In every industry there are young innovative companies with unique visions that often are contrary to the current trends. Rooted Shade, the outdoors apparel company for casual nature lovers, is no exception and seeks to blend nature with fashion. Their first product line, Carbon, is a pair of handcrafted wooden sunglasses that not only is fashionable and high quality, but is also sustainable. For every pair of sunglasses purchased, Rooted Shade plants a tree for you through their partnership with One Tree Planted.
The company was cofounded by two cousins, Conor Green and Sean Mellon, who have both loved fashion all their lives. While they each have different perspectives, what united them was their vision for a company with depth of vision and purpose. Rooted Shade’s mission is to inspire deep thought and meaning behind action. Through their core principles and the tangible thought they put behind each product, they hope to inspire their followers to do the same in all facets of life.
Their mission is intertwined with their slogan of “Keep Your Roots”, which is the core of the brand. It means to stay grounded and true to your authentic self. To them, the best way to do that is to find your rooted spot; whether it is on a mountain, on the beach, a park bench, or on a rooftop, the effect is the same.
Cofounders Mellon and Green attribute their success to their complimentary skill sets, a disciplined work ethic, and patience in the creation of the brand. While Mellon directs the company’s social media presence and advertising efforts, Green programs the website and manages the company’s photography and graphic design activities.
“Having complimentary skillsets on your founding team is key. It allows you to operate lean, reduce your dependency on external sources, and maintain full equity of the company” says Green. “As long as you are focused, organized, and effective in your daily efforts, you have a great recipe for success.”
The duo worked long nights for a year before launching the company in early July of 2017. Their approach is methodical and purposeful. Every decision they make is well thought out and has meaning. The sourcing of their materials, each aspect of the design, and the foundation of the brand itself all took a considerable amount of time.
“We refuse to cut corners and we will never follow the trends just because that is what other people are doing or because it adds to our bottom line. We will always do what we feel is the right thing to do,” says Mellon.
The young entrepreneurs hope to inspire others to take action towards realizing their own entrepreneurial pursuits by intelligently making the leap of faith. By understanding the realistic landscape for a business and strategically planning for it, they believe you will be able to earn yourself a higher chance of success.
Specifically for anyone starting an ecommerce business, Green mentions to, “make sure there is a viable and consistent demand for your product or service before investing a significant amount of time ironing out the minor details. If you are starting an ecommerce business, do not underestimate the amount of money you will need to put into advertising to get traffic to your site. Organic traffic is a luxury that you will not be able to enjoy until your website’s domain authority warrants it.”
Looking forward, the duo is focused on growing the brand and its base, while crafting new products lines for their followers to enjoy. The core of the brand, “Keep Your Roots”, is a message that their followers personally connect to and live by. Staying true to your authentic self is no simple task, but rather a daily lifestyle. The cofounders are excited to continue to mature the lifestyle brand and communicate its core message to its current and new potential followers. Seeing the stories and passions of their followers is what motivates them every day. They believe that Rooted Shade is more than just a brand, but also a mindset for happiness and fulfillment.
“For me keeping my roots is about being aware of my dreams and what makes me truly happy. I know that I personally am happiest working for myself and find fulfillment out of creating meaningful products for others to enjoy. It was not easy turning down a comfortable and secure job, but I knew that I would never be happy with a traditional 9-5 corporate job. Life’s too short to not take the risk,” says Green.
While only being a new innovative startup, Rooted Shade feels like a mature lifestyle brand. For all you casual nature lovers out there who aren’t jumping out of a helicopter anytime soon, go check them out! The video on their homepage further explains the brand and the meaning of “Keep Your Roots.”
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