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The Encore Story

Early On

For founder Casey Paton it all started with a simple idea during the winter of 2009;  create a business that supported local community causes while promoting ‘real’ music from the past – i.e. celebrating artists that had helped change the musical landscape through impactful lyrics, great sound and revolutionary ideas.   The business had to be fun, it would have to produce something tangible and it should promote a positive, life-affirming message.  Having grown up in rural Maine, with two rather hippyish parents, he was inspired to try and build an enterprise fitting with the style and feel of the classic music he grew up listening too – The Band, Credence, Buffalo Springfield, The Rolling Stones. 

As it turned out the idea was the easy part.  Figuring out how to best execute the vision became, to quote the Beatles, a long and winding road.  During this time, Casey was headed into his third year on Wall Street as an international equity trader.  He was enjoying a lot of ‘so-called’ success and his position was coveted by just about any Ivy League graduate looking to go into finance.  The only problem was he wasn't happy and wanted out.

Creating a personal business venture seemed like a good way to escape.  Before everything else though, this idea of fusing classic rock & roll music with a socially responsible concept needed a name.  Holed up with friends (and beers) one cold, snowy winter evening in South Boston, the name Encore was ultimately born.  Not only did the name signify all the energy of the final performance of a concert, but it also had the connotation of a new pursuit – a sort of second act in life. 

Fits and Starts

The first real iteration of the new Encore business idea was as a brewing company.  The thought process was easy as craft beer was hugely popular and rock & roll music was a natural pairing.  It also helped that Casey and his buddies loved drinking beer (they still do).  Unfortunately, as research was done – huge investment costs, a rapidly oversaturated market, and restrictive alcohol laws – it became evident that creating a brewing operation was both risky and a lot to take on.

The idea of Encore wouldn’t fade that easily though.  Drawing inspiration from the relatively recent successes of New England clothing and lifestyle companies such as Life as Good, Vineyard Vines, and Alex & Ani, the decision was made to simplify things by building Encore as a premium apparel line, one that was smart, stylish and without question socially responsible.  Not only would the brand promote a positive outlook and work to help others, but the aim was to inspire people, in some small way, to follow their own dreams.  

A new business plan was written and later rewritten that shaped how the Encore Apparel Co. would eventually look and operate.  Ideas came and went; some changed, some didn’t.  The one constant was that Casey continued to work long hours in his banking job, all the while dreaming about taking a chance on creating an original apparel concept from the ground up. 

From Vision to Reality

Finally, in the fall of 2013, the time was right to leave Wall Street to take a shot at building something meaningful.  Casey walked away from the safety of his professional job and moved his wife and son back to Boston.  The only problem, aside from the challenges that come with no income, was that he really needed to find a capable partner who could help build and further shape the Encore Apparel Company. 

Almost by complete chance, he reconnected with an old college fraternity brother, Mark Lisavich, who he hadn’t seen or spoken to for several years. Mark was in the midst of launching his own high-end line of infant apparel items while finishing his last semester in art school – where he would soon graduate valedictorian of his class. They sat down for lunch.

Knowing Mark was a super talented designer, a big music fan and an all-round cool guy, Casey laid out the concept of Encore Apparel.  From that very first meeting, Mark and Casey were on the same page in terms of style, branding and giving back.  Mark loved the Encore concept and a partnership was cemented. 

Only with that partnership was the Encore brand really born.  Casey and Mark spent hours working together, sharing ideas, creating designs, and in general continuing to refine what Encore Apparel should be about.  Late in the spring of 2014, the Encore Apparel concept was officially launched to friends and family to much positive feedback and support.  A first batch of t-shirts were produced and delivered.  Close to half of the total proceeds raised from that first production run were donated to five small, LOCAL charitable causes.  The Encore Apparel Company was off and running!

Today 

Like many small businesses that are in their early stages, the Encore Apparel Company is currently trying to find its spot in the world.  One thing is for sure though, we’re having a lot of fun figuring out where this little adventure can go.   Our goal is to produce the best apparel items possible for our supporters, while also doing our part to contribute positively to the local community around us.  Please come along and help us make this inspiring journey a success! 

 

 


                                               Mark Lisavich & Casey Paton

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