Father's Day is just around the corner and as a Dad I've got a few suggestion for you. A typical response from me this time of year is... "I don't want anything for Father's Day", but the truth is the exact opposite. Sound familiar? Three years ago I bought myself a pair of socks from a gift shop in Sisters, Oregon that read "Grill Master" as a result of not wanting anything for Father's Day. We were on our way back to Portland from a trip to Bend. And not having a gift to open bummed me out. Apparently a family trip to Bend isn't enough. I'm high maintenance.
Some of us men have trouble articulating. Expressing wants and needs. So I want to help make shopping for your Father's Day gift as breeze. This year I've put together a few of my go-to pieces that add Swag to my Dad Game. Here's the list:
P.S. If you live near our Sellwood store, please feel free to come by and use the codeword "Dad Swag" in person. Good through 6/18/17.
I had no business buying this car. It could have easily been a used Jetta.
The GTI I was driving back in 2010 in Baltimore wasn’t up for the trip out west I had planned and I had bequeathed it to the enthusiastic care of my younger brother Vinny. There was no going back, Vinny had been wearing VW gear for a solid week before I had even truly made up my mind to give it to him. I remember walking around the lot of a remote car dealership off the highway in Virginia. I was feeling uncertain and was sweating in the humidity of the mid-Atlantic heat. Then there she was, the car I had seen in the Auto-Trader ad, an efficient, no nonsense black Jetta with black rims. She looked affordable.
But I had never driven a car that didn’t have a little swag. Well maybe not the ’87 Scirocco, but even that car I modified. So I went rogue and ran smack into a fresh white GTI wrapped in factory plastic. I geeked out. I thought it was the most beautiful car I had ever seen. The man who took me on a test drive was named Wolfgang, in my dopamine induced state I took that as a sign. What kind of sign? It didn’t matter. The 30th anniversary edition red and black plaid interior was smooth under my sweaty legs as we slid around corners going way too fast. After driving around Baltimore city in a car that hit potholes on the daily, had been totaled and had survived a flood up to the center console, it was like test driving a Formula One race car. I decided to go for it.
Sitting at the finance desk I gave myself a pep talk. “I’ve paid my dues” I thought “I am a grown ass man, I’m tired of messing with used cars, it’s time to buy something reliable.” The one thing I didn’t want to have to contend with in a new city was unreliable transportation. But the longer I sat there the harder it became to justify the purchase. I wasn’t sure how things were going to play out for me in Portland and I told this to Daniel, the finance guy. He then told me a story about how he spent a few years in Oakland,CA trying to become a rapper. Without me asking Daniel kicked a freestyle and I remember being impressed. I was sorry that it had not worked out for him. He said “look man, you started your thing out here, you’ll start it out there.” He seemed so confident. That was all it took. One vote of confidence.
Fast Forward almost seven years, and I still love driving this car everyday. I am amazed at how functional it has really been. For the better part of a year I debated between getting a separate company vehicle or transforming my personal vehicle into a Grafmobile, but what I have found as a designer is that it is a real challenge to make a GTI look better. They look great out of the gate and I certainly don’t want to drive around a clown car. It has held a surprising amount of load to and from street festivals, the Portland Night Market and on countless trips to and from the warehouse. I decided I didn’t need a vote of confidence on this one, after years at the helm of my design business and now at the helm of my brand I have learned to trust my gut.
There is something to say for the emotional connection we form with things. This car means a lot of different things to me. It stands for taking a risk, trusting my gut, and working hard. Ultimately these are the pillars upon which I have built this brand. And I hope you like it, because let’s face it. We all need a vote of confidence.
Dictation by: Julie Boucher
Not gonna lie, it's been a tough sixth months weather wise here in Portland, so we're stoked about the blue skies ahead. This past weekend we released our Summer '17 Collection which is brimming with new styles and color ways which boast that summer is our pride and joy. There is nothing like it and when it happens, which it seems to do overnight, we bust out our t-shirts and shorts and hit the streets with wide smiles and and a hoodie tucked into our bag, just in case.
My favorite men's piece in this collection is the Mt. Hood Flexfit Cap because we are a graphic forward brand and this is a departure from the usual. It is the most subtle design we have released to date and it's a great fitting cap that goes with everything. Looks great frontwards and backwards. I enjoyed it while camping this week at the charming Laurence Lake at the base of Mt. Hood. It has a collapsable crown so it packed easily when I needed it to and handled the ruggedness well.
My lady on the other hand loves the PDX carpet tee because it is so bold and so feminine. It shouts summer and fun. She struggles between wearing it as a walk about town shirt, as a sassy shrug at ballet class or as a pajama shirt. Basically it is so soft and comfortable she doesn't take off, so we got her the Mt. Hood shirt too!
Since we started our first run of tee's people have been asking "when are you going to make stuff for kids?!!" I'm proud to say the time is now and it has been surprisingly fun. Check out our four new Youth Tees and always feel free to bring the kiddos by the store.