When you set out to earn a living doing something you love, it’s not always easy to see the end from the beginning. Nor do you really care about where it will land, something in your gut just tells you to do it. Passion leads. Mistakes happen. Lessons are learned the hard way. Rarely does the perfect business plan present itself. Instead, with a little entrepreneurial spirit you get started, adapt as you go, and try to keep up with it all. Over time your larger vision emerges, the hard work pays off, and that feeling of a job well done sinks in while you watch your passion project turn into something big, something that benefits the employees who come along for the ride, and the customers who now trust you in ways you never thought possible.
We know something of the entrepreneurial spirit around here, but few know it better than Taylor Stitch.
Pursuing the Perfect Shirt
Michael Maher and Mike Armenta founded Taylor Stitch in 2008, with one goal in mind: make the perfect shirt. The pair were college buddies from the Northeast, who let passion lead. Seeking out a more relaxed lifestyle, they found themselves in California, setting up their first shop on Taylor Street in San Francisco (yes, that’s where the name comes from). With education in entrepreneurship and design, they had a few things to learn about making clothes, but they committed to learn from the best in the industry and make a product they were proud of.
They started with custom tailoring and over time compiled the measurements of hundreds of uniquely tailored shirts. Certain themes started to rise to the top, like higher arm holes, no pleats for clean ironing, and the flexibility to both tuck and untuck with the same shirt (they added an 8th button to satisfy this need). The result was a tailored shirt ready-made for the clothing rack, one that hit the sweet spot of classic good looks with a modern cut and refined style.
If you haven’t yet tried on a Taylor Stitch shirt, what are you waiting for? And, seeing really is believing, as you’ll never understand just how special these shirts are until you have one in your hands. From the fabric to the fit to the overall aesthetic, Taylor Stitch just has it all dialed in. At Ellicott & Co., we talk a lot about “heritage inspired” goods, which is the phrase we keep coming back to when trying to define this style. It’s not fast fashion, it’s really anything but that. It’s a nod to the past, with a foot in the modern. It’s both casual and sophisticated at the same time. It’s the well read man, the well traveled gentleman. Effortless. Peruse the Taylor Stitch website and you’ll quickly get a sense for this style. It’s what makes them so magnetic, and it’s why we devote such a large amount of our rack space to this very special brand.
A 100-Year Brand
Fast forward 10 years and this small but growing brand is on the move. They’ve expanded into much more than just shirts, but have taken the same dedication to quality and style into every brand extension. You might be surprised to know that the bulk of their operations is run by only 20 people in their main San Francisco headquarters. We honestly wouldn’t know the difference because their world-class website asserts professionalism and elegance from top to bottom. Truly, the magnetism of the brand and its sophisticated presentation masks their true size.
Even so, talk to anyone from their team once and you feel a humble passion at work. They are dedicated to their work and they know they’re building something important, something they want to put in front of the world. Everyone is invested in the outcome, and their eyes are on the next 90 years. Don’t you love that? Who talks anymore about building a brand to last 100 years?
Better Never Stops
While trends come and go, at Taylor Stitch some things never change. Things like timeless style, durability, and quite frankly, a heavy dose of “make it better” that keeps them moving forward. They will tell you that they had a lot to learn about the industry, and not just about fashionable cuts and styles. Currently they’re making big strides toward sustainable practices, including recycled and up-cycled fabrics, and making a big push to use organic cotton nearly exclusively. 25% of the world’s pesticides are used in cotton production, which isn’t great for groundwater and the local communities who work so hard in the fields. They also started using more hemp in their products, which is an excellent cotton alternative. Hemp requires no pesticides, and uses less acreage and water than cotton, but yields the same amount of material with 25% more durability. Nothing to hate about that!
With a mission to create clothing that is responsibly built for the long haul, this innovative company is doubling down on their commitment and pledging to limit their environmental impact. On top of making the world’s best apparel, they’re setting out to protect wild, forever.
The Long Haul
Stop by Ellicott to see our Taylor Stitch collection. We typically stock 3-4 shirt styles, denim, chinos, and a handful of layers and outerwear. We’re constantly revolving in new looks and every season has something fresh to share. This is a brand to believe in, and it just keeps getting better. Now that we know the long haul is the next 100 years, you can feel that much better about supporting American ingenuity and design.