Gray Gear—RI Apparel Company With a Lacrosse Vibe
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Moubayed and Danyla met while coaching youth lacrosse and didn't want to fall into the same pattern many lacrosse players take—hanging up their helmets because it is such an intense game. They instead started their own team, the ‘Gansett Grays, to play in the Olde New England Lacrosse League (ONELL). Their passion for the sport survived the bruises and the multiple surgeries and inspired the two men to begin planning and designing the clothing line in 2010.
Founder Steve Danlya talked to GoLocalProv about the motives behind the brand, its philosophy and its business plans.
Your motto is "Play ForEVER" How do you plan to bring this philosophy to the lacrosse community?
We want you to find your “Play Forever.” Whatever you’re passionate about, whether it happens to be lacrosse, another sport, art, music—anything—we want you to do it, do it well, never quit and do it forever.
Who is Gray Gear's targeted audience? The founders' fellow teammates, younger players or any and all lacrosse players?
Last year, we designed the logo and put it on a few caps (and eventually as a tattoo on Pete's arm) as a trial balloon. We loved it and people on the field and on the street began asking us where we got that "cool" hat? We wanted to start with our own niche, lacrosse, so we began with the logo of a skull with lacrosse sticks. We are hoping that eventually one day it won’t just be limited to lacrosse players. We started with the sport we love and the audience we know and will eventually continue to explore and grow into new directions.
Will there be both men and women's clothing?
We've designed lines for men and women and hope to be adding a children's line as the brand matures. Our target customer isn't defined by age or sex; rather we're going after customers with a particular mindset—a passion for life.
It seems that Gray Gear is focusing first on Rhode Island. Do you hope to also target other lacrosse "hot-bed" areas such as farther south such as Maryland?
We live here so we wanted to introduce Gray Gear in our own backyard. We held our first event at Ballard's on Block Island last week to officially introduce Gray Gear to the community. Our reference point is high end and we’re launching it at a classy venue. The clothes are affordable but not cheaply made and we want to reflect that to our audience. We will also be rolling it out with Gray Gear parties in Maryland and New York later this summer.
How big is the business right now?
We've just launched the brand this summer. Media interest has been far-reaching, but our intention is to grow Gray Gear organically, building it with East Coast customers first and then spreading across the country, focusing on active lacrosse communities.
Is Gray Gear hoping to revolutionize the "Lax bro" look? Or add a new dimension to it?
It is more of a high-end, vintage-take of the lax bro. What does everyone wear? T-shirts, hoodies, hats. We wanted our line to be wearable while still maintaining our old school feel. As we grow we want to get more technical, adding more of an edgy feel.
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