Reuben Levi

Founder of Grits Co.

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Grits Co.

Your Name:  Reuben Levi  

Location: Houston, Texas

Brand Name:  Grits Co.

Slogan/Mission Statement:

Grits was created to graphically represent the southern experience in an unapologetic way. Our slogan is simple, “No Grits No Glory”, It’s a reminder that if you want to do something you love for a living, you will have to put your whole self into it and never give up.

Story:

I started Grits when I was tired of working for faceless corporations and mediocre bosses. I wanted to escape the tyranny of a conventional 9-5. My career was fairly typical of most designers and finally one day I found myself working at a creative job that didn't provide any creative satisfaction. I then realized that I was losing sight of the creative freedom I had when creating my own art. The job was sucking the creativity out of me. I had spent the majority of my 20s working nonstop and I didn’t want to spend another second in my life doing the same thing. That is when I took control of my dreams and creative inspiration to create this brand.

It began with only a name that reminded me of Southern culture , “Grits”. The concept was simple, “No Grits No Glory”, It’s a reminder that if you want to do something you love for a living, you will have to put your whole self into it and never give up.  Hold back and you will never be able to make your dreams become realitiy.  It’s that simple. Love what you do and who you are in life and all things are possible.  This is what defines us and gives us a sense of self and what keeps us young, focused, and driven. So when it came time for me to establish my own brand I stuck with the idea and this is how "Grits" came to be.

I knew going into starting a new company I would have to be open for critcs and taking a lot of risk.  While some believe there are so many reasons not to take risk, my theory is being safe is risky, being mediocre is risky, being average is being risky. So live life with the risk and keep grinding hard at what you believe. Be utterly unsympathetic about pursuing your freedom and setting realistic goals to capture your dreams. It’s your freedom that will get you to where you want to go. I believe from having this outlook, my brand has been able to capture the true american grit of working hard and living the "Gritty American Dream".

The "Gritty American Dream" for us is a staple to why we push so hard to raise above the others. Always creating fresh new Southern inspired work that will help capture the eye of the hard working man in the factory to the fields, to the city boy on his skateboard, or the classic car enthusist, life is "Grits". Hardwork, hard grinding, never giving up, and following your dreams.

www.weargrits.com

What are Grits?

Grits are coarsely ground corn, traditionally a breakfast cereal. Though grits have a rich tradition in the South, they are not only eaten by Southerners. People around the country are finding the great uses and taste of grits. Turner Catledge, former editor of the New York Times, called grits "the first truly American food." Grits date as far back as 1607, when the colonists came ashore at Jamestown, Virginia. Grits are a good source of calcium and iron and have no fat or cholesterol. For breakfast, recipes like cheese grits are made. But for a more substantial dinner meal, Southerners rely on shrimp and grits, where the shellfish bulks up the grits.

Whether they're the instant, just-add-boiling water version from supermarket shelves or the new fashion in chic cuisine, grits have been a part of American meals for 400 years, and they don't appear to be leaving the table anytime soon.


With the longevity and deliciousness of Grits it made it easy when naming our brand after a southern staple. Made a lot of sense!

Logo:

Grits Style Guide

Images of mocked up:

Icon: Roscrow

As an icon we wanted something that represented the south inspired lifestyle. We chose the crow for its obvious nod to the old and new south. In prior the image of a crow had a bad annotation of black stereotypes and fear. We wanted to give its true nature back. The crow is clever, smart, social and resilient. Most of all they will cooperate with each other for the benefit of the whole flock.

I love cartoons from the 30’s and 40’s rubber hose animation, so I created the crow in that style.  After creating our crow, we asked the Grits fans to name our mascot in a contest. The fans were very enthusiastic, but the name that won was Roscrow. He is a strong crow amoungst crows and a very fun charecter that we like to put in different situations. We are able to capture many different looks for Roscrow that we continue to develop as he grows with "Grits".

Target Audience:

Men from the age of 16-35 that pursue a life that makes them happy. They love what they do and do what they love or at least aspire for it in their own life.  They love art, open to new things, travel, well read/cultured example, love design, and always willing to get there hands dirty. When it comes to clothing choices they love to mix up streetwear with a classic/vintage aesthetic.

Customers related brand interests:

PF flyers, Benny Gold, The Hundreds, Staple, Supreme, Popeye, Felix the cat, Betty Boop, Rubberhose animation, Ebbets Vintage, Brixton, Staple Design, Fuct, Neighborhood Technical Apparel, Huf, Obey, Street Etiquette, Johnny Cupcakes, Thraser, Complex Mag, Juxatapz, Self Edge, Dues Ex Machina, 3Sixteen, Rising Sun, RL by Ralph Lauren, Moon Equipment, Pendelton, Mister Freedom and Fiberops.

