Know those things that could never be planned but end up shaping your life?
If you've ever seen the movie, Before Sunrise, you'd know what we mean. For those who haven't, it's about two people who meet on a Vienna-bound train, strike up a conversation, create a cosmic bond… and then… go their separate ways.
Yeah, they just go back to their lives, and the movie ends inconclusively. But then something happens. A sequel comes out. They find each other by chance 9 years later, and soon after, chart an entirely new course in life.
If you told either of us 10 years ago… 5 years ago… or even last summer, that we'd spend the majority of 2020 hunched over a 50-year-old loom, temperature rising from #weaverfever, we would have laughed at the idea...But here we are.
Long story short, we met in the 3rd grade and we eventually found ourselves as roommates and coworkers in the Bay Area.
On a commute home one day, we had our first conversation about Oliver Charles.
We talked about our work wardrobe and noticed that for the past few years we’d been wearing the same handful of outfits on rotation. The outfits were made up of clothing that we pieced together over the years, like an Arcteryx jacket, Banana Republic Traveler jeans, and a few gifted nice button-downs.
The more we talked about these seemingly random pieces of clothing, the more we realized why we kept them around. They were authentic to us, and they looked good. We also realized that when we wore these outfits we felt generally happier working.
It turns out that there are a lot of people like us who want to feel comfortable and confident throughout hectic days. That's why we set out to create a go-to item for your personal uniform: a sweater. Nice enough to wear for work. Comfortable enough to wear at home. A single item for all of life that looks as good as it feels and lasts for years.
We began surfing the web for materials.
We were obsessed with what made certain materials better than others. In our search, we discovered a natural material that was the underdog in the world of wool called khullu ('coo-loo"). Khullu is the soft underbelly fiber that insulates yak from −40° F winters.
The small community of khullu enthusiasts raved about the fiber's breathability, warmth, and sustainability.
- 40% warmer than sheep's wool, and 15% warmer than merino wool.
- 60% more breathable than cashmere. (Shokay)
- Better for our planet than cashmere. (NPR)