C/S Post Archive
The first Confirmed Stock, held on April 28, 2012 at the 2640 Space, was a huge success. Thanks to the 18 amazing brands that were part of it and the hundreds of folks who came out to shop and hang. Stay tuned for an update from us on Confirmed Stock #2.
Brand Profile: Federal
– A few months ago on a trip to DC, I had the chance to stop by the District's newest (and I'd say best) menswear store, Federal. Everything about Federal feels right from the moment you walk in the door.
Brand Profile: Mister Crow
— “I just want to keep creating good things for interesting people.” One of the best parts of organizing this first Confirmed Stock has been all of the great conversations I’ve had with the amazing people behind these brands. And even among all these interesting stories, the tale of Mister Crow stands out as truly different. Located [...]
Brand Profile: CXXVI
– Back in January when we first putting the lineup together, CXXVI was one of the very first brands to say yes. They had little more to go on than our teaser video and an email from me, but they almost immediately replied that they would "absolutely love to be part of this." And to be honest, that was the first time I knew that this thing was viable. If a brand like CXXVI wanted in, why couldn't this thing work?
Brand Profile: Jack Robie
— “Jack Robie embodies American cool and charisma with a sense of style that is classic and sophisticated.” Jack Robie shirts really stood out to us, not just for their classic style, but for their impeccable fit and attention to detail. Their latest collection, just released this week, continues to build Jack Robie’s reputation as [...]
Brand Profile: Lumina Clothing
– Way back in February of 2011 when Confirmed Stock was just an idea -- when it didn't even have a name -- Barton at Lumina Clothing was one of the first people to believe in it. In fact, having Lumina here in Baltimore was part of the reason I wanted to do this. I had recently purchased one of their ties and I loved it.
Brand Profile: Almanac Industries
— “We started Almanac Industries out of an urge to make things with our hands. And make them well.” Despite the focus of our recent brand profiles, Confirmed Stock isn’t just about menswear. It’s also about skilled craftspeople making things from hand. The duo behind Almanac Industries works with both bookbinding and letterpress to create [...]
Brand Profile: Ruell and Ray
— Dead stock is fabric that is no longer in production. We do this for two main reasons: to make our footprint on the environment smaller and to deliver a truly exclusive product to our clients. In recent months, we’ve been seeing Ruell and Ray pop up all over the place. And when we found out [...]
Brand Profile: Two Inch Cuffs
In the past month, Two Inch Cuffs has evolved from a lifestyle inspiration site to include a full online shopping experience. Who is Two Inch Cuffs? We'll let them tell you in their own words.
Brand Profile: Randolph Engineering
This year, Randolph Engineering celebrates its 40th anniversary. How does a brand remain relevant and successful over such a long period of time? If you're Randolph Engineering, you do it by producing the highest quality products possible while delivering stellar customer service each and every day. We had the pleasure of chatting with Mary Waszkiewicz for more on the history and future of this iconic American brand.
Entry No 9
Brand Profile: Blue Claw Co.
When beginning to organize the inaugural Confirmed Stock, Blue Claw Co. was one of the first companies we reached out to. Not only do they make high-quality, great-looking bags in the USA, but they’re headquartered in the great state of Maryland. What’s not to like?
Why did you start Blue Claw? What drives you to keep going?
I started Blue Claw Co. out of necessity. As an avid traveler, I need luggage that has a classic, sophisticated and simple style yet is also durable enough to keep up with my excursions. After a trip to Argentina my bag had finally had it and fell apart mid-trip. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. While in Buenos Aires, I began to dream of my ideal bag. A few months later the first iteration of the Worton Weekender was born.
While developing the Worton Weekender, I thought long and hard about what I wanted this new luggage company to represent–what our mission was. I came up with this: Make the best bags in the world and offer legendary customer service to our clients. This mantra is what keeps us going at Blue Claw. Through this simple mantra, our customers have stayed in contact long after their transaction is complete. Our fan base will send us notes and offer feedback for new bags they would like to see. They will even send us pictures of their Blue Claw product in action. This customer appreciation is what motivates the Blue Claw team to put in long hours.
What excites you about what you do?
Blue Claw is bringing it back to the Red, White and Blue. We make products in our own country, we can inspect each bag before it leaves the warehouse, and we put smiles on people’s faces. Our Deckhands not only help our customers order bags, monitor shipments, but have also been known to make dinner reservations and offer suggestions of things to do in a new city–the responses that we receive from our customers is pretty exciting. I can honestly say I don’t think there is a company that rivals our personalized customer service.
Can you tell us a bit about your creative process and how you conceive new products?
We take our creative process very seriously. Our first bag took over a year to develop. We now have our creative process down to a “science”–a six month science. Each bag is created on paper, then sampled and is then either approved or rejected by our team. If approved, we do a small run and give the bags out to our team and a few strategic customers. The bags are used for 6 months and are put through tests, mainly checking them under airplanes where bags tend to find the staircase to heaven, to ensure durability. We look for wear points, product flaws, and design flaws. After that, the product is ready for market. When creating new bags we remain committed to timeless style and everlasting durability. We enjoy clean lines and simple design. We also create bags where we see a need or void in the marketplace.
What inspires you?
My inspiration comes first and foremost from the customers we help serve. I truly believe that at Blue Claw, we are offering a product that is one of a kind in the marketplace. While our bags may appear pricey to some, the attention to detail, high quality materials and expert craftsmanship make buying a Blue Claw bag a real investment. To date, we have not had a customer return a bag.
Secondly, I love being able to see tangible output. Since I was 12-years-old, I’ve been selling stock. While it is a great passion of mine, besides a stock certificate there really is no sense of hard, tangible accomplishment. Seeing Blue Claw bags go through the entire manufacturing process, all of the different machines and craftsmen that are involved, is a truly rewarding experience. The fact that I can do it all in America, where I can not only oversee production but, albeit slightly, help the greater good of this country by offering work and labor.
Why did you decide to set up shop in Maryland? Why make products in America?
My co-founder and I spent years on the Eastern Shore and have some of our most fond memories there: oyster parties, a bushel of crabs on the deck, walking the beaches, and attempting to sail. Maryland is beautiful and if we can bring some additional attention to the Blue Claw Crab, all the better. When deciding where we would produce, it took less than a second to decide. Why produce anywhere else? We are able to be involved in the entire process from cut to sew.
Where do you see Blue Claw going in the next year? The next 5 years?
In the next year we will be rolling out new products. Many are already in the works and we are excited about their prospects. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook – its where we announce the launches of bags. In the next 5 years we are interested in expanding as global brand; we currently have customers in 10+ countries and we would like to see that number grow 5x. We are also committed to our Deckhand service team and will provide our customers the best customer service regardless of our size–something many companies fail to do.
Are there people or companies that you look up to?
The list is long, but we truly look up to our competitors who are bringing production back to the USA. It is much more fun and interesting to compete with companies who are also producing in the states. Many of the owners are friends outside of the business and we are all after a common goal. It’s pretty amazing the network of Made in America brands we find ourselves in the middle of. I really admire those iconic Made in America brands–the Red Wing Shoes, J.W. Hulme’s, Gitman Bros. All of those brands make products that they stand by 100% of the time. People are proud to represent those brands. We believe in time, Blue Claw Co. will be in the same class.
Whether you’re an avid traveler or just need a great overnight bag, we highly recommend taking a close look at Blue Claw Co.
Photos Courtesy of Blue Claw Co.