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The Red Hand Story
During the spring of 2012, I went looking for shoelaces and was surprised that I couldn’t find any. Not the quality I wanted, not the size I wanted, and not the color I wanted. So I decided that I was going to make a better shoelace. And that is how Red Hand started. That’s right, with shoelaces.
That idea to revolutionize
shoelaces gave rise to the philosophy that drives Red Hand: bring the best
materials, thoughtful design, and performance to products that have been widely
neglected by the big brands. Make them attractive and stylish. Use American
manufacturers. Sell them direct online. We also decided that instead of just
making shoelaces that we were going to take on all men’s basic apparel and
We knew that if we brought
thoughtfulness, style, and performance together that we could put out a
collection of products better than nearly anything else on the market. We found
the best American manufacturers that would work with us to produce each of our
So, that’s Red Hand – American
made, high-quality basics and accessories that work, fit, and look great.
The result of the last ten
months is a line of shoelaces, socks, undershirts, t-shirts and belts that
makes up our first collection. We have worked with fashion designers, product
engineers, and suppliers to prototype these products, now we just need to
finish the cycle and do our first full production run. That is where
Kickstarter comes in.
Why are we on Kickstarter?
It’s simple: we need more financing to produce our 2013 Collection of
shoelaces, socks, undershirts, t-shirts and belts. We need to buy raw
materials in bulk so that we can make products more efficiently and produce our
initial order. We need your help to do that.
We put together a table to help you navigate the packages we are offering. If the products appear in red, it means you have the options to choose either.
The First Red Hand Products
Shoelaces. We started by making better athletic and dress shoelaces. There are not many shoelace braiders left in the States that can produce laces that will compete with the best on the market. We found the one left that produces for some of the top names and brands in footwear today.
Our shoelaces are made from premium blends so that our laces last and use variable density braiding to ensure they stay tied longer. They come in more sizes so that you can find the right lace for your foot and shoe.
Athletic Laces: Styles - oval and bubble / Colors - black, red or white with an additional oval lace in black with red stripes / Lengths - 34", 40", 46", 52" and 58" / Aglets - clear acetate or black, red or silver metal.
Dress and Casual Laces: Style - round / Colors - black, brown or red with more colors coming online this spring / Lengths - 27", 30" or 33" / Aglets - clear acetate or black, red or silver metal.
Socks. When we designed our socks, we took our favorite
parts from the best socks we could find. We brought back a few design elements that we thought
designers should have kept. We ditched the “one size fits all” approach. Then we found the best sock maker in the States - the family owned business that makes elite socks for one of the biggest athletic companies in the world and that makes some of the best performance socks on the market today.
All of our socks have soft cotton uppers, arch compression
and padding on the heel, sole and toe. The heel, sole and toe incorporate a
wool and acrylic blend that keeps your feet dry. The low cut athletic socks
have a tab on back to keep them from slipping down your heel. The casual sock
is available in an over-the-calf style to keep those socks up.
Athletic Socks: Styles - low (with tab) and crew / Sizes - medium (6-8), large (8.5-12) and extra large (12.5-15) / Colors - black or white with red or grey blocking / Material - cotton uppers with a signature cotton, wool, and acrylic blend for the heel, toe and sole
Casual Socks: Styles - crew and over-the-calf / Sizes - medium (6-8), large (8.5-12) and extra lage (12.5-15) / Colors: black, Red Hand striped, Red Hand diamonds, and black and grey striped with red or grey blocking / Materials - cotton uppers with a signature cotton, wool, and acrylic blend for the heel, toe and sole
Belts. As with socks and laces, we are struck by how hard it is to find a good belt so we decided to make our own. We are using American leather in all of our belts and working with Detroit metal crafters to make our buckles.
For Kickstarter, we wanted to offer our supporters something unique. We have identified five classic American cars and are working with the metal team to make a limited edition belt buckles from hoods of those cars. Each belt will come with a tag that shows the year, make, and model and will be numbered. The buckles tell the story of the glory days of American manufacturing and of its re-emergence with brands like Red Hand. It tells the story of Detroit, where our products are designed. And, it tells the story of being an American guy.
The Red Hand Collectors Belt: Red, white and black buckles cut from classic American cars on black, brown or natural leather in the size of your choice. The list of cars will be finalized once Kickstarter is complete.
Undershirts. Too often, undershirts are boxy and too short, and the quality is inconsistent. Our undershirts are designed to be a slimmer fitting and longer in the torso. The 'V' is deeper so that it stays hidden. That means you can comfortably wear them with all cuts of dress shirts and with jeans and trust that they will not come untucked. We chose ultra soft and ultra premium Supima cotton. Our recommendation: pick them in natural. It feels even softer and won't stick out as much against your skin.
