Archives: Father’s Day

The story behind Father’s Day

Father’s Day gift guides just seem so trite, don’t they?

So, as a history buff, I thought I’d take a different approach and investigate the holiday’s beginnings. After all, we all know that Father’s Day happens sometime in June, but since when? And did it come before or after Mother’s Day?

Starting with the latter, yes, it came after Mother’s Day.

Two months after the first Mother’s Day was celebrated, a woman named Grace Clayton organized the first observance of a Father’s Day on July 5, 1908 in Fairmont, West Virginia. Clayton’s father had recently passed when the occurrence of an unprecedented mining disaster brought the topic of fatherhood front and center.

In nearby Monongah, our nation’s worst mining disaster happened on July 6, 1907. The incident claimed the lives of 361 men, 250 of which were fathers. Clayton collaborated with her pastor, at what was then the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, to organize a celebration to honor fathers.

Father’s Day didn’t take off right away.

Fast forward to 1910, on the other side of the country in Spokane, Washington, and a woman by the name of Sonara Dodd caught wind of Clayton’s celebration that was held several years earlier. In a similar way, she teamed with her local pastor, who turned out to be a bit influential in the area, and by the third Sunday of June, Father’s Day was celebrated city wide.

It continued to be a local celebration up until the 1920s when Dodd moved away. Simply put, without her around to push for it, the holiday faded into obscurity. Fortunately, she returned in the 1930s and that’s when things really picked up. This time she teamed with manufacturers of tobacco pipes, neck ties, etc – people who would have a commercial stake in the national holiday. And by 1938, the Father’s Day Council was founded by the New York Associated Menswear Retailers organization, with the goal being to promote the holiday.

The general public was at first a little apprehensive to accept the new holiday and viewed it as both a weak attempt to recreate Mother’s Day and as a holiday more interested in the commercial gain of vendors than the celebration of paternal bonds.

It wasn’t until 1966 that President Lyndon B. Johnson wrote a proclamation designating the third Sunday in June to be Father’s Day. Six years later President Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

I find it interesting that the only reason Father’s Day gained momentum and is even celebrated today, is because of the persistent effort of one person. That’s pretty cool.

Today the holiday is recognized by 62 other countries. From Turkey to Sri Lanka to Kenya, father’s have been the proud recipients of gifted socks and homemade cookies (or equivalent) the world over :).

And this year, the holiday is estimated to spur in the neighborhood of $14.3 billion in spending. That’s billion with a ‘b’. There’s no doubt that the holiday has become commercialized. In fact, Congress originally rejected the day as a national holiday for this very reason. This was back in 1916.

Regardless, I think it’s up to you. Whether you provide a physical gift this year or something less tangible, I think a gift that is thoughtful and carries some real meaning is what matters.

Happy Father’s Day everyone!

By Ryan Wagner

Further reading

Wikipedia: Father’s Day

Business Wire: Father’s Day spending

Custom clothing with an edge – Windsor Beacon

Windsor-based company is one of its kind among traditional shops.

Written by Erin Udell

Read original article here.

What do you get when you combine 35 years of experience in the men’s clothing business, an unmistakable passion for it and the support of close-knit family?

If you’re Windsor resident Ron Wagner, you get The Bespoke Edge, Wagner’s unique custom clothing business and second chance.

Wagner and his sons Ryan and Brett launched The Bespoke Edge in October 2012, months after they hatched the idea on Father’s Day of that year.

Ron Wagner had worked at The Regiment Shops men’s clothing store in Fort Collins since the 1970s until it closed in 2009. Since then, he had been looking for a way to possibly get back in the game.

“My sons had been bugging me for years saying, ‘This is what you do best,’ and, ‘There’s no custom men’s shop in Northern Colorado,’ ” Wagner said. “They hounded me a bit, and we decided as a family to create The Bespoke Edge. And at that point in time, it became Northern Colorado’s only custom men’s clothing company that had a locally-based background.”

Unlike a usual men’s clothing shop, Wagner doesn’t have a storefront or inventory. Instead, working on a leaner business model, he runs The Bespoke Edge out of his Windsor home and is often on the road traveling to his clients’ offices or homes for appointments.

His business necessities include a measuring tape, books and books of fabric samples, the knowledge of someone who knows everything imaginable about men’s clothing and, most importantly, his sons Ryan and Brett.

Ryan, an engineer, is mostly responsible for the company’s web presence and marketing endeavors. Brett, a web designer, has been in charge of the website’s (www.bespokeedge.com) look and feel, helping with its appearance, branding, logos and imagery.

“We’re really savvy online and that’s helped us a lot, but it’s really tough to not have a store,” Ryan Wagner said.

“The silver lining is that it helps us focus on our main goal — to cure the man-child epidemic in Colorado,” he added with a laugh.

Echoing his son’s thoughts, Ron Wagner said he helps his clients not only build custom shirts and suits, but also helps them build their personal brand.

“We’re in the business of educating and helping people develop their wardrobe to where, in my opinion, it’s kind of a successful tool for that customer,” Ron Wagner said. “Clothing can and should be a successful tool and it becomes your silent spokesman.”

For nearly the past year and a half, Wagner and his sons have been building up the business and spreading the word about it. Now, Ron Wagner can be found trekking to Fort Collins, Denver, Boulder or even Colorado Springs, where he’s built up customer bases.

