hey HEY #teamWERKSHOP!
... and Welcome to the Land of Rocking Eagles! My name is Tina Z (aka Chriztina Marie) and I am the owner/founder and artist behind Eagle Rock WERKSHOP® ... As many of you may know, Eagle Rock WERKSHOP® was launched via kickstarter in January 2014. Over 760 amazing humans from across the planet believed in what I was doing and thus Eagle Rock WERKSHOP® came to fruition. What you may not know, however, is the backstory of how Eagle Rock WERKSHOP® came to be and/or the wild ride that has commenced since the campaign was funded. (you can catch some of the PG-rated/edited cliffs' notes on my previous blog posts: A LOVE LETTER TO #TEAMWERKSHOP , BUSINESS is BUSINESS is BUSINESS and THE IMITATION GAME)
... I wasn't really sure where to start with this whole company bio goodness. I mean, there is just SO much to say! I'm sure I'll sit down one day and write an epic lil' novella about the crazy sh!t that I've been through over the last few years. (and when I say crazy, I mean totes "HOLY SMOKES #wtf" status craziness, hahaa. Cheers to resiliency and determination!) In the meantime, though, I thought it'd be great to knock out the good 'ol five W's so that you can get a good idea of who we are, what we do and why Eagle Rock WERKSHOP is so much more than " just another online legging brand" ...
We are Eagle Rock WERKSHOP®. Our team is currently made up of 7 rad humans ... Myself, Tina Z (Owner/Founder CEO and all that good stuff), Harold (Graphic Artist), Alfredo (Production Manager), JJ (Customer Care and Jozie Master), Nicole (Social Media Guru), Christy (Graphic Designer) and Maria (Seamstress). oh! and btw, Jozie is our industrial heat press, hahaa. =)
We are an active-lifestyle brand that "Blurs the line between Fashion and Function". Our best selling item .... our bread n' butter, so to speak ... are our triathlon leggings/compression pants. We start with the absolute best Italian triathlon fabric available and then print it in-house in my design studio in California. The triathlon gear offers a ton of compression to aide with muscle stability and performs great while doing virtually any activity you can think of - both in and out of the water.
All of the artwork you see on Eagle Rock WERKSHOP® merch is either my own personal/original art or a collab between my amazing artists and myself. I also plan to feature guest artists and expand into more non-printed items in the near future!
Eagle Rock WERKSHOP® started as a "passion project" on my living room floor in the summer of 2013. At the time, I was the Design Director for a men's denim company, and was already working an average of 65 hours a week ... but was determined to make Eagle Rock WERKSHOP® a reality. What can I say, I became a one-woman-show on a mission! It took about six months to illustrate the first collection, perfect the fit of the leggings and prepare the kickstarter content. Then, on December 7th, I held my breathe, crossed my fingers, and launched the campaign. The rest, as they say, was history.
I originally founded Eagle Rock WERKSHOP® when I was living in Eagle Rock, CA ... and while the heart of WERKSHOP will always stay in the Land of Rocking Eagles, I relocated our design studio to a dope little SoCal town called Monrovia. All of our leggings are printed in-house and Made in LA (with imported fabric) ... and our WERK Collection of solid tank tops are 100% Made in USA - even the fabric was knitted in America. YEA!!
Now *THIS* is the big one ... WHY. Well, there are a lot of reasons why. But I will break it down to a few big turning points in my life that contributed to the creation of Eagle Rock WERKSHOP® =) ...
1. I have been an artist since before I can remember. I grew up with Walt Disney as my hero and my adolescent dream was to become an animator. It wasn't until I was 17 when I realized that "fashion" afforded me the opportunity to become the *ultimate* animator: instead of drawing thousands of cells to create a "moving picture", I started to daydream of my sketches leaping off the page and walking across the room. I soon applied to fashion schools in both New York and Los Angeles. FIT in NY sent me a $35 application fee ... and FIDM in LA offered me one of their prestigious "Designer of Tomorrow" scholarships. And to that, I said, "Hello, palm trees!"
2. Over the course of the following 12+ years, I found myself fortunate enough to do some pretty incredible things within the fashion/apparel industriy. At one point, my illustrations were a "gift with purchase" for Chlöe and Saks Fifth Avenue (if someone spent $500+ at Saks, I would illustrate them wearing their purchase. It was so much fun!) ... I also had the opportunity to go to China a handful of times during the 5+ years I spent in the denim game. It was my job to make cheap jeans look expensive. I ended up leaving that gig with several valuable takeaways. ie, I realized that life was far too precious and short to work nonstop for a person/company that didn't align with my personal values ... and also, I decided that when it was time for me to launch my own project, I would do so ethically and transparently and make it a point to manufacture in the USA - no matter how much more expensive and/or difficult it may be...
3. For my 30th birthday, I traveled solo to New Zealand and Fiji. It was the most incredible experience of my life and exactly what I needed to inspire me to set off on my own. I went skydiving, zip-lining, white-water rafting and narrowly escaped a pretty intense near-death experience (shhhh, don't tell my mom). That magical month abroad put so much into perspective for me ... I came back to the states renewed and ready for something (I just didn't know what it was yet) ...
Then, one day, I went on a long/casual walk with my buddy. It was over 100 degrees outside and I was wearing a random pair of printed leggings ... I immediately regretted my wardrobe choice after a few minutes into the trek because "fashion" leggings were definitely not intended to be worn while breaking a sweat. holy smokes. I was SO uncomfortable! and then I realized something: how incredible would it be to wear "fashion" leggings that also served a functional purpose ... not to mention, at the time, I was werkin' out a minimum of 6 days a week. I was obsessed with spinning, bar method, pilates and yoga ... it was the only way for me to offset the stress of my career. And in all those weekly group classes, all I ever saw anyone wear was black black and more black.
All things considered, the transition from jeans to leggings coupled with my love of art/animation was as organic as any new venture could possibly be ...
And with that, I would like to THANK YOU for being a part this journey with me. Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you ever have any questions/concerns or suggestions ... we are always excited to hear from our amazing virtual family. xoxoo, Tina Z.