by Stacey A.
At Truckee Thursdays, figuring out Stasher clothing company is usually a two-step process. Step one involves walking by and noticing either the neon colors or the unique patterns that range from Hawaiian and Aztec prints to fishing or animal themes. Step two involves actually getting it.
"Some people get it right when they see it, but you have to show most people," co-owner Elijah Carmichael explains as he points out the pocket on each item, saying the reactions are the best part.
Stasher's signature double pocket
Stasher specializes in hats but also makes a variety of other apparel, each item with the signature double pocket "stash" for credit card, car key, cash, and ID - basically all your essentials in one spot.
The company was founded last fall by Carmichael and his girlfriend, Heather Urman, but its roots go back further. Carmichael tells the story of randomly buying a dozen trucker hats from a print shop in Truckee ten years ago. They told him to come back when he had something to put on them, and for ten years he "rocked a blank hat."
Urman said the couple was sitting on the couch last fall when the "aha" moment finally happened. Carmichael held a credit card up to one of his hats and realized it could fit. Then Urman sewed a mock pocket on the spot, and Stasher was born. At the time, the two had only been dating for four months, and Carmichael didn't even know that Urman sewed. Shortly after, they made a prototype hat at Urman's family's embroidery company in San Luis Obispo.
Since then, the couple has been buying interesting fabric on their travels, in fun places like Maui. They create stasher pockets on trucker hats, boat hats, t-shirts, tank tops, and long-sleeve tops and focus on making each piece one-of-a-kind. The products range from $20-$30.
Having an embroidery company in the family allows the couple to make unique pieces. "Usually you have to order a large number of the same item in order to get a good enough price, but I can make whatever I want at my parents' shop ," Urman explains. Stasher uses this advantage by mixing and matching different colors, fabrics, and even thread color. They buy the hats from a distributor and take trips to visit family to run the embroidery. Then Urman sews the pockets on in her bedroom.
Both Carmichael and Urman praise Truckee Thursdays for helping their start-up and giving them confidence in their product, but they both work full-time jobs and are looking forward to having more time to focus on the company this fall. They're researching festivals for next summer and would love to get Stasher into some local shops. Truckee Thursdays has given them a better idea of what people want, so now they can meet the demand.
They also plan to build the inventory on their website, stasherstyle.com. Right now they have a large selection of hats available, but check back this fall or find them at Truckee Thursdays for more items.
Tank tops $20
Our intern, Stacey Alonzo, is an outdoor enthusiast, yoga instructor, aspiring journalist, Burner, and lover of food, drinks, live music, and travel.