Presented in partnership with Christopher Cloos…
Summer’s the official time for sunglasses, and, if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably got a couple different pairs you like to mix into your wardrobe depending on the situation. Like, for weddings, I’ve got some stylish ones that complement my suit. For the beach, I usually go with some plastic frames with colorful lenses. For a day walking around, something classic that can go with whatever shirt I pull out of my dresser drawer.
Since it’s the time of year when you’ll find yourself needing shades pretty much anywhere you go, Christopher Cloos sunglasses have you covered with their wide offerings of stylish options, all suitable for everyday carry use. And, because of the craftsmanship that Christopher Cloos puts into every pair they manufacture, you’ll look and feel like a million bucks wherever you’re at.
But the story of the brand’s success isn’t one of the overnight variety. In fact, it took hustle, grit and a hell of a lot of traveling.
Yep, believe it or not, to help get Christopher Cloos sunglasses going, one of the founders, an entrepreneur and the current CEO of the brand, Julius Langkilde, traveled through every single state in order to sell the product. Seriously, Julius hit the road and hustled his way into stores, showing off what separated Christopher Cloos from other sunglass brands.
Considering I’m a sucker for a good, inspiring, tell-all story of someone grinding their way to create their own company, I was able to track down Julius and hear more about how his untraditional approach to selling his brand’s sunglasses led to the success they’ve had so far — and where they’ll continue to go from here.
BroBible: Have you always had a passion for style? How’d you get into the sunglasses industry?
Julius: Originally, we were just a couple of guys wanting to make the perfect vintage frame at an affordable price, but we needed a vision and something to trigger the process. In the summer of 2016, we were on a vacation in the South of France, and we met the now legendary, but silent, Christopher Cloos. His style and charisma was the perfect inspiration, and he loved the idea of putting his name on a vintage sunglasses line.
BroBible: And the Christopher Cloos brand kinda stuck! How did you build it?
Julius: Just in line with the story of how the brand got its name, we started visiting beach clubs in the South of France. We wanted to take in orders and build to the story, but it was hard in the beginning. We got a few beach clubs on board and a few stores in our hometown of Copenhagen, and we started to gather momentum. From there, I’d say it has been a fantastic journey. I moved to the U.S. in the summer of 2017, and I have since visited 50 states and gotten our brand into (almost) all of them.
BroBible: As an entrepreneur, what were some of your early struggles?
Julius: I can’t imagine any early entrepreneur out there not worrying about the cash flow. Especially in the production business where it takes a lot to produce a great product and a lot of effort to sell it. Those things combined are hard when you are not selling a lot in the beginning!
BroBible: Was there a “holy shit” moment when everything took off?
Julius: As an entrepreneur, you dream of the hockey stick growth, but it is very hard to achieve in reality. We were fortunate to have some great placements in some prominent articles, and we did a campaign with the American artist Robin Thicke that helped our branding. The more you sell, the more you make people aware of the product; friends refer their friends if they got something they could use. On the other hand, that also means that you have to maintain high standards in terms of quality and deliver an extraordinary customer service. I am thrilled that we only have 5-star reviews online.
Robin Thicke is a Christopher Cloos collaborator
BroBible: Let’s talk about the hustle. You traveled all over the United States to sell Christopher Cloos shades to shops. How’d that come to be?
Julius: After we travelled around France and Scandinavia, I went to the U.S. to start our company overseas. Initially, we just wanted to gain some traction and see if our product also could sell outside of Europe. We opened up our first few accounts in the San Francisco Bay Area, and moved on to the rest of California, then the rest of the West, then the Midwest, and now we are currently expanding on the East coast.
BroBible: How’d that experience help you understand your product and customer?
Julius: It has been great meeting the people of every state. It has helped us understand how we should operate as a business, because it is certainly different being an entrepreneur in the U.S. compared to in Europe. It has also helped us understand how to market ourselves, since every state is different. And how do you scale a company in a foreign country? Especially one that is so large as the U.S? It takes a lot of hard work.
BroBible: What’s next for the brand? Any behind-the-scenes stuff we should keep an eye out for?
Julius: Our vintage frames need to stay true to the brand. We focus on delivering the best quality possible at the price point we operate at. Those things are always the essentials when creating a new frame. We made our collaboration with Robin Thicke, and we are exploring the market for new exciting deals that could bring our followers together. Stay tuned!
BroBible: If you could give one major piece Of advice to an entrepreneur, what would it be?
Julius: Life is short, so if you dream it, go do it! Worry about the drawbacks later, but keep an eye out for them! Be very serious about your business and know that you, for 1-3 years, will need to make a lot of sacrifice.
Designed for the man who never settles for anything but the best, Christopher Cloos sunglasses will upgrade your summer style by pairing with anything you wear, while visiting any place you travel to. You deserve to look and feel your best, and every style of Christopher Cloos shades will help you do just that.
The BroBible team writes about gear that we think you want. Occasionally, we write about items that are a part of one of our affiliate partnerships and we will get a percentage of the revenue from sales.