Here's a quick look at our journey so far.
RPMWEST started back in 2013 with one guy who wanted a great pair of pants. After months of fruitless searching for a well-styled pair of American-made selvedge denim jeans, our founder Manuel had had enough. He contacted a pattern maker from Levi’s, and got to work designing his own jeans. There were many iterations and lots of trial and error, but eventually he had a pair he loved.
Not long after, Manuel decided he’d share his jeans with the world. He launched a Kickstarter with the motto “Perfect Jeans Delivered”. Within 48 hours, he’d reached his goal and RPMWEST was born. Over the next month, the campaign went on to raise over $100,000 from almost a thousand backers. RPMWEST had some jeans to make.
As you might have guessed, ramping up production from one pair of jeans to a thousand didn’t exactly go smoothly. When it started, RPMWEST was based in San Francisco, a city with only one denim manufacturer – there simply wasn’t capacity in the Bay to make our jeans. After some searching, we found a manufacturer in Los Angeles. After a few months of ridiculously long commutes down the 5 Freeway, the whole operation moved south.
But back in those days, we had bigger problems than location. From finding the right Japanese denim supplier from thousands of miles away to figuring out how to scale our business exponentially, we faced quite a few challenges in early production. After a lot of learning, though, we finally got it right. We had a product we were proud of and we were ready to ship.
But shipping wasn’t easy either. Through all of this, the company was run out of a two-bedroom apartment in Long Beach. Every morning, Manuel would have to tilt his mattress up against the wall to make room for his denim inventory. As more people bought our jeans, it quickly became clear that the company needed to expand.
The next step in the RPMWEST journey was a move to a shipping container in a parking lot full of school buses (no joke). While far from ideal, it was a huge step up from the “bedroom warehouse”. The shipping container (newly upgraded with electricity and Wi-Fi) was our home for over a year, during which RPMWEST launched our website and mailed out thousands of pairs of pants.
The RPMWEST "headquarters" has moved a few more times within Los Angeles, and expanded steadily. We’ve come a long way from our first pair of jeans in San Francisco. We’ve created dozens of beautiful products, launched seven more successful Kickstarters, and met thousands of amazing people in the process. Through all this, our team has been growing, too, so if you’re interested in a career at RPMWEST, shoot us an email at careers(at)rpmwest(dot)com.
Our goal now is to offer the best products in world, tailored for the modern man. Whether you’re getting dressed, going camping, making dinner, or traveling the world, we want to be there with you. We’re all about bringing people together, and we’re passionate about products that make amazing moments possible. We’d love to share that passion and those moments with you.