Our Story – J. Stark
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It’s about all of us

J. Stark was founded on my desire to create something tangible. I’d spent the previous decade building digital representations of things – ghosts that would vanish the moment they were unplugged.

It began as a rediscovery of my own potential and became something much greater. I learned it wasn’t about me. It’s about all of us.

J. Stark products rely on the hard work of countless artisans, craftspeople and makers that supply us with all of our materials. Once we’ve designed and produced our pieces, they travel to a network of tireless retailers who believe in what we do.

Our work is chosen and put to use by the people who sustain the movement. Some of them buy for the look, others for the feel and everyone appreciates the durability. And we like to think that buying something made in America is part of that equation as well.

We believe in real things made by real people. We believe in products that stand the test of time and earn the investment made in them. We believe in fair wages for hard work and opportunity for anyone willing to learn.

James Dean in Rebel without a cause

James Dean in Rebel without a cause

The name J. Stark is a nod to the character Jim Stark that James Dean played in Rebel Without a Cause. I wanted to find a common ground for connection, and we all have lived through the troubles and triumphs of our teenage years. Trying to fit in yet become an individual. Those experiences cut so deep because we were still wet from the mold.

My parents were greasers, outsiders… They grew up in inner city Cleveland and had dreams, but the dream they made come true was to give their children a better life than they had. The names of our products come from the streets they walked to school on, drove their 57 Chevy on, kissed on, rumbled on… It’s a tribute to them, Cleveland, the beautifully scarred years of youth, and to dreamers.

Erik Holmberg
“You can wake up now, the universe has ended.”
Jim Stark

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