Tag Archives: problem solving

8/21/10: Locked and Loaded!

Passion–true passion–is born from the desire to make a difference

The orders for batch #2 have all been recorded (as of yesterday) and I look forward to completing another successful run!!  Aside from handling my makeshift Web Shop, I’ve just been doing A LOT of critical thinking.  I used to be an engineering major (civil) so problem solving is very familiar territory.  I actually consider it to be part of the fun, although it’s still very frustrating at times.  But that’s life: part fun, part pain in the ass!!  And with that said, I’ll let Barton Fink take us out–ha ha ha (I love this!)…

I’ll keep you all posted.  Stay tuned!!

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For those who love jeans
mark@houseofoneculture.com (for all inquiries, contact me directly)

Available @

1827 Union St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 346-4280

1409 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 656-7898

2210 N. Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-5326


5/28/09: Great Story Teller

Holy DELAY, Bat Man: I was informed yesterday that I hadn’t provided enough denim to complete my order.

Note: This is just one of the many problems that can occur during production. Anyway…

So I immediately put in a RUSH order for more denim yesterday. I’m hoping that production remains on schedule in spite of this. If not, then I’ll give the buyers an advanced “heads-up”. In any case, I don’t foresee this being much of a problem. Things could’ve been worse; much worse.

I’ve learned to engage problems more effectively through the process of running my own company. In fact, one of the great gifts that oneculture has given me is a sound sense of optimism. This doesn’t mean that I don’t get the blues sometimes; after all, I’m human. But I’ve learned not to carry negativity as it’s both unhealthy and unproductive. I don’t have the power that money & connections bring. But what I do have is a knack for communicating ideas through art and the potential to create something just as good (better, even!) than my fiercest competitors.

Additionally, I keep a laser-like focus on my overall goal. Ultimately, what I’m trying to do with oneculture is to share *my* stories with people. So, naturally, my sole focus lies with becoming a great story-teller. Quality construction & fabrics are merely added bonuses within my grand scheme.



I’ve drawn the conclusion that I must be on the right track as I’ve received lots of positive feedback through random, private emails. The buyer from The Blues Jean Bar even informed me that people have already begun to trickle in, inquiring about my summer offering. One of the most rewarding feebacks I’ve received thus far came last season from Justin (“bilmaga” from the Nudie Jeans fan site, mynudies.com):

I have actually worn your jeans out a couple of times (as well as the shirt) and a lot of my friends really like them. They are interested in buying them…I have also had comments from perfect strangers about my jeans asking where I got them, and how much they liked them. I just thought you should know that as well. It is like getting a pat on the back for all the hard work you put into making oneculture. I have never before in my life had people that I never knew come up to me and ask me about my jeans, and I always wear high end denim. You should be proud!!!

This guy has an insanely large denim collection (100+ pieces); and I am proud to be apart of it. Anyway…

I just thought I’d share what’s been occupying my thoughts lately. Production wraps sometime around mid-June. I’ll keep you posted. Stay tuned!!




For those who love jeans

10/16/08: “Sweet Spot”

Success is directly related to ones ability to solve problems. With that said, I’ve come to the conclusion that all plans are tentative. And that goes double (triple even) for those of small business owners. It’s a delicate situation when you’re working with limited resources as doing too much or too little could be damaging to some degree. Like the elusive eye of a tornado where wind speeds reach zero, hidden somewhere within any given challenge is a “sweet spot“; a solution. That’s life.

I share that to say that my plans have changed since my last blog entry. In fact, lately I find myself changing plans on an almost daily basis. Production time is just around the corner; decisions, decisions. So as a result, other than to simply say that you will be pleased, I’m going to keep quiet about my spring 09′ collection. I prefer to leave it as a cliff hanger until plans of the collection are finalized.

Ultimately, my goal is two-fold:

1) I want to satisfy and even impress those within my market. For me, that means adjusting the fit and design of my product in order to achieve the most favorable results-an undeniably kick-ass pair of jeans!

2) I also want to ensure that my inventory will be such that I can keep my venders well stocked. I’ve received a couple requests for more product; requests that I am unable to satisfy because I’m out of stock. oneculture is a “no-name brand” so nobody-not even myself–knew quite what to expect during my first season. However, I was delighted to learn that, despite the crippled economy and despite competing with well established denim brands, oneculture sold at a very respectable rate. Having thus gained a better understanding of how my product moves will help me to produce accordingly this time around.

So again, in short, I simply want to make things better next time for both consumers and venders. Consumers will get a superior product and venders will get enough of it to sell.

The business:

I’ve recently received a couple of inquiries from friends of friends wanting to contact me in order gain an understanding of this business. And with all due respects, only a desperate fool would seek my advice about this! If you’ve taken the time to read my blog, then you’ll understand that I am in no position to advise anyone. In addition to whatever research I’ve done, I’m simply learning as I go along. Roger of 440 Brannan told me back in 04′ that this would be the case. He was right.

2004 was the year. It was around March/April when I’d gotten the idea to make jeans for myself. Physically, I was more massive back then as I worked out a lot (weight training)…and ate a lot. I wore Old Navy jeans, size 40×34–42×34 for extra comfort. I didn’t even know what “premium denim” was at the time…had never heard of it. I was simply broke, bored and creative; oneculture grew organically from these factors.

While developing the concept for my denim line, I understood that there was, to some degree, an entertainment-educational factor hidden within my own unique set of circumstances. So I started documenting my experience, which resulted in my blog: Evolution. However, it would be more appropriately titled “Evolution: A Bungling Idiot’s Guide to Starting a Denim Line!” I share all this to say that those of you who seek advice (from me) should read this blog from beginning to end; it’s all that I’m able to offer.


I have a genuine affinity for ART and a very intimate understanding of who my market is and what they want; these things I know for sure.  And I sort of let that guide me; well…1) that, 2) research and 3) basic common sense.

This is a really interesting time period for me. I’m meeting with my pattern maker on Wednesday in order to review my current plans. And once he’s done with all the pattern work I’ll get production samples made of my entire spring collection….etc., etc., blah bah blah.  Anyway, as always, I’ll keep you posted. Stay tuned!

For those who love jeans