♦ By Jeremy & Christi Barnes ♦
Work hard, live well. This is the mantra of Manready Mercantile, a curated collection of menswear and goods in Houston, Texas. More than just a storefront, Manready is a movement, the embodiment of a lifestyle of authenticity, bravery, and community. There is a unique perspective on the customer experience. Not one determined by Excel sheets and market analytics, but rather driven by conversations, community engagement, and more than just occasional glasses of whiskey. They carry the finest apothecary, leather, and handmade American goods, the ultimate one-stop for the adventurer and the gentleman. Manready’s larger-than-life persona is the product of hard-won stories and humble beginnings. In November 2012, Travis Weaver struck out with a simple idea: to sell handmade goods, be honest, and work hard. There was no brick and mortar, no significant Instagram following, no investors, just a man and his vision. From the back of his truck to bars in town, Travis was willing to start anywhere, he just needed to build momentum. His grassroots approach meant valuing every opportunity, every encouragement. “I never tripped over a dollar to pick up a quarter,” he offers, in a telling vernacular. Nor did he allow entitlement to keep him from gettin’ a little dirt on his boots. Eventually Travis picked up enough business to warrant his own space. Also by this point in late 2013, Travis began to attract some business partners. The sustaining brilliance behind Manready is the incredibly diverse talent Travis has brought in. He points out that, “I have all these people who are good at the things I’m not. I just happen to be smart enough to know where my strengths and weaknesses are.” There is a team of twelve, each bringing an equally unique perspective and skill to the business. Despite the numbers in leadership, the design and message of Manready is cohesive, one that feels distinctly American, and overtly authentic. “We were all working full-time jobs when it began, and all of us still do.” When they first started, most of them worked 100 hour work weeks, scaling it back in various degrees ever since. While I’m sure fatigue is a factor at times for these guys, they’ve made it quite clear that they would have it no other way. While they maintain a work ethic of bygone days, it’s clear that Manready isn’t interested in walking worn paths – they’re carving a new one. Denim built for work and wear. Boots made to stamp the long, open road. Old cameras gleaming with metal shells, intricate contraptions, and time-tested use. Manready is a champion of conservation, reclaiming the glory of our collective histories, and pressing toward making “American-made” ever synonymous with excellence.
Excerpted from Woven Magazine
321 W 19TH St., Suite B Houston, Texas
Photos ©Woven Magazine & ©Manready Mercantile