Happy Hand-Made Monday, folks! I know there have been a few silent Mondays lately, but I am so, SO excited to introduce you to one of my favorite wedding vendors!
In an era where grooms are getting more involved in the process of planning their weddings, it would seem only natural that there would be a rise in the availability of unique wedding-based menswear. Enter The Grunion Run Groomsmen Shop, an online retailer of unique, dapper (& SUPER affordable) menswear items, from bow ties and pocket squares to shirts and suspenders.
Yun-Yi Goh, Co-founder and Creative Director at The Grunion Run, was kind enough to answer some questions (AND offer a giveaway) for me. Check out our interview below and see the details of the giveaway after the interview!
CV: Tell me about the beginnings of The Grunion Run. How did it start? Where did the idea come from? What is the story of the name?
YG: The Grunion Run was launched in March 2012 but the seeds for the shop were planted in 2006 when Kevin and I got married and couldn’t find exactly what we wanted for our guys at a price point that was affordable. I was working in a different industry at the time but as the years passed it became clear that while the wedding market was vastly changing, the menswear segment remained largely stagnant and I grew very excited at the prospect of creating something new and interesting for grooms + groomsmen.
As for the name, we wanted something unique that would reflect the SoCal roots of the shop. The Grunion Run seemed perfect not only because it’s the name of a special mating ritual for a fish species that is native to these parts, but also because it combines the words groom + union which seemed appropriately symbolic!
CV: Where do you draw inspiration for your work?
YG: I am design-obsessed and look for inspiration everywhere from street-wear to road signs…you never know when something’s going to hit. The other day I was out for a walk with my baby and saw the most perfect shade of green in the trees on one street (thank goodness I turned down that street!). I’m now obsessively trying to find a fabric to match because I know it’s the perfect color for wedding neckties.
CV: What three words best describe your work?
YG: exhausting. obsessive. worthwhile. =)
CV: How would you describe your ideal customer/the person you design for?
YG: I love designing for anyone who wants to have fun and get creative with a more casual, less traditional look. We offer a range of pieces in similar color palettes that can be mixed-and-matched for a cohesive but individual look for groomsmen.
CV: Do you create custom pieces?
YG: As of now we don’t, though we do offer custom monogramming for our ties and pocket squares.
CV: What is your favorite piece(s) you’ve created, and why?
YG: It’s like being asked which child is your favorite but if I was forced to choose I’d have to say that our lavender and pale yellow neckties are two of my favorites because those are the exact (non-shiny) shades of ties we were looking for for our own wedding and never found.
CV: What tips do you have for couples who are choosing their groomsmen’s attire?
YG: Groomsmen outfits don’t often get the same attention as the bridesmaids but don’t forget the guys still make up half your wedding photos. It’s always great when guys have one statement piece be it a tie, a vest, or a pocket square that will pop in the photos. Of course, with all the other details that go into a wedding, I also always stress that you should first have fun and relax.
CV: At IndieWed, we love small/alternative wedding businesses. Are there any small wedding-related businesses you’d like to give a shout-out to?
YG: One of the great things about being in the wedding industry is getting to know the many other fantastic vendors involved; in particular other small business owners who are trying to make things happen like us! We’ve had a great collaboration recently with Chris + Gina Holt who are the photographers behind Chris Holt Photography, and more importantly are such a lovely couple to work with. And while I haven’t met her personally, I must say I really admire Rhiannon of Hey Gorgeous Events because of the way she has grown her business over the years and really connected with her audience over social media. It’s very impressive.
CV: Are you working on anything new or exciting at the moment?
YG: Oh yes! We are playing around with more patterned fabrics and looking at new shapes for our bow ties, among many other fun things we have in our pipeline!
CV: GIVEAWAY DETAILS! One lucky reader will win a necktie of their choice from The Grunion Run’s new collection of neckties! Here’s how you enter: visit the New Arrivals Page, and leave a comment on this feature telling us which necktie on that page is your favorite (and leaving your email address)! A winner will be selected at random on Friday! Personally, I love this Blue Paisley Tie and this Pale Green Floral Tie!
Corinne Van Arsdale is a Wedding Coordinator based in Madison, Wisconsin and serving Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago. Check out her website, blog, Facebook and Pinterest. If you know of a small business/hand-crafter you’d like to recommend for a feature on Hand-Made Monday, email Corinne at email@example.com.