Two North Carolina entrepreneurs, Bradley Rhyne and Fillipe Ho are the founders of Ole Mason Jar , a trend inspired southern men’s clothing and lifestyle brand headquartered in Charlotte. The duo met while attending college at Appalachian State University where they were roommate for two years. Now, they have developed a brand that includes leather accessories and shirts.
STYLE talks to Ole Mason Jar about their brand, their personal style and their goal of seeing Ole Mason Jar in some of our favorite high-end retail establishments.
Tell us about your brand and why you started it.
(Filipe) Bradley and I have always had aspirations of starting our own clothing line. Additionally, we felt there was a lack of sustainable clothing in America that we wanted to bring. From the start, we knew our brand would always be about three things; Giving Back, Promoting the Gentleman’s Lifestyle and Crafting high quality fitting clothing using all the resources available to us in North Carolina. This has become our mission that we live by each day! Our blog is an attachment to our brand, it’s a mix of our lives/lifestyle and letting our audience get to know us better.
Describe your personal style and inspirations.
Brad: It is all about bold colors and textures for me. I am a big fan of dark denim, earth tones such as different shades of brown, grey and navy blue. Colors that are possible using in different layers! My biggest style advice was that fit is king and to always keep it simple and let your style speak with the small details implemented or added to your outfit.
Filipe: I like to mix and match pieces that if they are worn on their own wouldn’t necessarily stand out, but with the right complimentary pieces that take on a whole new look. My inspiration comes from my international travels abroad, since I was young and growing up in Hong Kong I’ve had the opportunity to travel the world and take little pieces of inspiration from each place.
Tell us about your cause “Buy a Shirt…Give an Opportunity” and how its changed your business or your life itself?
Giving back was a driving force behind starting OLE MASON JAR. We give 10% of all revenue back to our philanthropy partnerships in and effort to truly make a difference in the world. We have been blessed with the opportunity to start and proceed with something that is a passion of ours, and so we gladly give back. Not only does this help make a difference for our partnerships, project 61, but it also helps to serve as a reminder to the importance of what truly matters and it’s really important in the grand scheme of things. This helps to keep us grounded and constantly giving us that extra motivation when things get tough!
What does style mean to Ole Mason Jar?
Clean, sleek, modern but also traditional at the same time. Our brand’s recurring theme is preserving things that are timeless while adding a touch of modern.
Where do you see your business in the next year or maybe in the next five years?
Starting next year, in addition to our t-shirts and leather goods being made in NC, we will establish a line of our button downs made in NC. Moving-forward, we will be expanding throughout the southeast in local men’s shops and haberdasheries. In the next 5 years, we seek to be an industry leading brand in the high-end retail space like Nordstrom, Neiman or Barney’s NY.
What is unique about Ole Mason Jar?
We are significantly different, our focus is on fit and quality (a modern take on a traditional style). Our focus is on being a sustainable company, giving back, as well as sourcing our fabrics and manufacturing is also a key driver for our brand and how we are different.
What is the most rewarding and most challenging part of being an entrepreneur?
Brad: It is incredibly rewarding to follow your dreams and to create something that hopefully others really appreciate and are inspired by. The most rewarding part is certainly giving back, but would also say being able to source our manufacturing in North Carolina.
Filipe: Being able to promote the gentleman’s lifestyle and help educate other men that already are or aspire to be a modern gentleman.
What is your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge would be manufacturing. Not having a ton of experience in the industry and finding the right contacts for getting things made has taken a lot of time and has been very challenging. Finding manufacturers is not as easy as doing a google search and often times takes knowing the right people to get the right information. Adding in our dedication to being sustainable and making things in North Carolina certainly makes it tough as well.
Any tips or words of encouragement for up and coming entrepreneurs?
It is incredibly rewarding to start something that is your own, but also a lot of hard work. If you are dedicated to making it work that is half of the battle so don’t give up!
What does success mean to you?