On a typical appointment, Wagner collects measurements and goes through what fabric, cut and personal details his client would like to see in the custom garment. He then sends the order out to one of his tailor houses in Rochester, N.Y., or Newark, N.J. and follows the process through from inception to completion, making sure everything is perfect down to the stitching on the button holes.

“And what’s fun about it is no one in Fort Collins, let alone Northern Colorado, is going to have a shirt that looks like that,” Ron Wagner said, flipping through books of fabric samples with every color or pattern you could imagine. “That’s why people sometimes are willing to pay a little more, because it’s a unique styling and unique fabric that fits specifically them.”

As far as pricing, Wagner said his lean business model also allows him to offer his clients custom clothing at more affordable prices than ever before. Shirts start at around $135 and custom suits can be done for under $1,000, he said.

“Personally, I’m convinced that this is where menswear is going — to custom,” Ryan Wagner said. “There are other national companies catching on because it gives you control to pick out details and make you look your best.”

“And it’s not as expensive as it once was,” he added.

Ultimately, Ron Wagner said he might like to have a small storefront in downtown Windsor someday, but understands that the reason why The Bespoke Edge is doing well is because he doesn’t. By not having a shop and the challenges that come with it, he said he is free to spoil his customers by making the process easy and convenient for them.

He also said he and his sons are hoping to launch an online store for shirts through the company website.

“Obviously, to reinvent myself in the business that I spent 35 years in already, you know, can be kind of challenging, but it wasn’t,” Wagner added. “How creative and unique the process is; it’s just really been a lot of fun.”

 

 

Greeley Tribune: Windsor custom clothing business offers suits for the most sharp-dressed men

Read the full article at The Greeley Tribune

WINDSOR — It’s no secret that the days of having a custom tailor are over.

Some men dread shopping for clothing, let alone shopping for dress clothes. Casual Friday at the office has visibly leaked into Thursdays — and sometimes Wednesdays.

Ron Wagner knows all of this, and he wants to change it.

Since last fall, Wagner has worked with his two sons, Ryan and Brett, to make waves in Colorado’s custom clothing industry by selling high-end, tailor-made suits he promises will last a lifetime. With full suits beginning at about $700 and dress shirts starting at $125, he knows it’s not a market for everyone.

But with decades in the industry, he believes it is the market for him.

Having the one-on-one, individual involvement is really important to me. We are creating a one-of-a-kind garment.

— Ron Wagner, The Bespoke Edge

Ron, Ryan & Brett Wagner

 

“We’re just offering products we feel make terrific sense,” Wagner said, dressed in a snappy custom suit. “We’ve got this global market out here, and people are so easily aware. But when it comes right down to it, it’s a matter of presenting ourselves every day.”

His services were not lost on longtime customer West Foster, a commercial real estate appraiser in Greeley. Foster had been a client of Wagner’s for years at The Regiment Shops in Fort Collins. It closed two years ago. So when Foster needed a suit to testify in an upcoming trial, the call from Wagner came just in time.

“I said OK, let’s try it,” Foster said, who had turned to a shop in Flatirons Crossing for his suits before Wagner called. “It’s a beautiful suit. It’s a little more expensive, but it’s a custom tailored suit. It just it boils down to the relationship I’ve had with Ron over the last umpteen years. I trust him.”

Wagner’s interest in high-end suits stems from more than 30 years in Colorado’s clothing industry. From his early days as a salesman to a more prestigious managerial position at a local outfitter, he said he has built a cliental that looks for more than just an OK fit. They look for exceptional quality, and they’re willing to pay for it.

To do that, he and his sons started The Bespoke Edge ­— BE for short — with hopes of turning the clothing store model upside down. Wagner acts as a travelling salesman, carefully fitting clients and helping them design their suit from the most minor of stitches. He goes to homes and businesses prepared with binders loaded with cloth swatches and samples. From high-end Egyptian cottons to Merino wools, clients work with him to design everything from the threading patterns to the cuff styles and ­— of course — the color schemes.

“Having the one-on-one, individual involvement is really important to me,” he said. “We are creating a one-of-a-kind garment.”

Within a week, he said, the fabrics are cut, the designs are laid and the garment begins to take shape. The final product is usually in Colorado three weeks from the initial consultation, though the process isn’t finished at that point. Wagner insists on seeing the final product worn before calling it a done deal.

Though he and his sons recognize the market is slim, Wagner draws on a hefty list of past clients and is working to attract buyers from across the region, stretching into Denver where demand is more visible. He sees a growing market.

That’s how he connected with Foster, who said he’s happy with the final product.

“I like the fabric and the way it fits,” Foster said. “It’s a dark gray with bit of a pinstripe. The dark gray suit I had was solid, so this is just a little different.”

Wagner said he’s ready to make a new future for himself on his own: “I’ve reinvented myself.”

 

As for now, his goal is to be readily available to help people navigate the admittedly confusing, and even intimidating, fashion world. By operating out of his Windsor home and spending life on the road, he’s cutting down costs and working to start his business in the black.

Moreover, by maintaining a blog and updated website, www.bespokeedge.com , he has plans to include a web-based store that can expand beyond Colorado borders.

After all, he maintains, there’s still an emerging market of young men and business professionals looking to suit up.

“We firmly believe that all of the dressing down went way too far,” he said. “How you wear that shirt, how your shoes are polished, whether you put on a nice pair of pants — that’s what we can educate people about.”