We have one of the best North Carolina knitters making our cotton and a top-tier cut and sew shop in Pennsylvania. The quality of these shirts is remarkable.
The Red Hand Undershirt: Styles - V neck and crew neck / Colors - white and natural / Sizes - medium, large, extra large
T-shirts. We love t-shirts so it only seemed natural to release them first-we still have some of our first collection available on our website. We created a limited edition t-shirt that will only be available during this Kickstarter campaign. It will be printed on a Red Hand made t-shirt.
Our approach to design is straightforward:
1: bring a fresh set of eyes to ignored or neglected products,
2: use colors and patterns that look good in casual and professional settings, and
3: identify the best materials to improve performance and fit while making our products unbelievably comfortable.
The result is shoelaces that last and stay tied without shredding or breaking, and aglets that don’t fall apart. (An aglet, by the way, is that little thing on the end of your shoelaces.) It means socks that stay up, fit well, and fight odor and undershirts that stay tucked in even when you are wearing jeans. And, it means belts with buckles cut from the hoods of classic muscle cars that look cool and tell a story while keeping your pants up.
We were fortunate to find a phenomenal design partner in Middlecott. We worked so well together that they became a partner in Red Hand.
About Red Hand
I’ve never considered myself a fashion guy, but I have
decades of design experience on the web, in landscapes, and as a sculptor. I
have spent a majority of my professional life dedicated to making the things I
touch excel. I’ve owned four businesses and helped more than a dozen other
business owners build theirs. I know how to bring the right people together to
accomplish more than they have any business trying on their own.
I know what I like and what I demand as a consumer. I love
things that fit, that are comfortable, and that last. I like companies that are
responsive and care. I don’t like things that feel overdone. Common sense and
function are equally as important to me as how things look. But I need all
When I created Red Hand, I set out to build a company that
made incredible products—the kind of products that guys would be psyched to put
on every day. I also set out to build a company that I could believe in. One
that was fair to suppliers and manufacturers as well as employees and
customers. You can’t do that without being smart about business, and I have
experience balancing that.
The design and the brand are inspired by iconic American
brands, by musicians and artists, and by my Midwestern background. We are
incredibly proud of what we have done in a short period of time and even more
excited about what that says for the future of Red Hand. We hope you agree.
March 2013: Launch on Kickstarter
May 2013: Begin full scale production of the four products that make up our 2013 Collection
June/July 2013: Fulfill Kickstarter orders
Our vision does not stop with these products. What we have here is the foundation of a new American brand: one that recognizes what came before, and one that insists on being a driver in the future.
Risks and challenges
There are a number of new internet-based brands emerging and the landscape of men's apparel and accessories is rapidly changing. We will need a successful Kickstarter campaign to help us establish Red Hand as a force in this market.
We are going to market with a number of products at the same time. Supplier management will be a critical part of the next few months for us. Fortunately, we have been working with our suppliers for many months and have been hammering out the production schedule collaboratively.
LACES OR SOCKS. Pick two pairs of our 2013 line of shoe laces in the color, length, and style of your choice OR pick one pair of our initial line of socks. As a bonus, we will throw in a set of our stickers. US shipping included.
SOCKS OR T. Pick two pairs of our 2013 line of socks in the silhouette, size and style of your choice OR choose our limited edition launch t-shirt. We will also include a set of stickers. US shipping included
THE EARLY ADOPTER. You get our limited edition t-shirt, two undershirts, two pars of dress socks, two pairs of athletic socks, and two pairs of laces from the 2013 collection. We will also throw in a set of stickers.
A WEEK OF SOCKS. This makes a perfect gift: Give a guy in your life an entire week's worth of socks. We will include three pairs of athletic socks and seven pairs of dress/casual socks in the silhouette and color of your chice shipped anywhere in the states. We will also include a laundry bag so that you can be sure to never lose a sock.
THE BELT. Pick one limited edition belt buckle cut from the hood of a classic American car with brown, black or natural leather. The belt will be numbered and tagged. Limited to 50 of each make & model
SKETCHES & PRODUCTS. We are a little bit old school - every Red Hand product started with a sketch. Own a unique piece of Red Hand history by picking up one of these sketches framed and signed by Brook, our chief designer. We will also include the 'All IN' pack.
ONE OF EVERYTHING. Every initial run lace, a week of undershirts and socks, an entire collection of t-shirts including the launch shirt, one of each belt - you get the idea. We will send you at least one of every product we make for launch. Plus our design team will work with you to create and name a sock pattern for the holiday season.