Here at Panhandle Prep, we’re constantly on the hunt for new things. Whether its new gear or the latest in men’s fashion, I love to see what’s out on the horizon. Today, that horizon reaches out to North Carolina where we met up with two gentlemen that have started something pretty amazing.
Atlantic Drift Clothing Co. is what happens, when two brothers set out to create something truly unique. Nathan and Thomas Propst are the brothers, and that unique something is a clothing company that offers up the laid-back coastal lifestyle all wrapped up in a polo shirt.
As you’ll learn though, the polo shirts are only the beginning for the boys of Atlantic Drift. Nathan and Thomas aren’t ones for stopping short and they have much bigger things in mind. I caught up with the younger Nathan recently and was able to ask him a few questions about just what makes the Propst boys go.
PHP: Tell us a little about yourselves. Where did you guys grow up? What are some of your favorite hobbies?
AD: Thomas and I were both born and raised in Concord, NC, a small town right outside of Charlotte. We grew up hunting, fishing, and basically spending all of our time in the great outdoors. Whether we were fishing inshore for Red Fish at Bald Head Island, NC, drifting offshore for Mahi in Morehead City, NC, deer and turkey hunting in Spartanburg, SC, or spending our early mornings in a duck blind, we were always hunting and fishing. Being so close to the North and South Carolina coast we pretty much spent all our free time on the water. As if he wasn’t busy enough already, Thomas is also the father of one year old twins, so he has his hands full these days trying to juggle a full-time job, parenting, and building our brand to the company we want it to be.
PHP: So, what inspired you guys to create Atlantic Drift? Were there any specific designers that you crafted your style after?
AD: We had the idea to create Atlantic Drift about 3 years ago. We were just sitting around hanging out, talking about how no brand that we could think of has a logo or products that are truly marketed towards the outdoor sportsman and the lifestyle we grew up on. We wanted to bring our love of this lifestyle to an upscale casual clothing line. We wanted to create the products we wear on a daily basis with our personal touch and the added flare that we are passionate about. That’s where we knew the Blue Marlin had to be the logo. Guy Harvey has created such a huge following using the Marlin as the main focus for his t-shirts. We simply wanted to take that to the next level and create products that you can not only wear on the boat fishing, but also to the office or out on the town. Thomas and I have always either worn a polo shirt or button-down Oxford’s, so we knew we had to create that unique logo and add it to the clothes we know and love. Quality is and always will be our top priority in this process. We will not stop until we perfect everything in our line. To get back to your question though, I wouldn’t say any particular brand inspired us. It was more wanting to craft our designs after the preppy, southern gentlemen’s style.
PHP: Is there a story behind the Marlin logo of Atlantic Drift? Does he have a name yet?
AD: As for the logo, we knew from day one we wanted to make it the Blue Marlin. There were a few other ideas discussed, but the Marlin has always been that prize trophy for every sportsman. It is a southern gentleman’s dream to catch one of these prized game fish, so it was a no-brainer. We wanted to make it different from any other Marlin logo out there today. That’s why we used only the upper body and displayed the fish like it was fighting the fisherman and coming out of the water. I am extremely proud of this logo, because I personally drew this logo and created it from scratch. I was always into art when I was younger and throughout high school. I spent hours finalizing the details and making sure everything was perfect. Once the art was complete we had a graphic designer clean everything up on the computer and digitize it. Our top priority on this logo was to create the most detailed embroidered logo on a shirt today. I guess now the next step is to name him. We have not yet named him, but I’m open to all suggestions!
PHP: If it were me, I think I’d call him Fineous, but I’m sure your ardent followers could come up with something better. So, what’s next for Atlantic Drift? I’ve heard some great rumors lately. Care to share any inside intelligence?
AD: We are working day and night to create many new products, hopefully we will have quite a few to launch this year. Needlepoint belts are next in line. We are finalizing the last minor details on those and hope to launch our first design any day now. There will also be many more custom needlepoint belt designs to follow. I’m really excited about our button-down shirts, which I want to become the staple of this company. There is not much of a timeline on those, because we are still editing and testing samples at this time. Besides those two new products, we are in the works of another type of button-down shirt (that’s top-secret though), a new line of polo shirts, many more pocket t-shirts, and last, but not least more high-profile visors (colors and designs). I honestly don’t think we have even scratched the surface on where we would like to be. I hope to not only double, but even triple our products in the next year or so.
PHP: That sounds great. I can’t wait to see you guys roll all of these products out. Okay…last, but not least…Giants or Patriots?
AD: Now you get to the good stuff! Unfortunately, I can’t say my Panthers, but I can promise you Cam is going to change that in the next few years. These last three years have been pretty rough for me with the NFL, but Cam Newton really gave us something to look forward this year. I have high hopes for the future if we can get our Defense back. Thomas and I are huge NFL and Panthers fans. Thomas actually played football for the University of Richmond for 4 years. Anyway, I gotta say the Giants. I’m not a big fan of either teams, but I really like Eli and I will always cheer for my man Hakeem Nicks (Tar Heel born and bred). I’m going to say the Giants, 37-34 in a shoot out with a last second FG. I will be happy as long as it’s a good game, the beer is cold, and the wings are hot.
Our thanks to Nathan Propst. Be sure to check them out on the web as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Next week I’ll wrap up our conversation with Atlantic Drift, and let you in on a big announcement involving PHP and AD.