RELEASE was established in March, 2011 by three friends during their spring semester at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Matt Rosinski, Blaine Westropp, and Alek Toumert have all been equally involved in the company since the beginning and all share the same drive and passion to see it succeed. RELEASE offers affordable, high-quality sunglasses and clothing that can reach across all spectrums of demographics and be seen as a fresh style. They offer people what they want without cutting any corners. Most importantly, to pass along the vision of Release Clothing.
Share with us why you started this company/venture – your inspiration or passion?
RELEASE: The inspiration is very simple, but can be applied to all dreams no matter what it is. There are a vast amount of million dollar ideas that are formulated and briefly passed around. It takes determination and drive to be able to take these million dollar ideas and see them through. What our company tries to pass along to all is the idea to release yourself from the everyday tasks and struggles to make the idea a reality, one that is greater than can be imagined. The word Release stands for so much more than just the name of our company; it reminds us to do what we love and to follow our dreams, our passions. It instills in us to not let anything stop us and to not get discouraged with the little speed bumps. We want all people to share this vision and make their dreams their own reality.
What’s been your greatest struggle?
RELEASE: The greatest struggle has been dealing with people who do not take us, or themselves seriously. Numerous times we have dealt with suppliers or other businesses that have not done their job as they had detailed it to us. It has led to some serious lag time with delivering new product lines to customers. It is extremely frustrating to us, considering our whole concept is to deliver the best quality product to our customers, and that passion has not been shared by other businesses we have dealt with. But at the end of the day, we have not let it slow us down and have continued to only deliver the best to our customers.
What was your greatest triumph or achievement to date?
RELEASE: Our greatest achievement is our customers’ feedback. We have successfully mastered the art of “packaging” our vision with the sunglasses we sell so that our customers really understand what we are all about. Our goal is to inspire all and when someone becomes involved with our company they really get it. We have kids texting us pictures, asking us how we are doing, and referring the company to their friends all day long. It’s things like that that keep us strong. We have created a brand from scratch that people actually fall in love with. This is the product of many years of trial and error. When we saw love from our friends and customers in the beginning stages we ran with it and have been exploding since. Something like this is not easy to accomplish, and although it has happened quickly with Release, it is only because of the experiences that we have had for many years before.
Did you have a mentor or another company/brand that inspired you?
RELEASE: Release is a direct extension of who we are. Our team is years in the making, composed of unique individuals with an even more unique view of life. We feel the responsibility to let others know that they can follow their dreams. So we created Release. Release is a way of life put onto paper, onto the internet, into a box, on the side of sunglasses. Release is our way of showing the world how to live and it happens to be with sunglasses. In terms of business strategies, we model ourselves after companies that are changing the world. We strive towards the customer service of Amazon. We strive towards perfection of Apple. These companies understand that the customer is number one. Companies that make us happy mentor us and lead us down the right path. We will NEVER charge for shipping. We will always make sure our customers are happy because that is what the companies we love most do for us.
If you could offer one piece of advice to other budding entrepreneurs…
RELEASE: Our inspiration and vision say it all. You will have many people who doubt you or do not want to take the time to see your ideas through. It really is true that taking the first action is the hardest step and from there it all starts to roll together. If you do what you love and do not cut any corners, you can truly make any idea a great reality.