As founders of their own lifestyle, apparel and accessories brand, Eightyfive Miles, siblings Carey Potter and Brian Schwartz think that when it comes to business, making profits and doing what’s right don’t have to be mutually exclusive goals.
“It’s so important for us to do the right thing, and that’s why all of our branding, design branding, design and printing is done right here in West Michigan and why we are dedicated to giving back a portion of our profits to Great Lakes conservation,” says Schwartz , who co-founded the new Great Lakes inspired brand alongside his sister, Carey Potter, in December 2016.
Inspired by the fact that from any point in the state of Michigan, you’re never more than 85 miles away from a Great Lake, the West Michigan startup clothing and accessory company features “high-quality, casual and youthful lifestyle apparel,” for which co-founders went through an intensive branding development process to finalize.
“Eightyfive Miles will do more than offer t-shirts with Michigan logos on them. Our style is best defined as ‘preppy, classic, youthful and fun.’ We are dedicated to providing high quality products with a style that is not only affordable but also uniquely Michigan and Midwestern,” Potter says.
Right now only available on their website via the Eightyfive Miles online store, initial product lines include a wide array of short sleeve and long sleeve t-shirts, a first-edition ‘Stars ‘n Stripes’ t-shirt, baseball caps, stickers, stainless steel water bottles, coasters, can coolers and more.
While there are definite plans to establish a brick and mortar boutique in the near feature, Schwartz says right now, the brand is still getting its sea legs, so to speak, but still remains committed to focusing on keeping things close to home.
“We just literally launched on Saturday and we are actively establishing our brand, but what's important is that all of our brand establishment, legal and product development has taken place in Grand Rapids,” says Schwartz, adding that local companies like Reagan Marketing and Design helped with Eightyfive Miles’ logo and branding, Public Thread’s Janay Brower helped with the ad-hoc sewing and Jennifer Puplava and Mika Meyers did the brands trademark work. Additionally, Schwartz and Potter recently hired another local, Kirsten DelVecchio, to help with retail chain development.
“So, we are keenly focused on Grand Rapids,” he says.
Dedicated to fair labor practices and giving back locally, Eightyfive Miles owners try to ensure all of their product manufacturers are Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) certified and have pledged to donate 3 percent of all profits to Great Lakes conservation efforts.
“We want our customers to feel good about our products,” Schwartz says.
For more information about Eightyfive Miles or to shop new products online, visit www.eightyfivemiles.com
Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Eightyfive Miles