We first heard about Timeless Thrills back in October, when they dropped their attention-grabbing and well-executed ‘Day Of The Dead Capsule’ featuring two totally custom cut-and-sew pieces to commemorate the classic Mexican celebration. The capsule used a one-of-a-kind printed fabric that Timeless Thrills founder Tyler Wichmann sourced while hunting for patterns in LA that he immediately knew would be perfect for production. From then on they had our attention. Several more releases since, Tyler is still working tirelessly to create his own unique vision of streetwear and subsequently put Timeless Thrills and his hometown of Sacramento on the streetwear map. As anyone working in the streetwear industry will tell you, getting into cut-and-sew is a tricky game, especially if you have no background in sewing or garment making. We have nothing but respect for his hustle, so to find out more about the brand and the man behind it, we chopped it up with Tyler to hear about his experience breaking into the game, and the trials and tribulations of getting into the business of cut-and-sew. Read on and make sure to check out Timeless Thrills‘ dope range of gear coming right out of Sacramento.
INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND YOUR ROLE AT TIMELESS THRILLS
My name is Tyler Wichmann and I am the owner and operator of Timeless Thrills. I do everything from design, photography, website work, marketing, networking, and even some production.
FIRST OFF, HOW DID IT ALL START?
In a sense, Timeless Thrills was a product of me getting fucked over by several employers I worked for after college. I jumped into some positions that at the time I thought may turn into careers. In the end, they did the exact opposite. It gave me a very fucked up perception of the “real world.” I didn’t want to get fucked over anymore, so I started my own business (something I always knew I wanted to eventually do). I was done talking about it and finally got to that “doing” part. Best decision I ever made. That was in November of 2011. And as they say, the rest is history.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO MAKE THE MOVE INTO CUT-AND-SEW?
I always had plans for Timeless Thrills to get into cut & sew. This was always in the cards. The problem was in the beginning I didn’t know how to go about it. I didn’t know anything about patterns and grading, fabric measurements, how to get it manufactured, or practically anything at all. Cut & Sew was a full-on learning process for me. It took a ton of trial-and-error to get to the point we’re at now, but without those learned mistakes none of this would be possible. I will add, cut & sew is a very important part of a brand’s evolution. To go beyond that standard of graphic tees and headwear shows a certain commitment to this craft. It’s not easy, that’s for damn sure.
The biggest challenge was finding someone to work with in order to make our design and vision come true. Not only for the manufacturing, but the pattern and sample production as well. There are a lot of very talented people out there. The key is finding them, approaching them appropriately, and working within their means, cost, and time frame.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT RUNNING THE BRAND SO FAR?
My proudest moment has to be the first time I witnessed a stranger in public wearing Timeless Thrills. My girlfriend and I were driving home and saw a kid walking down the street in our first ever produced Pom Beanie. It was crazy. At that point we had decent local exposure and a bunch of friends, family, and acquaintances were repping and wearing the brand, but that was the first person we ever saw wearing it that we had no connection to. I will never forget that.
NOW A TOUGH QUESTION, WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR YOU AND THE BRAND OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS?
By far the biggest challenge in these couple years of running the brand is just that day-to-day grind we all deal with. Owning your own business and running your own business are two different things. For those running their own business, there are major challenges you are forced to deal with on a daily basis. If you don’t, you don’t survive. It is seriously as simple as that. Being your own boss is not all roses and tea parties. It means, YOU DO EVERYTHING! In one day alone, I can be Timeless Thrills’ shipping department, design team, production manager, marketing network, and decision maker; and let me assure you those kind of days come very often. It’s all about keeping that mind frame of doing every single thing possible, each and every day in order to keep the business moving forward.
IS THERE A BRAND YOU LOOK UP TO, OR ARE CONTINUALLY INSPIRED BY?
Absolutely. I’ve always looked up to Joshy D, Mike Giant, and Rebel8. At one point years ago I considered myself a “Rebel Eighter,” and not to say I don’t anymore. I still support the brand in several ways, but obviously my priorities have changed a bit (to say the least). What Joshy has done with Rebel8 is truly amazing. His story may start out like several other brand owners: Started with a few hundred bucks, sold t-shirts out of messenger bags and car trunks, ran business out of his apartment, etc, etc. The key difference is how Joshy’s story has evolved and where it is at now. He’s literally built that brand from the ground up and now they are internationally recognized and respected; A full-on global scale! It is a true success story. On top of that, Rebel8 was the first (and only) true Lifestyle Brand I actually became “a part of.” I was engulfed in the culture and attitude of the brand, and of course Mike Giant’s ridiculously beautiful art. Rebel8 will always be huge inspiration to me and they will always have my support.
THERE’S PLENTY OF STREETWEAR SCENES IN CALIFORNIA, WHAT’S IT LIKE IN SACRAMENTO?
Compared to some of the bigger, more well-known cities in Cali like SF and LA, Sacramento is very low-key and slow-pace. Even though we’re the capitol, I still feel like we’re an underdog city, especially in the streetwear industry. There are tons of brands, small and big, coming out of Sac that are doing some very special things. We have our staples like Official, Lurk Hard, and Getta Clue Store, but on top of that there are several brands making a lot of noise. I actually wrote a story on the “Top Ten Sacramento Streetwear Brands” a few months back that you can read through our blog.
THE HOLIDAY COLLECTION YOU JUST DROPPED FEATURES SACRAMENTO’S ICONIC TOWER BRIDGE, HOW ARE YOU INSPIRED BY YOUR CITY?
I’m inspired by my city in so many ways. It takes one short trip downtown to our Capitol Building and the Tower Bridge to witness some truly breathtaking landmarks. At this point we’ve used our city’s bridge in two collections. The first was Summer ’12, we put it on tees and tanks, and then just recently we put it on our Holiday ’13 pom beanies and crew socks. That is obvious inspiration. Besides that, it’s the people. Sacramento is the smallest big city in the world and everyone seems to know everyone in one way or another. Our city runs deep with culture and personality which is realized with every bite to eat, sip to drink, place to visit, and experience to take in. We don’t sport that star on the map for nothing!
We’ve usually started creating our collections 3-4 months prior to their drop, although as of late we have gotten a major jump on future design. What I have grown to enjoy most is putting together “conceptual collections.” I feel like we do more than just your average “seasonal line.” For every collection we try and come up with a theme or concept that ultimately plays back into our overall brand concept of “Staying Timeless” “Battling the clock.” Once we are set on a concept that sticks or fits for that particular season, we start creating. From that point forward everything involved in that collection will play back into that original theme or concept. This includes the designs, items, photography (lookbooks), marketing, and even drop times. Every move is calculated and no stone ever goes unturned. With this amount of detail and attention paid to each collection, I feel confident people will start recognizing and respecting what we’re doing in the grand scheme of things.
We have totally finished production in 2013, so don’t expect any more drops before the end of the year. ALTHOUGH, we have a great selection of current Fall/Winter/Holiday product still available in our online shop (had to throw that in there haha). In 2014 we will continue progressing and moving forward. I’ve gotten a major jump on design for the year and I must say, things are looking pretty amazing. It’s taken two years, but as a brand we have finally come to a set position where all our manufacturers and production (on every level) is in line and working well for us. Basically, the trial and error factor has drastically decreased, which I cannot complain about. The last thing I will leave you with (and the first time I’m publicly stating this): We are on the brink of making a solid transition to EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT we produce being made here in the USA. Like cut & sew, this has always been another main goal of mine for the brand. After two years of studying how to make it happen, 2014 could possibly be the start.