In February of 2013, I was struck with an idea. Why was nobody making Seattle skyline shades? There were mugs, socks, hats and shoes, but strangely no sunglasses. Like the start of most ideas, mine began with a quick google search and a sudden realization that nobody had done it before! I thought to myself, maybe there was a reason it hadn’t been done. Even worse, maybe nobody would be interested. Brushing the self-doubt aside, I felt in my gut that there were tons of locals, fans, and friends who would love a pair of Seattle skyline sunglasses. So, I decided to pursue the idea.
The original Townie Shades
Three months later, I launched the first pair of Townie Shades. To be honest, the design, handcrafted by yours truly, was pretty awful. Nevertheless, that summer I got out my canopy tent and went out to several local events. I received a fantastic response from the community, selling a large part of my original order. Some of the pairs I sold caught the eye of a two guys named Nick and Paul, who were working an event nearby. Nick and Paul, who were attending college at the time, reached out to me to purpose a partnership. Luckily they had a few skills that I didn’t - like creating a great online experience for our customers. After working alongside them for 6 months, the Townie team was officially born.
Nick, Derrik, and PaulThat fall we worked together to develop a much improved Seattle product. We spent months perfecting the details of what would eventually become the Seattle 2.0. When it came time to launch, in February of 2015, we were overwhelmed with the response, selling out of our entire order in just six days. It was after that week we realized we could turn our success into a company.