10 years ago, when we first started brainstorming on what would become State Traditions, John and I hoped this entrepreneurial creative pursuit would make enough money to treat ourselves to lunch. We thought it could be a business but you just never know.
The rest, as they say, is history. 2 more partners, 5 different offices, 30+ employees, 200+ campus reps, 500+ different retail partners, the initial 4 states to 50, only polos and shirts to a diverse catalog…it's been a wild run. We see a fair amount of state-inspired product out there these days, and believe it or not, it's exciting and a compliment to know that we were a primary player, if not the prominent group, that launched this concept into popularity years ago. Today we're proud that our customers support us so well and that we reach new people every day that are fired up to show where they're from, and what it means to them.
With next summer marking our official 10 year anniversary, we're planning a few fun things this fall to gear up for that. One is Throwback Thursday's. In these we'll share photos of some retired products - and some personal favorites. Maybe we'll bring some out of retirement? Another is State of the Day. We plan to sporadically feature different states and when we do, we'll encourage you to share a pic about it, with opportunities for rewards with your responses.
To kick off our first throwback Thursday check these out:
We made these to take to our first Charlotte apparel market in 2010. They were supposed to be light blue and white. They came back teal! In honor of the at-the-time defunct Charlotte Hornets, we called them Charlotte Throwbacks. We sold the only 50 ever run in about a week. I don't know of another anywhere besides mine.
I traveled to the Baltimore-DC area for work for a few years and always liked Maryland's state shape and flag (and people, baseball and food, but that's another story). I used to wear this visor around town, but at some point it turned into an office only visor. I wear it on days I need to dial in. I eventually put my initials on it when we bought the embroidery machine.
One of the first items ever produced. Original cut polo. Original TN fish design. I'm a big fan of the state. My wife's family is from a small town near Knoxville and we go up there all the time. I wore this shirt on one of our first photo shoots. During a Christmas package push in 2013 I tore a hole in the shoulder on a rack in the warehouse.
Our belts are still one of my favorite products. Just enough color. Well made. I've had this in my rotation for I'm not sure how long. Has it been Saban bringing Bama luck all these years or the belt? I'm just saying. Well, probably Saban.
We once coined the phrase the places we come from and things we choose to remember make us who we are. I think that holds up. These items to me have a story and also take me back to all the things happening around them that are part of my story. Whether you've known us the whole time, or just last week, thanks! Thanks for being a part of the story. If you're feeling it, share yours with us, and stay tuned for more throwbacks and state shout outs. It's gonna be a fun fall!
Co-Founder, Keith Brown