What is Commons Lane and how is it different?
Society has constructed rules for how we run our lives. We grow up in institutions built to teach us only what we need to know to hold a traditional corporate job. Never fully exploring our creative knowledge, we are forced to follow this path. For the rest of our lives, we revolve ourselves around our work; 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. This structure limits us as humans and prevents us from exploring our skills to the fullest potential. Visualize with us for a second. All those people described above are symbolically following each other on a densely populated, long, and narrow road. They are incapable of knowing where the road is destined to take them or why they are even traveling this way. This road is called “Commons Lane”.
Commons Lane, as a company, is not just a shirt or a hat. We represent a dream that lives in everyone. Everyone in this “adult world” have put aside their hopes and dreams to just solely provide. Of course that can be a respectable action, but it can also kill the very factor that makes us human. The dream inside of everyone to escape the repetitive path built by society in order to become more human is what drives us and the company forward.
As far as what we do, the key factor that makes us the most different from other brands trying to come up is the way we approach this business and what we plan to bring to the table. The vast majority of clothing brands are copying their peers. We’re not trying to spit out what other people are creating, we are the creators.
How did you get this idea?
Since we met, we have always been working on plans like this together. Whether it be creating a Youtube channel or selling items online, we always wanted to put together something great. The vague idea of creating a clothing brand came to me (Chris) in the beginning of junior year while I was researching on youtube. When I approached Vivek about the idea, everything clicked together because we both were into fashion and we both immediately had visions and ideas for what we could do. The idea that Commons Lane represents actually came together from both of us; it is a way of life we both attempt to live and strive for.
How long did it take to reach your first release?
It tooks us ten months before we were ready to release. Part of the reason it took that long was of course the fact that we were still full-time students. We were very determined to have every detail of our company ready before we even announced who we are, so we did two things: The first thing we did was have as much meetings as possible. We tried to keep finding new things to work on every week so that we were accomplishing as much as possible. The second thing we did was that we kept our project secret for a long time. What a lot of startup companies do is they brag to their friends about everything they’re going to do, but never do much. We wanted to make sure we had a reason to talk before anyone even knew about us.
What are some challenges you faced when developing the clothing brand?
The design process was much longer than intended because we mistakenly chose to go with a very rigorous and time-consuming method for creating the designs. The way we initially chose to run set us back, which is the reason why we re-released a few months after our initial release. We wanted to fix our mistakes and continue with our vision for the brand.
The biggest challenge was really dealing with the magnitude of the market we were diving into. There are literally new clothing brands being created everyday. It took a deep level of thinking to find our brand identity and create a plan of growth for how we are going to grow and become different than the other brands.
As young entrepreneurs, how did you guys manage to balance your work with school?
The funny thing about it is that we actually chose to simply combine our work with school. We used our time in film class to utilize programs like Adobe Photoshop or Premiere in order to edit our website or pictures. We also constantly met during lunch and free periods for business meetings. This scheduled process combined with the sacrifice of occasional weekends is what transcended “Commons Lane” from a dream to a reality.
What are your plans for the future of the company?
Our plans for “Commons Lane” is to simply keep driving through our goals we have set from the beginning. We’ve hit a great start, but we’ve still got miles ahead of us; our dreams of becoming the next staple brand among fashion enthusiasts is what pushes us everyday and you can definitely expect hearing our name more in the upcoming year. For the followers, just know that we’re going to be coming out with some really unique pieces pretty soon.