If you haven’t noticed, fashion is going on a safari this season as trends take a tribal twist. You may have seen Tribal Threadz founder and Penn State student David Grossman in the latest issue of Valley, but we’re here to give you a behind the scenes look at the company that’s giving back in style.
Grossman is a junior majoring in Business Entrepreneurship from Miami. In partnership with his brother Andrew and best friend from home Ben Birns, he started the apparel company with a focus on providing a range of products made from tribal designs, while donating part of each sale to charity.
It all started while Grossman and his family were hiking at Machu Picchu on a trip to Peru. Two Australians that they were talking to were wearing awesome hats, and Grossman and his brother Andrew knew they had to get one of them before they left for home. When he returned home, the hat received a ton of unexpected attention and great feedback among other Penn State students. That was when Grossman said, “I’m going to start a company.”
All he had was a hat, a picture and some big ideas. Grossman decided he was going to build the company from the ground up and began by researching for potential suppliers. He brought his brother Andrew as head of sales and PR and best friend Ben as head of marketing and social media on board. And then- Tribal Threadz was born.
All of the hats are hand cut and sewn, even though Grossman says it costs more than being manufactured. The hats are $22 with free shipping, and they make the perfect gift for the upcoming holiday season.
What sets the company apart: it’s more than just a moneymaking endeavor. After seeing the living conditions in Peru, Grossman knew that there was a way that he could bring a deeper meaning to his tribal designs. He decided to link two charities in Peru to the hats, so customers have the option of where they want their portion of the proceeds to go.
Grossman found Survival International first, a group that helps save tribes in danger of extinction. The other charity they chose was Children of Peru to help kids living in the poor conditions of the city. Children of Peru works to provide education and healthcare.
“We found patterns that bring us back to our roots,” Grossman said. So instead of stopping by stores downtown for your tribal fix, turn to Tribal Threadz for something more authentic.
Right now, Grossman says that he plans on sticking with hats. Eventually he wants to take the patterns and use them for more types of apparel. In the future, Grossman wants to branch out into other patterns connected with other countries.
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Photos by Orhan Yilmaz
Merchandise photo provided by David Grossman