Jeans. We all have our favorite pair of denims. You might be a J.Crew girl or New York and Co. fanatic, and it’s all good. But the thing is, you may not know what you’re missing. I sure didn’t — until the nice people at Dearborn Denim reached out and asked if I’d check out their jeans. Now those Dearborns are my go-to choice for denim.
You know I’m a budget-conscious shopper, and it takes a lot for me to develop loyalty to a specific brand (you know, because a sale usually trumps loyalty). I wanted to know more about why Dearborn Denim jeans are unlike other jeans I’ve worn, so I asked owner and founder Rob McMillan if I could pick his brain on what they’re doing right at Dearborn. Read on for the inside scoop.
What did you do before you got into the jeans business?
I was a bond trader, here in Chicago.
What motivated you to start this company?
About two years ago, my wife, Katy, was tired of buying expensive jeans that started sagging by lunch time and become totally unwearable after a couple washes. We wondered why that was happening. It turns out that the materials the denim are made from matter a lot, so we tested a bunch of denim samples, then had a sample pair of jeans made for her. They were awesome, and she still wears them over a year later. We realized that other people want the same quality from their jeans, and so Dearborn Denim was born.
What’s the Dearborn Denim Story?I think the Dearborn Denim Story is about doing things the right way rather than the easy way. Click To Tweet When we decided to do this it was like, we can do this how everyone else does it; do the designs, build a brand, focus on marketing, but outsource the manufacturing; or we could do it the right way and do the manufacturing ourselves and focus on a quality product.
If we did it how everyone else does it, our brand probably would have been out there a year ago. We wouldn’t have had to find funding, wouldn’t have had to learn how to run a factory, or figure out what machines to get, build the factory from the ground up, find the best sewers in the city, etc. But I do know that we wouldn’t have ended up with what we have now. I often think about something a teacher of mine who once said,'if you always do the easy thing, you'll just be like everyone else.' Click To Tweet
We aren’t like everyone else.