Grits Co. Spring/ Summer 2014 Collection:

Grits Inspiration/Process:

Design Concept:

Southern Lifestyle

We wanted to create a brand that was not just one dimensional. So we use the words and narratives of our southern lifestyle that inspire us. There is a similar experience we get from the look and feel of vintage garments and products…these stories go beyond just the thread and fiber. The vintage products and fabrics became the perfect canvas for us juxtapose our modern narrative.

We believe every garment should tell the story; whether its hand crafted in the USA, classic bold imagery, hand chain-stitched lettering, to the vintage feel shirts made from dead stock heritage fabrics with subtle imagery from 40's, 50's, and 60's. Those stories remind us a simplier time when anything is possible if you just dreamed it. All you need is some grit to make it happen.

Images of Collection:

Grits Co. "True Grit" collection for Spring/Summer 2014 continues with the sub-line’s riffs on rebellious American style mixed Southern flavor.  Each piece is a comment on the Southern experience through the music and language. Here we find the likes of an appropriated crow icon, Roscrow. references to Southern Hip Hop, Jazz and Blues. As well as allusions to southern dialect and culture. Enjoy a look at the “True Grit" collection.

The Good Times Tee:
Price: $40

Inspired by the Mardi gras' slogan and the BB Kings and Bobby Bland blues song of the same name. We always to encourage to enjoy oneself. The shirt features a illustraion of our own Roscrow with his Guitar jamming to his own tunes.

Ridin Dirty Tee:
Price: $32

Inspired by the phrase coined by Houston’s own UGK. We took the phrase and reimaging it in true Grits fashion. The shirt features a handdrawn rendering of a kid poppin a wheelie.

Roscrow Shirt:
Price: $32

The feature our icon Rocrow thinkng of a masterplan.

By Hell or High water Tee:
Price: $32

There is saying in the south, if you say you will do something come hell or high water, you mean you are determined to do it even if it is difficult. We stand by that notion puruse you dreams.

 

Moonshine & Mayhem Stadium Jacket-
Price: $260.00

Grits Co. has always been about Dedicated to the good ole Moonshine. We created classic look, the Moonshine & Mayhem Stadium Jacket. The jacket is made of 5.5oz waxed poly/canvas material that is produced by the last North American manufacturer of waxed canvas fabrics. This all black jacket features gold ribbed collar, gold striped detail hem, and sleeve cuffs for a timeless letterman look. With custom Grits Co. button up closure, the Grits Co “G” printed at the left chest, Moonshine & Mayhem graphic on the back, two front pockets, seersucker lining and a lightweight feel. For good looks and good times, slip on the Moonshine & Mayhem Stadium Jacket.

Seersucker print in the inside the jacket. He is wearing a classic Grits Co. logo tee.

Back Print

The Trill
Price: $36

100% Navy Blue Wool cap, suede brim with adjustable leather strap. Front Felt appliqué of the Grits Co."G".

The Zydeco:
Price: $36

Our five-panel features our logo leather patch on the crown. The cap features a Hickory grey Pin Stripe Cap with suede brim with adjustable leather strap. Sizing is adjustable. One size fits most.

The Dirty:
Price: $36

100% Wool cap, suede brim with adjustable leather strap. Front embrodiery with the infamous Roscrow. Sizing is adjustable. One size fits most.

Extra Credit: Apply Your Brand to a Car

Inspired by vintage delivery trucks, rat rods, and biycles, We painted the Kia Soul flat black and gave the paint scheme some black and red gloss highlights. When designing the scheme for the car we wanted to make sure that the branding was beneficial for Grits and Kia Soul, making it "Loud and Clear" that we are the new generation of cool. Being a car owner of the Kia Souls competitor, we decided to bring the best out of the lines, making the vehicle appear big, roomy, and cool to drive.  We added the Logo on the sides and our mascot, Roscrow on the back. After doing this we had to add some cool details and pinstriping.  To set it off we went with "Smoothie" wheels and white walls to complete the look.  New Soul with a Gritty Spin!

Website: New Website

www.weargrits.com

Video :

Green Grits Video: http://vimeo.com/19648350

For more info check us out on all our social platforms. 
Website | http://www.weargrits.com/
Facebook | http://www.facebook.com/weargrits
Twitter | https://twitter.com/weargrits
Tumblr | http://weargrits.tumblr.com/
Instagram| http://instagram.com/weargrits
Vimeo| http://vimeo.com/weargrits

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