It is week seven of getting to know more about the people behind some of the products in the shop. We have met some amazing people over the last 5 years. This week, we interviewed Josh, owner and founder of York Project.
Let's get to know Josh
I stared York Project in my parents basement in Livonia, MI in 2013. I had been screen printing merch for my band as a sophomore in college and decided that I could make my own brand to make a difference in my local community of Detroit. York Project was born to donate money and volunteer hours to the homeless in Detroit. I continued growing this brand, slowly, through college. After graduating Michigan State, I worked as a production manager at Abercrombie & Fitch. A year in, I knew this corporate world wasn't for me, so I quit that job, moved back to Detroit, and pursued York Project full time. First opening a store at Twelve Oaks Mall for the holiday season of 2017, and then in 2018, purchasing a few sewing machines and starting our factory.
Why the York Project is so amazing
While I started officially in 2013, I say the business really started in October 2017. I've been so fortunate to come from a supportive family and having had the opportunity to get a great education, I felt compelled to do something great in my community. I wanted to create the company that I wish existed when I was a kid. I want to create a company that people want to work for because it stands for transparent and honest business practices and doing good in our community.
Where the inspiration stems from
I'm inspired by watching how different people live their lives. For that reason, I love to travel and see how different cultures apply aspects from their area to their styles. The fun thing is to then apply that to things that we're working on back in Detroit. I love being able to create great things here in our factory that
end up on a national or global scale.
Josh's favorite York product to date
I'm going to cheat and give 2! My favorite men's piece that our team has ever designed is this olive French terry hoodie that is coming out soon. It's the nicest fabric ever, and has great details that make it just perfect. A 3-panel hood, rib side panels, and no drawstrings. The color is a nice garment dyed vintage looking olive. It's a very heavy weight, but not too lofty either.
My dual favorite is our women's legging. They are made with incredible fabric, knit with polyester from recycled water bottles (10+ in every pair!). We went through like 30 fit sessions to get them absolutely perfect. They look great, fit great, and are less harmful to the planet!
What all does York sell
We sell elevated knitwear, so tees, fleece, leggings, socks, beanies, etc. Our stuff is all fairly minimal with classic colors that won't go out of style. If I had to, I'd call it "Americana Sportswear," stuff that is both functional for daily life, but also super classic and that you'll have so long that your kids will be rocking it when they're in college one day.
Customers can shop our styles online at yorkproject.com
and very soon, all 3 Ferne stores will be carrying leggings and hopefully more!
Advice to other entrepreneurs
My best advice to someone interested in starting a business is to start as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely you are to never start it. It also takes time, and the sooner you start, the more time you're giving yourself to make something truly great!
Thanks to Josh for letting us get to know more about him and how he started York Project. Now you need to get yourself some of their amazing "Americana Sportswear". We are happy to work with Josh and his team to create amazing pieces for you!
Thank you guys for following along on our meet the maker + entrepreneur blog series. We have loved getting to know each and every one of these amazing people. Check back next week for our new blog series!