By DAN NIELSEN, Traverse Town File-Eagle
TRAVERSE Metropolis, Mich. (AP) — A 2019 take a look at to a museum devoted to the 1969 Woodstock Audio and Artwork Good prompted Brian and Anne Lewis of Traverse Metropolis to launch an attire brand name based mostly on the word “hippie.”
Profits of shirts and hats emblazoned with a selection of “hippie” graphics commenced marketing — slowly and gradually. Then a mobile phone call modified all the things, the Traverse Metropolis Report-Eagle studies.
“One call basically has altered the trajectory of our business — when John Molner called,” reported Brian Lewis. “He stated, ‘We want to companion with you.’ That was right ahead of Thanksgiving.”
“There are times when an entrepreneur realizes they have something particular,” explained Anne Lewis. “That instant occurred when John Molner, Katie Couric’s partner and co-founder of Katie Couric Media, identified as us, fully out of the blue.
“He required Katie Couric to husband or wife with Stately Don … due to the fact he fell in love with our French Hippie duffel bag. He advised us he and his duffel have been inseparable, and that he practically will take it everywhere. John then allow us know that he preferred to characteristic the Hippie Model as an formal husband or wife with Katie Couric Media.”
KatieCouric.com grew to become Stately Wear’s 1st on the internet affiliate. That was a few months ago, and it is no extended the only Stately affiliate.
“We’re now on rate to have over 200 affiliate marketers across the country ahead of the conclude of the yr,” claimed Brian Lewis. “On Dec. 3 they released their model retail store on Katie Couric Media with us. Our web page (visitors) went from 100 people today a day to 10,000 a working day. Our product sales have gone up 1,000% in three weeks.”
Stately Have on is all about branding. The strategy originated from a blend of two loved ones trips.
“We went to the Woodstock Museum in New York, and there is a highly effective link,” Brian Lewis mentioned. “It’s very emotional when you go there. You experience that electric power that comes from that hippie vibe.”
Later, he claimed, “We had been on trip with a person of our little ones in Georgia. We truly wanted to obtain a way to link all of the — when you go from city to city to town — there is constantly some version of what folks are marketing, shirts and matters. We really adore the hippie link of regard for men and women and respect for world. And we believed, if we can tie that in on a local, national and intercontinental foundation, then people today would be improved off for it.”
The end result is a selection of duffel bags and apparel merchandise, every emblazoned with a graphic, the phrase ‘hippie,’ and either a location name a term that identifies a enthusiasm.
“It’s the psychological connection to a fashionable version of hippie,” Brian Lewis said. “And the passions: skiing, surfing, biking. Or the locations: Colorado, California, the United States, France. That is what the brand name is. It is all based all-around the connection that ‘hippie’ has for appreciate and respect for people and world. It is a fashionable, iconic just take on that hippie viewpoint of adore for earth and love for persons.”
People family members trips took location in 2019. Brian Lewis and his spouse, children’s creator Anne Margaret Lewis, assembled the small business concept that very same yr.
“When we have been initial doing the job on it, I attained out to the previous CEO of Calvin Klein — who I did not know,” Brian Lewis explained. “I despatched him our layouts and he sent me a notice back again suitable absent and claimed, ‘This could be the up coming Daily life is Superior.’”
“And then the pandemic started off. It’s hard to launch a business all through a pandemic.”
So the corporation simmered in the history as COVID-19 raged all-around the world.
“We did not actually launch (the enterprise) until finally John Molner termed us,” Brian Lewis claimed. “A good friend of ours had sent him a bag final Xmas. And Katie’s partner called and claimed, ‘I use it each individual day. And where ever I choose it, individuals adore it, they remark on it, and they want to know wherever they can get theirs.’”
Molner has good factors to say about Stately Wear’s saleability.
“I’m a huge enthusiast of Stately Wear’s duffel bag and they are a fantastic addition to Katie’s Shop,” Molner explained in an electronic mail. “It’s fantastic for almost everything from commuting to fishing journeys. They are iconic, eye-catching and large good quality.”
Other people today join with the hippie vibe, also. Lewis and his spouse were being getting product or service photographs on Previous Mission Peninsula and a crowd of at least 30 persons collected to comment on the branding and and to question wherever they could buy the bags and attire.
“We ended up literally advertising them out of the again of our vehicle,” Brian Lewis reported, “and we didn’t have that a lot of so it didn’t acquire extended for them to be long gone.”
Vital to the Stately Dress in organization design is the simple fact that there is no warehouse complete of product or service, which signifies there are no storage expenses and no probability that excess product could finish up unsold. Each product is produced only following it is purchased. The Lewises function with two factories, just one in California and just one in North Carolina.
The producing amenities have been chaotic considering that the Katie Couric relationship was designed.
“When you get, that bag is designed — 1 at a time. If it is a bag, or a hoodie, or leggings, or a rash guard (a garment designed to protect from UV publicity), it is designed a single at a time,” said Brian Lewis. “There is absolutely no squander. Nothing ends up in a landfill — which is a problem in the attire and add-ons business.”
Stately Have on is owned by the Lewises and a couple of investors concerned in the attire business.
The organization has no workforce. Inventive work is headed up by Anne Lewis and a freelancer.
This is not the 1st corporation Lewis and his spouse have began in the place.
“Most people know me as the man or woman who begun Sleeping Bear Press,” Brian Lewis stated.
He produced the publishing firm 19 yrs ago, about the similar time he moved from Ann Arbor to Traverse Town. He sold that company in 2003, but a principle he followed there now is at operate in Stately Don.
“Find a sample and replicate it,” Brian Lewis reported.
Sleeping Bear Press posted a series of children’s publications meant to help little ones study the alphabet.
“The alphabet textbooks bought thousands and thousands of copies,” he stated.
The method there was to develop an alphabet guide centered on a matter. Titles now mentioned at the company’s web page list, for case in point, “P is for Putt: A Golfing Alphabet” and “T is for Tutu: A Ballet Alphabet.”
Stately Wear operates on the same basic principle. It takes advantage of the term “hippie” to tie the apparel brand name collectively and presents variants labeled with location names or life passions.
“(John Molner) picked us No. 1 in the gift tutorial,” claimed Anne Lewis. “You can picture my excitement. This shared our model with millions by using Katie Couric Media, supplying me, who has often looked up to Katie Couric as a female inspiration, the continued travel to attain significant desires and aims for Stately Wear.”
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