Yesterday, Dawson and I had the privilege of walking through the J. Stark Showroom in the Fashion District of downtown Charleston.
Walking into the work area/showroom for J. Stark products was like taking a breath of fresh cool air, even though it was 75 degrees in Charleston. This was probably the most aesthetically pleasing room we had ever been in. Bags lined the walls, tools were fit perfectly into nifty boxes, and leather was stacked knee-high under a massive cutting table covered with patterns and plans for creations that Stark himself had come up with, not to mention the friendly and warm greeting at the door. The room held a sense that work was being done, and the evidence was all around us.
Everything from bags, to wallets, to scarves, were surrounding us as we took in the intense yet relaxing atmosphere. Classic pieces and custom orders were all around the room, furthermore proving that quality craftsmanship is something that Stark delivers. Once picking up a bag from the showroom floor, we knew immediately that care went into making the product I was holding. The stitching was done flawlessly, and the leather seemed to run together perfect, bound and finished with precision. There was an essence of pride that you could see and feel, all from just holding this man’s work. We were kids in a candy store.
J. Stark was started by Erik Holmberg with a desire to create products that focus on sourcing materials from the United States at every opportunity. His vision includes an attention to products that not only useful and durable, but also full of authenticity and timeless aesthetic. Holmberg grew up with his parents in inner city Cleveland. He shares that his parents always wanted to give their children a better life than they had, a dream that came true. Holmberg’s pays tribute to his parent’s hard work and legacy through his products on www.starkmade.com. The streets they walked on, drove their ’57 Chevy on, and kissed on are all names to his products today. The name to his brand, J. Stark probably sounds somewhat familiar. Jim Stark was the name of a character that James Dean played in the movie “Rebel Without a Cause.” Holmberg puts it best on explaining the connection between the character and his brand, “I wanted to find a common ground for connection, and we all have lived through the troubles and triumphs of our teenage years. Trying to fit in yet become an individual. Those experiences cut so deep because we were still wet from the mold.”
If you’re like us, then you’re already intrigued and obsessed by the J. Stark brand. Reading the story behind the brand is what prompted us to reach out and take a closer look at their products. We definitely were not disappointed! After talking for what seemed like hours about bag sizes, fabrics, lengths, and all the bells and whistles, we headed out the door and down the stairs, but only after reassuring ourselves that we’ll be back in the coming weeks to get our very own J. Stark merchandise.
Stay tuned for more news between the J.Stark brand and BTG!
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