Arts / Ecommerce / Startups

Menswear startup Goods of Record pairs handmade with high-gloss

"Customers are caring more and more about where their products come from, how they're made, and the people behind them," said cofounder Trey Sisson.

Updated to add clarifying language about Goods of Record's business model. (9/5/14, 6:12 p.m.)
Can an ecommerce startup lure customers with magazine-style photo spreads and longform journalism?

Goods of Record hopes so.

The menswear company, founded by a pair of Wharton MBAs with startup cred and a New York City art director, launched late last month, featuring a select few pieces from five American craftsmen.

The team traveled around the country to places like Portland, Ore., Minnesota and Brooklyn to create videos and write stories about each of the makers. The company seems to be banking on the made-in-America, “maker” trend.

Think of it as Thrillist for the shopper who cares about artisans and reads n+1.

Matt Pierce of Portland, Ore.-based shop Wood & Faulk. (Photo by Neil DaCosta)

Goods of Record holds inventory of each of the 17 pieces it sells (including duffel bags ($371), live edge cutting boards ($135) and leather passport holders ($130)). That’s because, as cofounder Trey Sisson wrote in an email, “we want to be in control of the entire customer experience: from when they visit our site, engage with us on social media, receive our package, and see their product for the first time.”

The company purchases the pieces from the makers at a wholesale rate, then sells them through its website.

“If there is a product that we are selling that they are also selling through other channels, we are selling it at the same price,” Sisson wrote.

Curation is clearly a major part of the company’s appeal, and its business model.

The Goods of Record warehouse is currently Sisson’s Rittenhouse apartment. “Very little room for me to walk around at the moment!” he wrote.

Sisson, 29, previously worked on StumbleUpon’s advertising platform, while his cofounder and fellow Wharton MBA Sathish Naadimuthu, 28, helped build menswear ecommerce site JackThreads, which was later acquired by Thrillist. The company’s third cofounder, Michael Kushner, 29, is the art director at New York City marketing agency Grey.

Goods of Record is competing with menswear sites like Mr. Porter, Frank & Oak and Huckberry, but the startup believes it can stand out with the quality of their products and their content.

“Customers are caring more and more about where their products come from, how they’re made, and the people behind them,” Sisson wrote. “We think we’re providing all of this in a really creative and engaging way.”

Companies: Goods of Record / Wharton School

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