(intro music) Ian: We come from a long line of people who like to work for themselves Shep: It was always kind of about kind of going out and making it on our own Ian: My name is Ian Murray Shep: I’m Shep Murray. Ian’s older brother and business partner and vineyard vines is all about ‘Every Day Should Feel This Good.’.
(music) Shep: I was not happy where I was. My review was, ‘Shep you need to think more inside the box.’ And I quit, and I called Ian, he said give me five minutes, he called me back and he quit. So we went got drunk on the bar car and had mom and dad pick us up at the train because we were both living at home. They begged for us to go back and ask for our jobs back and we said no.
Ian: shep had this idea that we could make these neckties with the street signs of martha’s Vineyard on it and sell it to all the guys who were flying home in their corporate jets. Shep: Everybody was going to this casual Friday. Colors on ties were like mostly brown and black and silver and we said, you know what there was a need for still this kind of young, energetic, fun, preppy colorful look. And what better way to introduce that then to put icons of the Good Life. Whether it was the Vineyard, Nantucket, sailing, martini.
Glasses and cigars. Ian: You don’t have fifty bathing suits, you don’t have fifty pairs of pants, but you have fifty ties. We had no business plan. We had no exit strategy. We had no intentions. It was honest. We just wanted to have a good time, make an awesome product, and just share it with everybody. (nat sound).
Ian: we designed our little, happy whale. it was like a real feelgood thing. it’s a very welcoming icon and we did a trademark search and we couldn’t believe it, but nobody had the whale trademarked for clothing use. It’s cool though, because it makes you pause and not take things too seriously. Like, seriously? I’m wearing a pink whale on my shirt so it doesn’t really matter anyway. It’s fun. (music).
Ian: right here, in this very space, there used to be a store. shep was in new york waiting for the second batch of ties, July 3, 1998. I rode my bike to town, marched right in here, and she’s like I think you’re insane, I don’t know what you’re doing. I said, I’m not really sure what we’re doing either, but I’ve got all these ties and if you don’t want them I’m just going to leave them on your front step and you just give them away, whatever you want to do. We basically did it on consignment.
(music) Ian:They sold out of the ties in a week and immediately. (music) Ian: In 1998 we had a website. We’d be shipping ties out of our little tiny apartment. And before you know it, with in a year, we had an ecommerce site. Shep: And then we started becoming, some of these specialty stores, seventy percent of.
Their business. and then we got to this point where it was like ok, we have a big enough idea to have a freestanding store. (music) Ian: Today as it sits, vineyard vines, we’ve got approximately forty retail stores. Shep: But our primary goal is not to be bigger, it’s always to be better. (nat sound).