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A Proud Son

 

Mother’s Day is coming up, and it got us thinking about our mom – obviously.

But after a little more than a year of working at The Normal Brand, we have a different perspective on her. We see what an incredibly successful leader she is.

Starting a business is exciting, but it’s definitely a challenge. We’ve spent plenty of nights thinking about stuff we’d never thought about before, like thread weight and fabric dye. We’re concerned about fit, and packing presentation, and website optimization. We have a goal of making the most comfortable clothes on the market, built to be worn in the city and the country – but going from vision to reality takes persistence, faith, and a lot of worry.

As a kid, you don’t appreciate things as much as you should. As two of ten kids, and being in a large family was always Normal. As I got older, we realized pretty quickly that having nine brothers and sisters was unique and took special parents to run a functioning household of twelve.

 

The Normal Brand Family

 

We aren’t parents, but as guys in our twenties, we can at least begin to imagine what it’s like to have a kid, and honestly the thought of it scares us both.

We know the amount of work we put into our clothes to make sure they’re the best. We wear our samples for months before selling them. After we go through the science of the fit with our development team, we “real world test it” and drive around with a size large fit sample and ask random guys on the street who wear larges to try it on - just to make sure it fits all of them. We sleep in our samples, so that when we say “so comfortable you could sleep in it,” we mean it. We find ourselves walking through the grocery store touching everything because we are so used to our “touch meetings” where we measure the quality based on the feel. (Yes, this is a ridiculous meeting name that some could take the wrong way, but when all you do is touch clothes during a meeting and take notes – what else can you call it?)

Those clothes are our lives.

But they aren’t our children.

I think back to the things our mom made (and makes) us do to make sure we are a successful family. Rather check your texts than talk? Sorry, every phone is piled in the middle of the table, so start making conversation. Should we take one car or two? Prepare for a tight squeeze, because we’re going in one. Family vacations? Three or four kids to a bed is the standard. 

The Normal Brand


We think of the amount of work our mom put in. From 6 am till 10 pm, the woman never stopped. Leave your backpack on the dinner table after school? That bad boy is long gone by the time you turn around. Feel like having friends over? Sounds good – be ready to clean every single room you guys hang out in, or else. Want to hang with Mom on a weekend? Get ready to sit shotgun as she drives to the ten games the kids have any given Saturday.

Our mom has taught us so much and continues to do so. She listens without judging, gives the best advice, and is the most supportive person in our lives. But she has also helped us this year in a different way by serving as an example of how to lead a group to success. We are not a perfect family by any means. We fight and yell and fight some more. We get into trouble and break the rules more than we should. But we see the pride my mom has when each of her kids accomplishes goals we had to work for. We see her happiness when we show up to our ten-year-old brother’s soccer game on an early Saturday morning, or when we take our grandparents to lunch because we really like hanging out with them, or when we arrive home every Sunday night for dinner. Mom is proud because her work is paying off. Along with my dad, she created a family that truly loves each other.

Whatever we accomplish with The Normal Brand won’t be half as important as that, but it does give us a grade A example of doing the little things over and over to create something special.

Love you, Momma.

2 comments

  • Christina Schellhardt: July 02, 2016

    Lovely. Your words are authentic as is your family. I met yor mother and father and all of you (except one brother) at Zoofari 2015. Your infectious family spirit was as present then as it is in this blog. I hope to reconnect you through the wearing of your brand and example to my own family of all boys (my amazing husband, my two boys 16 and 11 and my dog).

    Best of everything to you in the building of The Normal Brand.

    Most sincerely,

    Christina and Tim and Tim, Charlie and Gus Schellhardt

  • Karen Stahlhut: May 12, 2016

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful letter. I too share your family values within my family.

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