lot of fun.

What do you like to listen to while you work? 
Lately its been Johnny Cash…

Where can we buy your stuff! Do you have a favorite shop? 
Our website is probably the best - its the only place to get my Community Supported Chocolate box, which is like a CSA produce box for chocolate. This is where I let my creativity shine, because this is where I get to make limited edition recipes that aren’t available anywhere else.

What about Desert & Denim are you looking forward to most? 
I’m really looking forward to picking some desert plants and infusing them into the drinking cocoa we’ll be serving throughout the event. The blend should be really special, and something that will only exist at Desert & Denim. 

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start their own business? 
I’d say as early on as possible, be yourself and make things that are interesting to you. In every industry and every level of business there’s an idea of the standard style of doing things, or a standard type of product. But that’s boring, and in today’s mass information and marketing age, expecting people to choose your product or service that’s similar to a thousand others is a recipe for failure. Be unique, be yourself, and figure get comfortable talking about what motivates you. 

Final thoughts? 
Eat chocolate, go outside. 

ENDORFIN FOODS

APPRVL NYC

APPRVL NYC
Megan Mussari

Where do you live? 
Brooklyn, NY

When did you start your brand? How did it start?
I started Apprvl in the summer of 2014, as an exploration into preserving unwanted textiles from the fashion industry, and using natural dyes to update them.  I have seen and felt the effects of chemical dyes, which sparked a curiosity into working with Indigo (the gateway dye). 

How did you decide to turn your skills into a 'real' job? Do you work on the side?  
Since my business started out as just a personal project, the growth of it was kind of natural.  I still do hold a job in the fashion industry, I think it helps me stay focused on structure and deadlines.

What makes you happiest about what you do?  
I teach a series of workshops on indigo dyeing, and have been extremely lucky that the students have all been passionate and expressive about why they want to learn and how they feel about the fashion and textiles industry.  Working with designers and customers who genuinely care about the products they buy from Apprvl, has also been an amazing experience.  I love when someone wants to have a conversation and learn the origin of the fabrics that we use. 

Whats the hardest part about what you do?  
It's definitely hard to stay in the lines.  I want to offer everyone anything that they want, and saying "no" is hard.  Ive been asked a lot about exclusive products from different retailers, and while that sounds like a great challenge, it's an easy road to losing focus.

Where do you hope to see your brand in 5 years? 
I hope to see Apprvl in all of your homes! And hopefully in a way bigger studio, if New York real estate allows.

Whats product that you make is your favorite? 
I love the mud cloth blankets that we make.  The fabrics added into the mud cloths are all deadstock from the fashion industry, and will change textures depending on where we get it from, and what season.  The mud cloths are all unique as well, so each blanket is totally one of a kind.  Plus when we're making them in the winter they keep us warm while we sew!

What do you like to listen to while you work?  
I've been trying to keep it mellow lately, a lot of Pure Bathing Culture, Kurt Vile and Lee Hazelwood


Where can we buy your stuff! Do you have a favorite shop? 
Our products are available in a great handful of stores around the US and some online shops!  My favorites are Young & Able and Nothern Grade Flagship

What about Desert & Denim are you looking forward to most?  
I am excited to demo some dying, and learning all about the other vendors.  Also a plus to get out of NYC's winter and enjoy the desert!

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start their own business?  
Buck up! Confidence will attract opportunities.

Final thoughts? 
See you in the desert!

APPRVL NYC

Aloha Beach Club

Aloha Beach Club

Kahana Kalama
 

Where do you live?
I split my time between San Diego CA and Kailua, HI.

When did you start your brand? How did it start?
My partner Billy Wickens and I actually opened our first store in North Park San Diego, 5 years ago just because retail was feeling pretty stale at that time. We wanted to curate aspace and fill it with a bunch of rad stuff that our friends made. We also figured that it would be a great spot to work out of while building all the projects that would fall under the Aloha Beach Club label.

How did you decide to turn your skills into a 'real' job? Do you work on the side?
We went all in from the very beginning... but we still do consulting and design work on the side.

What makes you happiest about what you do?
I love bringing people together and it’s rad to see the community that has formed around our retail stores and brand.

Whats the hardest part about what you do? 
I have a hard time turning my brain off... I always want to be working on new projects.

Where do you hope to see your brand in 5 years?
We’d love to have another brick and mortar location... possibly on the east coast.

Whats product that you make is your favorite?
We moved all of our manufacturing to Hawaii last year and I’d have to say my favorite products we make are our Aloha Shirts. Our fabric is printed by hand on an oversized table in downtown Honolulu and it’s rad to be able to produce an authentic garment the old fashioned way. 

What do you like to listen to while you work?
It’s all over the place... but pretty much anything that makes me feel like I’m on vacation. Right now it’s a mix of 60’s Italian movie scores, 70’s psychedelic Bollywood tunes and disco mixes via Pacific Handlers.

Where can we buy your stuff! Do you have a favorite shop?
Either one of our stores and www.alohabeachclub.com

What about Desert & Denim are you looking forward to most?
Kicking back with friends in Joshua Tree. I dig all the brands that are going to be out there and I’m just looking forward to the cruising with everyone.

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start their own business?
There’s never a better time to start then now. 

Final thoughts?
If you care to learn more, take a look at this video... it does a pretty good job at explaining why we do what we do:https://vimeo.com/139661518

ALOHA BEACH CLUB