2/19/12: Almost Dead In The Water

Good ART makes people *feel*

Hey, you guys—happy Sunday!!

Okay, wow…where do I begin? Some interesting things have happened since my last post, most notably, oneculture was almost dead in the water. Yep, everything that I’ve worked so hard on over the years was, in an instant, almost no more…finished—kaput! Just typing that makes my hands shake. But let me back up a bit…

I have a helper now, thank goodness–(big sigh of relief) WHEEW!! I can’t do this alone. I’m the visionary of this venture. The very soul of the brand stems directly from my imagination & intuition. From the moment it was conceived I had a crystal clear vision of what the company could become, if managed properly.

There may be a few so called “purist” types out there who don’t respect what I do. But without a soul a brand is nothing more than a collection of generic objects/products. Apple, for instance, would’ve been just another computer company without Steve Jobs. He didn’t write codes or do any of the quote/unquote “real work”. He provided the ideas that set Apple well apart from its competitors—he was the very soul of the company! Without a soul you’re just selling stuff to consumers. And that’s NOT the oneculture way. That’s NOT what I’m about. I didn’t get into this to be safe/average…

Having said that much however, I know that a company—in this case, a denim brand–cannot exist on heart alone. That’s just the beginning. About three and a half months ago I received the following email:

Hey, Mark!

I am the owner of one amazing pair of One Culture jeans! Bought them over a year ago, been wearing them on a very regular basis, and am loving every minute of it. You might not remember me, because I’m using a different email. I used to live in WI and you made me a pair of 1970s Pulsar.

Anyways, I quit my corporate America job and bought a one way ticket to San Francisco about 6 months ago. I love everything about this city and the people. The style here is amazing, and it’s great how style is accepted here as individual and unique rather than conforming.

One of my goals in moving here was to get involved with a company like yours. I am extremely passionate about men’s style, and I think what you do is incredible: truly allow people to express their creativeness and uniqueness, and doing so at an incredible quality and great service. I want to get involved! I do follow your blog and have noticed you haven’t been producing/communicating as much, and I want to see how I can be part of the team and we can jumpstart this again. I want to offer myself as your intern, and I’m happy to do anything that is needed: all I want is to learn from you and be part of what you’re doing.

Enter: Deckel! He’ll be handling the things that I’m not good at, namely, the social stuff like sales, etc. My blog will always be my own voice. But anything else is his lane. The great thing about Deckel is that he’s a genuine fan of my work and is just as passionate about the brand as I am. However, there’s an added bonus in that he’s not as emotionally connected. oneculture is my child, and I’m the father. Deckel then is more like an uncle and, hence, tends to be more level headed about matters that concern my kid! He also looks great in my product—bonus-bonus! Okay now, fast forward…

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, oneculture came *this close* (finger & thumb pressed together) to becoming extinct. My manufacturer has gotten rid of ALL the smaller brands (like mine!) in order to accommodate the more well-established lines that have recently taken root at the premises. Furthermore, they’ve raised their order minimums considerably. oneculture was the last little brand to be shown the door! But I won’t let anyone kill my kid—NO WAY!!! Not now; things are just getting good…

I’m completely confident that I can meet their new order minimums. Pulsar V4 is a great product! It’s a direct response to any negative critique that any of its predecessors has ever received. Again, with regard to Steve Jobs, it was said that “Steve loved to delight the customer”. I can totally relate. Regardless of large or small orders, money or no money, web popularity, blah, blah, blah… in the end, providing my customers with a great product is all that matters to me. Anyway…

So I scheduled a meeting with my manufacturer and, after Deckel and I presented the case for oneculture, they agreed to treat me as a brand new customer, i.e., give me a chance to show & prove. So here we go…

Now…I still have yet to do my production samples; that’s next on the agenda. Once those are complete Deckel and I are gonna hit the track running for our lives—haha! Seriously, it’s all or nothing now. We must sell, sell, sell the V4. So if you guys are interested in getting oneculture into a denim shop near you, please drop me a line and let me know what the hot shop is in your area. Thanks in advance…

With regard to sampling, I do have V4 samples on hand. I’ve been letting them go at a bit of a discount slowly and quietly, offering them only to private, repeat customers. Currently, there are 5 of us—myself included!!–walking around wearing them. The response has been quite positive, to say the least. This is the result I’ve been working so hard to achieve over the years. I won’t go into detail about the new edition until we’re in production. Right now it’s all about preparing for sales. And I’m aiming to hit store shelves during the fall season. For now, I’ll let the feedback tell the story:

Charlie, Pre Med Student, San Francisco-CA
PULSAR V4, Slim-Taper (sample)
Size 31
14.5oz Japanese Selvedge
001 or “1978” Thread Reference

Mark,
These jeans are ridiculous. Perfect! Do you still have the size 31 in straight leg? If so, I’ll buy them if they’re on sale. On my way to do some shoe shopping at Unionmade. I’ll put you on shout :)

Woody, Princeton-NJ
PULSAR V4, Slim-Taper (sample)
Size 31
14oz Japanese Selvedge
001T or “1978” Thread Reference w/tonal details

Mark! Yes! They’re AWESOME – these things fit SO well. Obsessed with the look.

Ron, Sacramento-CA
Pulsar V4 straight leg (sample)
Size 36
14oz Japanese Selvedge
001T or “1978” Thread Reference w/tonal details

I got them today and they are very nice. I knew they would be. I just put them on a few minutes ago. The fit is really good and somehow they do seem to hug the butt better – its quite interesting really, I cannot remember putting on a new, raw pair of jeans that fit my body this well. Usually they need a few minutes to a few hours (sometimes a few days) to loosen up a little and stretch out a bit before they start to fit this well. And the slight taper does look nicer. I really like these a lot! Thanks again Mark!

That’s about all I’ve got for now.  These next few months should be really interesting, to say the least!  In any case, as always, I’ll keep you all posted.  Stay tuned!!!

Join me on facebook

Cheers,
Mark
oneculture
For those who love jeans
mark@houseofoneculture.com

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About bartacker

I consider myself to be in the constant process of mastering the Art of Communication. View all posts by bartacker

2 responses to “2/19/12: Almost Dead In The Water

  • Adam

    Sounds like good news! I’ve never owned a pair of your jeans but I’d love to, so if you are looking to distribute to the midwest, try getting in touch with BlackBlue in St. Paul, MN. .

    • bartacker

      Hey, Adam! Thanks so much for the tip! My guy Deckel actually has friends who work at BlackBlue, so we definitely plan to contact them once we’re ready. Thanks again for the notice. And stay tuned!

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