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Woodchuck Idol: Ralph Lauren

WOODCHUCK Idol: Ralph Lauren

Image: Architectural Digest

Ralph Lauren once said “I’m not designing clothes, I’m creating a world.”  His multi-million dollar business speaks for him when it comes to this.  By creating multiple Ralph Lauren lines, he has made himself known for more than just men’s fashion.  The luxury fashion icon Ralph Lauren has been instrumental in paving the way for numerous brands.

We see a little bit of ourselves in him as well.  In 1967, Ralph Lauren launched a line of men’s ties. With this line, Ralph Lauren Polo was born.  Since then, Ralph Lauren has expanded to include women’s fashion, home décor and much more.  Similarly, Woodchuck started as solely a wooden electronic accessories company, and has since expanded to include men’s fashion staples. Ralph Lauren proved that the opportunity to grow is endless. Here at WOODCHUCK, we don’t want to simply create products, but follow Lauren’s wise words and “create a world” for our consumers to experience.

 

Image: Judith Pearly 

A quick history lesson... 

1967- Ralph Lauren Polo was created, selling solely men’s ties

1968- Polo menswear launched.  Ralph Lauren was offered his own in-store boutique within Bloomingdales

1971- A line of tailored shirts for women launched at Bloomingdales, inspired by the men’s line of Polo.  The first stand-alone Ralph Lauren Polo opens on Rodeo Drive in LA.

1978- First fragrance lines launch for men and women, the shape of the bottle being inspired by a vintage flask.

1983- Ralph Lauren Home launched the first full housewares collection from a clothing designer

1990- Polo Golf, performance-driven sportswear collections were launched for men and women

1993- Polo Sport is introduced and model Tyson Beckford becomes the new face  of Polo

2000- The Polo Ralph Lauren company reports annual sales of over $5 billion a year.   Polo.com launched in partnership with NBC.

2005- Polo Ralph Lauren is chosen by the US Tennis Association to be the official apparel sponsor for the US open.

2012- Polo Ralph Lauren is said to be worth $13 billion.   The company is chosen as the official outfitter of the 2012 US Olympic Team, creating outfits for the opening and closing ceremonies.

 

Image: Jacky Blue

Having a magnitude of these type of accomplishments, it’s easy to see why Ralph Lauren is revered as an idol.  In addition to making his way to the top of the fashion world, he’s also the sorta guy who gives back.  He has headed numerous philanthropy events, some of which include: the restoration of the American flag that inspired the national anthem, as well as providing college scholarships for children of victims who died in the September 11th attacks.  

While Ralph Lauren is known as a trendsetter for the fashion-forward man, he is also able to maintain a style that is both timeless and modern.  Since the inception of the Polo brand in 1967, he has defined the essence of American style.

Here at Woodchuck, we salute his patriotism and dedication to fashion. Hats off Ralph. 

July 18, 2014 by Ben VandenWymelenberg
Tags: icon Reviews

Our First Two years: An inside look from the CEO of WOODCHUCK

 

 

 

Hey Everybody,

With the two year anniversary of WOODCHUCK rapidly approaching, I figured it was about time to step away from the craziness of phone calls, laser cutting, toilet cleaning, and bullet dodging to update you on the status of the company.  I’d like to give you a personal look into our culture, the future growth of the brand, and in true WOODCHUCK style, some authentic American feedback.

Entrepreneurship can be a rocky road, but damn the view is beautiful.  As CEO, I have experienced, first hand, the ebb and flow of the company.  An idea that was sparked while drinking a beer at the University of Minnesota has since evolved into a worldwide brand.  What I anticipated to be a fun side project turned into a crash course in business management, team building, and international brand management.  I knew I needed a strong team to inspire the potential I envisioned for WOODCHUCK. The building began.

At the establishment of the company, the team spent countless hours studying business, designing innovative products, and creating invaluable connections with some of the most brilliant minds in business.  Naturally, we need a mission, a vision for where we wanted to go and what we wanted our company to do.  That mission was change.  Change through nature by bringing people back to Mother Earth.  Change in manufacturing by creating more jobs in America.  And lastly, Change in consumerism by creating quality products for our supporters.  We went from working in my bedroom, to a small attic in a shop, to a massive warehouse, back to a small office, and finally where we are today… our own beautiful manufacturing studio in Northeast Minneapolis.

 

FIrst WOODCHUCK photoshoot: Throwback 2012

 

Over the last two years, WOODCHUCK has pushed the limits of life and life has pushed back.  We have had success and opportunities for change.  Through that time, we’ve gone through: hiring’s, firings, machines starting on fire, people starting on fire, legal battles, fun times, bad times, crushed expectations, amazing unexpected results, struggles,  landing product nationwide, more struggles, landing international deals, screwing up, screwing up more, learning branding, learning how not to brand, asking questions, meeting amazing people, meeting jerks, meeting amazing mentors, traveling the world, broken down cars, broken bones, and of course…. we chucked a lot of wood….

