Boss's Day

Boss's Day

We have been working hard to get some new things done this fall.  In Celebration of Boss's Day we will be going LIVE on Instagram to discuss new products, improvements, answer questions and giving an inside perspective on our business.  Join us Monday October 16th at 6pm PST. Until then here's a couple questions we wanted to shed light on. 

Jeff Curry Mt Hood

Name: Jeff Curry

Age: 30

Hometown Pittsfield, MA

Where do you see Treefort next?   

When we first started Treefort we didn’t want to define our brand and limit ourselves to one product. We were learning who we were as a brand and originally created it as a lifestyle brand to focus on adventure, music, camping and riding. We have been working on some new designs lately and started to tailor our brand to more of a travel aspect inspired by the outdoors. The products we are developing, aim to do exactly what we first set out to do “make the little things in life better.” We believe that materials should be rugged and durable for the outdoors allowing our products to last a long time. I can see us launching a handful of new pieces in the next year that evolved from our Travelers Trunks and Cameras Straps. We are going to continue to innovate and create more lifestyle products and original designs.

What are the successes and failures you have learned from?

I feel like every time we succeed or fail there is something to take away and learn from. This whole experience with starting a brand has been learning curve. Our first product, the suspenders taught us how to design, market, and manufacturer a product. We had to first figure out how to make the suspenders ourselves, then we found a small local manufacturer to make our first runs. Once we outgrow production and we had to locate and actual factory to make them. Things always take longer that you expect but I’ve learned a lot from conception to making the product, marketing and selling our idea.

Failure is inevitable, everyday we have to problem solve. Allowing yourself to fail creates a path to success in my mind. My biggest failures are always on the sewing machines. I have a grand idea and when I try to make it I ultimately mess up my first and most times second prototype. But after I make the first one I can see where I went wrong and always get myself back on track. Whenever I try something I am incapable of, I know that I’m going to mess up. Every time I do that, I am able to learn the process and figure it out through trail and error. Since I never learned traditional sewing my failures end up teaching me new techniques regularly.

Why is it important to look at design differently?

When approaching a product you can look at it like everyone else does, and you will create something similar to what already exists. I believe that creating and being creative means that you can change things for the better. Ultimately by looking at design differently you end up innovating, progress, and evolving. This has always been one of our main goals at Treefort. Since both Kevin and I didn’t start with design backgrounds, we naturally approach our products differently. Sometimes we come up with a great idea because we had no clue how to traditionally make something on a sewing machine. Sometimes it gets frustrating but usually the struggle ends up leading to a solution you wouldn’t think up otherwise.

Who motivates and inspires you.

People and companies that refuse to let profit margins dictate the quality of their products motivate me. Watching other companies and manufacturers focus on quality and craftsmanship motivates me to continue to improve our product line year after year. Watching other companies take the extra steps to insure a solid product gives me faith that there are still solid brands out there doing the right thing. I am inspired by quality craftsmanship that is so prevalent in Portland. I look up to the leatherworkers and designers that create products that will last a lifetime. Passionate people inspire me to do what I love, watching other passionate people doing what they love inspires me everyday to invest in my own passions.


Kevin Perron Lookout Treefort

Name: Kevin Perron

Age: 31

Hometown Sunapee, NH

Where do you see Treefort next?

I see the future of Treefort being a leader in practical, stylish, travel gear that will always be built out of rugged materials suited for the outdoors.
People often ask, what do you mean by, "lifestyle" when you say Treefort Lifestyle Products?  To me, this is a tag we put on our brand when we first started, because we didn't want to limit our brand to being stuck to a niche, or compete with already existing niche brands.  We live in the Pacific Northwest and we are always on the move to go for a hike, skiing, taking photos or traveling by plane or car to do these things somewhere else.    This tag has driven us to create items for our lifestyle which ultimately breaks down to being an outdoor inspired traveler.

What success and failures have you learned from?

Generally speaking, my big successes only come from several small fails.  Many ideas I envision as cool, but when I create the idea, I laugh at how lame it is.  However, after laughing, I know that I just learned something during the creation that can apply to another design, or that I can change this design to make it as cool as I envision it and sometimes it sparks a whole new idea starting the process over.  Personally I have learned tons and made several theories off of the "Travelers Trunk."  This is a success that came from several failures.  I had made a few phone holders similar to a Travelers Trunk out of cardboard and tape while working in a warehouse, and Jeff had later sent a bib style chest pocket that attached our suspenders to hold a phone.  I don't think either of these items were going to be something big by themselves, but combing these two ideas gave the chest/phone pocket a necklace cord and then I wanted to incorporate a wallet of some sort so I could have my phone and wallet on me while skiing and not have to make a transfer of valuables back to my normal wallet after.  Today the Travelers Trunk is our biggest purchased item, so this is what I have learned the most from.

Why is it important to look at design differently?

To me, designing comes from taking a problem, or a concept and putting it together your own way with minimal outside influence. This creates a unique product with unique style.  It feels like most products are copies of other ideas, being used strictly for financial gain.  Personally,  I want to create products that people have to ask, "what is that?" I try never to look at the design of an item that is existing before I make it.  For instance, when designing the Travelers Trunk,  I never looked at a passport wallet and how they function, I just knew what I wanted the pocket to fit.  I used what I had, in terms of materials and skills to create this idea and was limited to some small pieces of canvas, velcro, elastic from the suspenders, and very minimal sewing skills.  This, with a few additions and better sewing, ultimately created the look and components of the Travelers Trunk you see today.  This mentality on design allows our products to truly function and look unique to other similar ideas.

Who motivates and inspires you?

I am first inspired/motivated by people who make a conscious effort to add only good to the world, I think we need more mission and less competition in our approach to life.  I am second inspired/motivated by anyone who has built their own career out of a passion. Some people are blessed with lots of resources and some people have none, but it's the genuine and passionate ones who will come out on the top. I am inspired/motivated by artists, athletes, musicians, writers, business people, and anyone else who is "self made."  However, those who are "self made" will rarely admit it, because they know they were made, motivated and inspired by others who paved a path, or at least made the trail.

We will be LIVE tonight at 6pm PST on Instagram.  We want you to come and hang out with us in our Treefort.  See you there!



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