Interview x Stephanie Park
What is the start-up story behind Standard Deviation?
We began our careers together in finance, but quickly realized that creating a menswear brand would be a much more interesting challenge.
After college, the idea of dressing our friends became our inspiration. Striking out in New York City, they were seeking to evolve their styles, but couldn’t find well-crafted casual clothing with a “fresh” look at non-designer prices.
We sought to address this gap by starting Standard Deviation, which would bring quality clothing via the direct-to-consumer model without the retail mark-up.
Standard Deviation, What are three words that best define it?
Fresh, Quality, Value
What are you working on lately?
We have hitting our e-commerce site soon our Logo Baseball Jersey in Frost.
The jersey, constructed from heavyweight moleskin, is meant to be inner-outerwear and is a great seasonal transition piece.
Also in development are a couple more T-shirt styles for spring and summer.
What are some recent achievements you guys would like to share?
CheddarTV interviewed us as an up-and-coming direct-to-consumer fashion brand at the New York Stock Exchange, which was a singular experience.
We’ve also branched out into having more of a brick-and-mortar presence with our apparel at Tictail Market in Manhattan and doing several pop-ups in NYC.
What’s something that’s always running on your minds?
For any new brand, the challenge of getting the word out to new customers is always top of mind. That and designing the next collection.
How do you spend your downtime?
We get a lot of inspiration from exploring the neighborhood where we live in Brooklyn—Bushwick. It’s a mecca of street art, and the neighborhood in general has a fun, irreverent vibe.
NYC in general is a trove of the arts, so we’re always running to the next exhibit, play, venue.
What would you guys spend a million dollars on?
Hmmm, cryptocurrency? Hahaha.
What three pieces of advice would you all give to others when it comes to life and business?
Lol, this question presumes that we have it all figured out, which is highly debatable!
If you insist: 1) Always stay true to yourself and values, even if that means you making your life and work more difficult; 2) Practice, practice, practice before public speaking engagements; and 3) Do not panic and sell in a down market.
What’s one thing you struggle most when building your own brand?
It’s expensive to build an apparel brand! We’re always trying to figure out the best way to get the most bang for our buck.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
We’ve had some major delays in the production of some of our orders. At the outset, we were being naïve about the timeline for doing these things. The major takeaway was to always add a buffer when planning out our calendar.
What’s a typical day in your life like?
A lot of work with fun field trips sprinkled throughout!
We recently went out to Chinatown in Flushing for some much needed Sichuan food and decompression at our favorite Asian spa joints.
What’s one of the highlighting moment in your career? Why is it so?
Definitely taking the leap to quit our careers in finance and start our menswear line. The move was for sure risky, but ultimately the right choice for us.
What stops you from throwing in the towel and giving up during those frustrating days of being in this industry?
The fact that you can’t run away from tomorrow, lol. That and a sufficient amount of cocktails and dancing.
Biggest risk ever taken?
#12 pretty much sums it up!
Who has influenced you most and been your greatest inspiration?
We’re close with a group of other entrepreneurs who have started their own ventures over the years. Bouncing ideas off them and sharing our successes and challenges have been a great resource to us.
How do you go about marketing your business or yourself? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Digital marketing is something we’re still learning about everyday. Our greatest success so far has been through a mix of working with influencers and paid advertising.
How do you plan to grow your brand/business further?
The key will be in fine-tuning our digital marketing strategy and sourcing new avenues through which to sell our product. We’d love to expand our brick-and-mortar presence.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Costco is honestly a favorite. The company has cultivated such a loyal customer base over the years by being really good at what it does and offering excellent customer service.
We also like how Costco was one of the first major retailers to show that it valued its employees by paying people a fair wage with benefits.
How do you achieve balance in your life?
Prioritizing sleep. No one likes feeling cracked out from lack of sleep.
What is the definition of success for you all, and how much of it do you think you guys have achieved?
Ha, ask us this question in 20 years! Success means being able to do what we want and love while making a thriving living from it. We’re working on getting there!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
World domination. Jk. I would love to have figured out how to fold a fitted sheet in the next decade.
What’s the first thing you guys would say to the world if all attention was on you now?
Check out our premium denim with our home-try on program, the Two-Part Solution! Two pairs sent to you with free shipping and free returns and exchanges.