The Story Behind “The Vintage Gentlemen” Brand
Some of you may be wondering why I call our brand “The Vintage Gentlemen,” or how it even came about that I would start such a brand. It’s not quite as sophisticated or put together as you may think. In late 2015 my wife started an Instagram account (Vintage and Grace) where she shared pictures of her most recent interior decorating projects. This led to her blog at www.vintageandgrace.com. She’s exceptionally creative, and is also an excellent photographer, so the world of Instagram came very natural for her. She was able to consistently put out great content, and after a week or two into her new hobby, one of her pictures was picked up by a large Instagram account that reposted her photo on their page. Instantly, she received over 250 followers that day. Being the entrepreneur that I am, my wheels immediately started turning when I saw her success. It was obvious people had a desire to follow her because she was giving out great content and she was creating value. So why couldn’t I do this myself I thought? But the thought of “what would I do?” immediately ran through my head. Up until this year, I didn't think I had a creative bone in my body! What business did I have doing such a thing? Thankfully, my entrepreneurial spirit kept nagging at me enough to override my fears.
After some consideration, I decided I was going to dive in to a new venture, but wasn’t quite sure what it was going to be. After a failed entrepreneurial experience built around an industry I had no interest in, I at least knew that I needed to narrow it down to something I was interested in or passionate about. I’ve learned that building a business around something you’re not interested in is very difficult. With that out of the way, and a clear focus, I began to write down the things I enjoyed, which consisted of a long list of random things, like old books, pipes, leather goods, learning new disciplines, outdoors, investing, appreciation for art, manly accessories, fountain pens, whiskey, business, decanters, classical music, craftsmanship, old maps, adventure, shaving sets, wooden rings, craft beer, travel, culture, and a host more. As I wrote them down, I realized that I was an “old soul.” I shared passions and interests that to me, seemed to be lost among the modern man, but were so prevalent among older generations of men. My initial intent was to narrow down the list of interests to one or two items, but it was so difficult because I loved them all, and in a strange way, they were all connected to who I am. It was a lifestyle that summarized my interests and what I needed to pursue as a brand. But were there any men out there that still shared these similar lifestyle interests? If this was the route I was going to go, the success of my brand depended on men sharing these similar interests right? Very much so, but I knew I needed to follow through regardless of the potential failure because this was where my passion was.
Instead of thinking negatively, I began to think about how the brand could be a potential light in what seems to be a darkened world of shallowness among the average man in our culture. What if there were other men out there that shared these interests, or what if there were other men that didn’t even know they shared these interests, but could be sparked by a community of other men that did? In fact, it was this very idea of “community” that I wanted the brand to exemplify. And what would I call this brand or community? I hinted at it earlier when I mentioned that these interests and passions seemed to be much more prevalent among older generations of men. It didn’t take me long to come up with the brand name of “The Vintage Gentlemen.” I felt that this name properly signified what this brand is about. It’s about preserving the lifestyle of gentlemen of the past within a community of men living in this modern age. From the beginning, the mission of the brand has always been to “help cultivate well-rounded gentlemen.”
With the name established, I started out small with only an Instagram account (vintage_gentlemen) sharing photos of “curated” content that I enjoyed. It ranged from fountain pens, whiskey, leather goods, displays of chivalry, to travel destinations. The account slowly gained a few followers and gave me a little motivation to start sharing some of my own photos, which consisted of the whiskey I was drinking, photos with an “investing tip of the day,” or some of my manly accessories from around the house.
Here's an example of one of my typical "whiskey flat-lays"
More and more began to follow and I quickly realized there’s an interest out there for this. Naturally, I began to take things more seriously and be more thoughtful in the content I put out and the effort behind it. I began studying photography online and also from my wife in order to capture better images and present content in a more appealing way. This paid off and the account began grow even more, but only sharing photos on Instagram was not my sole intent. I wanted to provide more written content as well, so I decided it was time to start a blog. With the blog I was able to write articles about investing, whiskey reviews, and recent travel destinations to name a few. The following behind the brand continuously grew, and now one year later, we’ve decided to branch out yet again. This time, we’re branching out into offering products in our online store well. Here's a few examples of our product offerings found in the store.
Wooden Rings made out of whiskey barrels from Jack Daniel's, Maker's Mark, and Buffalo Trace Distillery.
Handmade Leather Passport Holder
The thought behind this move is to provide an online store that is designed to be a one stop shop for men that share the interests of “vintage gentlemen” and can come find relevant and quality products that will help them live out the gentleman lifestyle. We properly vett the products we list on our site to ensure they meet the craftsmanship standards that we know you are looking for. The store is growing daily in the product offerings, and we don’t intend to stop here. In fact, you’ll see even more content and more products over the next year. We’re still young as a brand, but I have big dreams and envision so much more for what the community of “The Vintage Gentlemen” can be for a positive force in creating a culture of well-rounded gentlemen for decades to come. I encourage you to sign up on our insider's email list below to stay informed of what we're doing and receive special offers in the future. I truly appreciate all of our followers and hope that you’ll continue to journey with us and share our story with your friends to “help cultivate” even more “well-rounded gentlemen.”