Basics brands are commodities. Why do people keep building them?

The hidden secret of most businesses is that the more boring the business, the better the business—the flashier, the worse. This heuristic is especially true in the consumer goods landscape, where brands run the hazard of seeking attention over…


Hyper-Value — with Ryan Babenzien of GREATS

On the 56th episode of the Loose Threads Podcast, a show about the rapidly changing consumer economy, we talk with Ryan Babenzien, the founder of GREATS, the first-digitally-native footwear brand that is hyper-focused on bringing extreme value to…


The Gold Standard — with Karen Young of Oui Shave

On the 55th episode of the Loose Threads Podcast, a show about the rapidly changing consumer economy, I talk with Karen Young, the founder of Oui Shave, a direct to consumer shaving brand for women. Karen started the company after she grew tired of…


From Down Under — with Jonathan Shokrian of MeUndies

On the 48th episode of the Loose Threads Podcast, a show about the intersection of consumer, retail and commerce, I talk with Jonathan Shokrian, the founder of MeUndies, one of the early direct to consumer subscription brands that is injecting some…


Sleepless Nights — with Ariel Kaye of Parachute Home

On the 46th episode of the Loose Threads Podcast, a show about the intersection of consumer, retail and commerce, I talk with Ariel Kaye, the founder of Parachute home, a direct to consumer brand bringing a new lifestyle to the home. Ariel founded…


Direct to consumer brands vs commodities: who will prevail?

A few weeks ago, Dave Ambrose tweeted out the above image showing an Away suitcase and an Amazon Basics replica side-by-side. The Away bag costs $295 and the Amazon Basics one is $89.99. Away is one of the current darlings of the direct to consumer…


Angularity and Optionality — with Jeff Johnson of The Arrivals

Jeff Johnson specializes in outerwear, but 2017 will see The Arrivals co-founder tackle a sometimes-intimidating frontier for online-first brands. The offline world. Johnson talked about the direction of his brand and how an architectural…


Leather, Data and Grit — with Evan Fript of Paul Evans

For Evan Fript, creating Paul Evans was a carefully planned escape from the world of finance. Always doing capital markets-focused work and equity capital markets… I hated working in banking and finance,” Fript said on the 31st episode of the…


When the Social Mission Comes First — with Olivia Wright of Rallier

Olivia Wright wants to bring social responsibility to contemporary fashion.It’s easier said than done, with companies like Toms allowing consumers to make philanthropic purchases at an inexpensive price point. But Wright’s mission has always been…


Dusting off the Luggage Industry — with Josh Udashkin of Raden

By his own admission, Josh Udashkin is not a samurai packer. The 33-year old Montreal native always checked a bag when traveling with footwear company Aldo, where Udashkin worked before founding the smart luggage company Raden in 2015. On…