New companies seem to keep popping up every day during these hard economic times and nobody really knows which ones will make it through this storm.
I would put all my money on the line that Eswic will rise from the ashes of today's burning industry and prevail. Jimmy Arrighi is a true skateboarder and good fellow with a strong sense of what's good. See what Arrighi had to say about starting a new company amidst these conditions and what you should know before starting a skateboard brand.
ESPN.com: Everyone wants to know, what does Eswic stand for or what's the meaning behind the name?
Arrighi: The name Eswic itself doesn't have a defined meaning but it is a name that I have had in my mind for a long time now when thinking about doing a company. I've always just liked the way it looks and sounds.
Where does the name come from or who thought of it?
I came up with the name Eswic and I always just thought it looked and sounded good. So with that, I thought it could really work on clothing.
How long have you been involved in the apparel business?
I've been involved in the apparel business for a little over a decade now. I was with RVCA in the garage days and was one of the owners as well.
When did you know it was time to start your own brand?
I've known this for a few years now but it really started to make sense when RVCA was sold. Then and there I knew RVCA was no longer for me and that I needed to make a move.
How did you go about picking riders and employees to represent your brand?
That was an easy one. Everybody that's involved in Eswic has been in my life for years. I really like to surround myself with people I trust and know, so when it came time to get things rolling I simply reached out to those I thought made sense for this. Also, the riders are in the same boat. It was an easy decision for these guys to come be a part of this because of the relationships we've made over the years. Some longer than others but, these friendships I've built are very real and they definitely hold loyalty within them.
How did your first trade show go?
Actually that's kind of a funny one. Everything was pretty stressful up until the launch on Jan. 2. I don't come from money or anything, so leaving a secure job when I have two kids and a wife who rely on me was kind of crazy... Still, it was an idea that I strongly believed in and since I had the support of my family and friends, it was something that I absolutely needed to do. So back to my point, everything was insanely stressful leading up to it, but once we were actually at the show and saw the response and how much demand Eswic has created, I think most of that stress is gone. Bottom line is, the show couldn't have gone any better.
What's one thing you thing you will never do at Eswic that you did at the previous apparel brand you worked for?
Most everything that I did, I still stand behind.
Who is the current Eswic team?
Our current team is Leo Romero, Ed Templeton, Cairo Foster, James Hardy, Stevie Perez, Dakota Servold and Donovon Piscopo.
Do you think Dakota Servold knows how to spell Eswic yet?
My money would have to be on no. Don't get me wrong, I'm not judging or anything 'cause I actually like that about him. When we're on trips together it'll be like if I'm back home with my 3- and 5-year-olds teaching them how to read and spell.
How do the riders go about designing their own signature pieces with you or the designer?
Being that we're all such a small tight team just about everybody has input to the line, signature or not. I really like input from everyone, that way we make pieces that the guys actually wear.
Do you have to approve all of their designs or do you let them make anything they want?
The guys have a decent amount of freedom but at the end of it all I'm definitely involved in if it's made or not.
What are three major things people should know or take into consideration before starting their own apparel brand?
Come up with a good business plan and make sure the money is secured to move forward. Having and knowing where it's going to be manufactured and making sure it all can be delivered when it's supposed to be. This is very important 'cause if you can't deliver then you probably won't have a business for very long. Before dumping all your time and money into this, make sure that it's actually something people are going to be hyped on and support. To me that is probably the most important one 'cause after all, you can't polish a turd.
What can we expect from Eswic in 2012?
Big things! [Laughs] … Seriously though. Everybody is so into it that they all want to rep it and make sure it gets the attention it deserves. So get ready for an Eswic explosion!