I grew up surfing, and I was raised in a surf shop. My teenage years all the way up to age 30 I lived at Infinity Surfshop, in Dana Point, CA. We saw every imaginable fad, trend and invention come through the shop, with the sales reps or the inventor of the product selling it to us as the next great thing. From surfboard, skateboard and snowboard accessories, to the off the wall bike boards and electric skateboards, we saw it all. We often were given shop demos to try-before-you-buy. Some good, some not so much. One of the categories in which there was no shortage of products was balance boards. Makes sense, right? Surfing, skating, snowboarding, all require balance. We would stand behind the counters while folding clothes, or ringing customer up, all while balancing on the different offerings of balance boards that we sold in the shop. Different…Continue Reading
Today we are talking with James Murray, Executive Director of Product Development and Design at Simon Pearce. Simon Pearce is an American glass and pottery company from the state of Vermont.   Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourself/your role and the history of Simon Pearce? My background is building products with glassmakers and ceramic companies, many of them in Europe. I worked with factories throughout Italy, Portugal, Poland, Czech Republic & Slovakia where the same traditions in craft are upheld by family owned businesses. With 11 years at Macy’s/Federated, and 5 years with Bed, Bath & Beyond, working in tabletop, and a variety of home categories, I witnessed the decline of business with these European factories and just over 2 years ago, looked into how I could dedicate design efforts to promoting manufacturing in America. I was familiar with Simon Pearce, (as my wife is from…Continue Reading
Today’s interview is with Darn Tough’s founder and president, Ric Cabot. We talk about the quality, pride, and family heritage that epitomize Darn Tough’s socks.   Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourself and the events that lead up to starting Darn Tough? My father and grandfather were in the sock business, so I was born into it. Growing up there were socks all around the house, and I would flip through the pages of fashion and hosiery magazines that were sitting around the house. I was always interested in joining my father in the sock business and had an appreciation of the fashion and textile industries.   How was the industry different back before Darn Tough? Before I started Darn Tough Vermont in 2004, I was working with my father Marc at our family’s business, Cabot Hosiery Mills. Cabot Hosiery had been very successful up until around…Continue Reading