The one thing that we didn’t “go through” however, was our mission.It’s still here, authentically American, radically simple, tried and true.
Bring nature back to people
Bring Jobs back to America
Bring quality back to products.

 

 

Leading this company and striving for this vision has been the most humbling, engaging, and promising experience of my life.  I have the opportunity each day to lead a team of dedicated, brilliant individuals on a mission for change.  For that, I am eternally grateful. 

I would like to take one last second to thank you (yes you the person reading this), my team, our friends, our family, supporters, fans, pets, neighbors, and partners. You make our mission a reality everyday and we cannot wait to see what is to come. 

 

P.S. If you ever want to talk about WOODCHUCK, life experiences, or anything at all, shoot me a call at 920-412-6846.  Better yet, stop in anytime for a tour of our manufacturing studio to meet our incredible team, experience our fun and supportive team culture, and watch our products come to life before your eyes.

 

Benjamin Jo VandenWymelenberg 

Founder/ CEO

 



June 06, 2014 by Ben VandenWymelenberg

WOODCHUCK Weekly: WOODCHUCK Wood Pocket Squares featured in Envision Fashion Show

Said to be one of the top trending items to have this season by fashion leaders and online retailers like Shopify, wood pocket squares have recently made their way onto the runway in a local Minneapolis fashion show.   An easy way for any guy to sharpen their look, these will surely make a strong appearance on the lapels of only the most fashion-forward men.   Expanding the WOODCHUCK image and easing our way into the high-end men’s fashion scene has been nothing short of awesome.  That being said, we’re giving the people what they want.  Launching our own WOODCHUCK wood pocket squares for our fans.  We’re the first wood pocket square on the market, with a suede back and multiple layers of wood to detail its uniqueness.  We loved our design and the utility so much we decided to patent this aesthetic piece of art.

May 12, 2014 by Ben VandenWymelenberg
Tags: News Press

A Company on a Mission : The New WOODCHUCK

Over the past two years we have established ourselves as a premier wooden electronics accessories company.  We are now taking our mission and expanding into new territories. No longer are we just a “phone case company”, but rather a premium wooden accessories brand. Today marks the day that we proudly present you with, yes, a new look, but continue on with our everlasting vision.
April 22, 2014 by Kasey Keener
Tags: News Products

WOODCHUCK Weekly: The Value of Corporate Gifting

It is not just something we say we do, it is what we live by; our motto, our mantra.  WOODCHUCK brings nature back to you, jobs back to America, and now WOODCHUCK has established a brand new movement.  A movement that naturally brings life to your company.  Corporate gifting is serious business, and we don't take it lightly.  Why is corporate gifting so important? Here are our three reasons...

March 19, 2014 by Kasey Keener
Tags: Products

WOODCHUCK Weekly: The power of preservation

There are 7.046 billion people on this planet all making an impact on our environment. We at WOODCHUCK strive each and every day to inspire those around us to live more sustainable lives.

March 04, 2014 by Kasey Keener

WOODCHUCK Weekly: Join the Movement

To get people back to nature, we understand the importance of first and foremost, taking care of the great outdoors. Thus, our team has been working towards making WOODCHUCK the best possible company for our community, for our economy, and for good old Mother Earth. We’ve met with key execs from Fortune 50 companies, and found that there’s an even greater support network than we anticipated. 

February 24, 2014 by Ben VandenWymelenberg

WOODCHUCK Weekly: Rugged and Ready

Here at Woodchuck Headquarters, we’ve been making some huge moves and last week was a wild week, to say the least!  With many custom products in production and our CFO's twenty-fourth birthday topping off the week, Team WOODCHUCK decided to collect our thoughts with a cool, calm, and collective mandatory movie sesh. Instead of chucking dodge balls at each other, we sat back and settled into our DIY home-theater and soothed our minds with the movie Into the Wild and some snackage. 

February 18, 2014 by Kasey Keener

The WOODCHUCK Weekly: Get Outdoors

Happy Monday WOODCHUCKERS! This week at WOODCHUCK HQ we are braving the Minnesota cold while busily preparing to give some awesome WOODCHUCK Valentines Day Deals. Later in the week, Team WOODCHUCK is going on an excursion to the St. Paul caves for a little caving experience, pictures to come. Make it a great day!
February 10, 2014 by Ben VandenWymelenberg

Now accepting applications for the '14 Intern Team

Our team is excited to announce that we’re now accepting applications for the 2014 intern team! We’re seeking top talent in all areas of the company. From design, social media, event marketing, finance, production, to dodge ball referee. All parties are integral to making this “work place” what it is today. We are a young, rapidly expanding company whose set out to make an impact.
February 04, 2014 by Ben VandenWymelenberg
Tags: Jobs Mission