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Brothers, Shep & Ian, grew up in Connecticut and spent every summer of their lives on Martha's Vineyard, which made them huge fans of the water, fishing and having fun. In the late 90’s, Shep & Ian found themselves miserable behind desks in Manhattan so they decided to trade in their business suits for bathing suits by selling ties so they wouldn't have to wear them. They quit their jobs within ten minutes of each other, ordered some drinks, clinked their glasses together and Vineyard Vines was officially open for business.
Howler founders Chase Heard and Andy Stepanian spent their adolescent summers haunting the waters and fish of Florida and Virginia and riding the ripples those states call waves. Both Heard and Stepanian now live in Texas where they raise families, work hard, make music together, chase fish with fly rods and make runs to the nearest coast or river when the opportunity arises.
Their vision for Howler – and the name Howler Brothers – was inspired by a sound they each heard on surf trips to Costa Rica: the call of the loudest animal in North America, the Howler Monkey. If you’ve heard it, you know how loud and startling the sound can be. But, after hearing it a few times, the sound becomes a part of the collective feeling of being in Central America and serves as a constant reminder that you’re in a good place, doing something you love.
With this emotional connection as a base line, Heard and Stepanian formed Howler Brothers to craft limited run, high quality clothing and goods that draw inspiration from the style and tradition of surfing and coastal sports. They set out to make gear that works in the water, on the boat, and around the fire pit when the stories are told. Clothes you might wear when you’re hearing Howler Monkeys from your hut after a day well spent. Or clothes to wear when you’re wishing you were.
What started as a casual conversation at the Shady Lady Saloon in Jackson Hole, WY has become a top performing mountain-inspired lifestyle brand. Established in 2003, Mountain Khakis quickly became a staple in the wardrobe of everyone from ranch hands to golf pros, those who travel by jet, as well as those who travel by thumb.
In 2012, two friends each found themselves newly married, loving their wives but hating their wedding rings. They searched for a metal ring replacement that was safe and comfortable, but found nothing. From there, QALO was born and the rest is history.