It was almost a year ago, to the day. I was in NYC and had just finished recording a pod cast. I was invited to talk about T-post. The brand that I’ve been building and nurturing for the last 15 years. It had been a super nice conversation, but one thing stuck in my head as I was leaving the studio. In almost every interview I’ve done over the years, there’s been one question that always seems mandatory. And that is: “Have you ever considered branching out to other product besides T-post?”. And over the course of 15 years that answer has always been No. Without hesitation. And this time was no exception. I left my standard ”No” answer and we moved on. But this time it was different, this time the question stuck with me for some reason.
Totally drained after the narcissistic endeavour of talking about myself for two hours straight, I grabbed the first coffee shop I could find. Which was some guy serving coffee out of his mobile carriage with three tables to go with it, all overlooking the magnificent Flatiron building. I literally just crashed right then and there with my coffee and that question still echoing in my head, “If I would to branch out from T-post what would I do?”. Before I knew it, another two hours had past of observing people passing by just going about their day. Then it just dawned on me. There’s this whole group of people that are almost totally excluded from the fashion scene, and that are everyone that can’t make do with the fashion industry’s beloved S-XL size chart. If you need bigger sizes then that you need to search long and hard, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find a store or two that carries 3XL. But that’s the end of the line for 99% of the stores out there. If you need anything bigger than that, you need to turn to a big and tall store.
Since I usually wear 2XL, I’m use to finding stuff that ends up not being available in my size. And I know how uneasy that makes me feel. It’s like getting a ”You can’t shop here!” signed slammed in my face. But I hadn’t given that whole thing much thought, more than feeling like shit every time it happens. Not until now.
Now about a year later, 12-Grand® is launched and we’re on our way. And I would like to thank Jeffstaple for popping that question to me for maybe the hundred time, which apparently seems to be the exact amount of times it takes for me to reconsider.. And of course the Flatiron building itself for being an awesome spot to come up with stuff that I never knew I was trying to come up with.