Josey Orr: Dyer & Jenkins
How did the Dyer and Jenkins brand start?
Initially, Paul Jaworski (co-founder) and I had an online retail store for men. We struggled to stock the shelves with reasonably priced American Made goods. So, we created one ourselves. We went to Kickstarter for funding and proof of concept. We used that money to fund our first production run of jeans and t-shirts and its been off to the races since then.
What sets you apart from other brands?
We cut & sew every garment in Los Angeles, we do our best to use eco-friendly options for our clothing, and we care about what we do. As our line has evolved, we’ve become more outdoors focused and we really encourage people to travel, foster community, and take care of the great outdoors. I think that goes far beyond what a lot of other brands do.
You have presence in some stores in New York and California. Do you see the brand going global?
Yes, we also work with a few small stores across the states and in Japan. Our first year was spent focusing on growing our online store to a healthy size, now we are starting to focus on the wholesale component as well. Pretty much all of the stores we currently work with sell out and re-order multiple times a season.
Do you plan to expand your product group, if so what can we expect to see in the future?
Yes, definitely. We already have chinos, shorts, and backpacks coming out this spring. We will be adding more and more outdoorsy goods as time goes on. It’s something we are all really excited about.
Who is the Dyer and Jenkins man?
Our guy is a lot like our founders. We live and work in the city and take to the outdoors on the weekends. We don’t need crazy technical products, but we want ones that can perform in both town and country.
What is you number one seller?
It’s a tie between our Jenkins fit denim and white t-shirts.
Andrew: Parkman Sunglasses
What is the Parkman Sunglasses story? start, middle, now?
Parkman Sunglasses is the creation of two brothers, Christopher and Andrew, stemmed from a weekend road-trip to Maine. The initial premise was to make two pairs of personal wooden sunglasses. Once we got back to our shop, we made prototypes and quickly realized we had something special. We spent the next 18 months prototyping the sunglasses, stopping at nothing short of perfection. With a product we were proud of, we launched Parkman Sunglasses in July of 2014. We now consistently find ourselves looking at things differently than everyone else, trying to do things no one has done before. This allows us to create innovative products that no one has previously thought of.
What is the process for making handmade sunglasses?
It takes us over a week to make a single pair of glasses, which includes over 40 individual steps. To make each pair of glasses, we start off by sorting through rough-cut lumber from select mills and lumberyards to find premier pieces. The process then includes milling the rough cut lumber to square it up, veneering it into thin sheets, laser cutting and engraving each veneer for each frame shape then laminating those veneers together inside a fixture. What comes out of that fixture is a very rough looking pair of sunglasses. We then glue on a few additional pieces and use a number of different tools and jigs to precisely sand and shape the sunglasses into their final form. A multi-step finishing process is then completed to add strength, durability and UV protection to each frame.
Next, lenses are individually cut for each frame to ensure a perfect fit and finally boxed up. Before any pair is shipped out it goes through a 20 step QA/QC process to ensure each pair exceeds our high standards.
Every single step is done in our shop in Mountainside, New Jersey. A video of the process can be found on our website here: http://parkmansunglasses.com/about/
What sets your brand apart?
The love and the passion that goes into everything we do is what I believe sets our brand apart. With every single step being completed by us in our shop, we can offer the best quality control in the industry. Every pair of glasses is proudly handcrafted in the USA.
Who is the Parkman Sunglasses customer?
The typically Parkman Sunglasses customer is someone who is unique and original and doesn’t blindly follow the crowd. Our sunglasses are never stained, so each pair’s finish is its natural wood color. With this in mind, no two pairs are exactly alike. Each pair has its own individual characteristics, just like our customers.
Do you plan to expand your product categories in the future? What can we look forward to?
We have big plans set for 2015. We will be collaborating with some great companies to offer some truly unique sunglasses that have never been done before. We will outfit all of our frames for prescription lenses and introduce a few new lineups that we have been fine tuning over the past year.