Matt & Muriel found their adventure in starting SWRVE. Their goal is to make the best fitting and most durable apparel possible designed to function in the great outdoors & works just as well everyday in the office, at the bar and beyond.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
We started swrve because we couldn’t find clothes that were comfortable, looked good, and survived our bike commute to work.
We started with one item: 3/4 length knickers. It was the one piece Matt could not find anywhere; so that’s how it all started. (they have been much improved in the intervening 11 years)
..from there we kept adding styles to the collection we thought were most functional and useful.
WHAT IS THE INSPIRATION FOR THE BRAND NAME?
Haha. It’s been a while since we thought of it! We wanted a name that connoted movement, unique, and for which we could still snag the web address!
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST HURDLE YOU HAD TO OVERCOME TO GET STARTED?
Oh man, so many! When we started we knew the bare minimum about making clothing, running a business, and everything else we’ve picked up along the way.
..in.. Running a business; the hurdle that’s right in front of you always seems to be the biggest one, but with time and perspective you realize you just had to figure that step out in order to get to next bigger hurdle. I guess life in general is like that too, haha!
It took us about a year from initial concept to our first run of 100 pcs.
We knew very little about the apparel industry. I literally walked for days downtown going into sewing contractors trying to find:
a) someone who made pants (most make tees, or tops) …and…
b) who would be willing to work with such small quantities.
We also did a ton of research on fabrics, trims, types of stitches, construction, etc. to understand what would work best and why.
Finding someone to make our patterns and samples was also a hurdle! Haha. The details of what we wanted in the garments were outside the norm of what everyone else did so it took quite a bit of incremental improvements working with the patternmaker to make what we had in our head a reality. Today we have someone that we have been working with for over 10 years that understands how and why we do certain things so it only takes one or two samples to get it right.
WHAT WAS THAT “JUST DO IT” MOMENT FOR YOU TO GET STARTED?
When Matt had the idea for the clothing I had just finished grad school and wasn’t sure what was next. We both had day jobs but this idea was like a puzzle we needed to solve. We spent all our free time and energy working and learning and clearing each successive little hurdle until that idea became a reality.
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