For a short while now, I’ve been visiting with a man named Grant M Hewit. For the most part, Mr. Hewit is much like any normal man. If you begin to take a look at everything the man is involved with though, you begin to see that this man is no mere mortal.
For starters, Grant is the President and CEO of the Cross Hudson Group, LLC, where he founded Streaker Sports and produces the Big Apple Pond Hockey Classic. Add the New York City Wingfest to his list of to-do’s and you have one very busy guy. The fun doesn’t stop there though. Which brings us to the reason for today’s post. Hudson Sutler…a company founded by Mr. Hewit that has caught my full attention as of late.
When I first saw a Hudson Sutler bag, I was amazed by the look of it. To me, it looked like an old duffel that I used to have and it immediately took me back in time. Classic and rugged, Hudson Sutler bags bring back the look of those that we all used to carry, but with some very noticeable updates. Crafted from heavy-duty 18 oz. canvas, these bags are all there. Later on, I will do a full review on the bags themselves, but today I wanted to get you acquainted with the man that produces these great items.
The other day, I was able to catch up with Mr. Hewit in between work and prepping for his next triathlon and ask him a few questions.
First, can you tell us a bit about yourself? What is it that Grant M Hewit does on a day-to-day basis? In other words, what fills up your schedule on a normal day?
I fear my day-to-day will sound boring, but I’ve got to answer what’s asked right? Being the opposite of a “morning person” I spend about 75% of my morning in complete silence until my coffee finally kicks in, and then after that I’m actually a decent enough guy to deal with. Right now I’ve been hard at work getting our Spring line for Hudson Sutler ready as well as developing new products for the brand (expected at the end of Summer.) I’m really proud of how much attention to detail we put into our first round of bags, and so I’ve been extremely conscious to put in the same amount of meticulous decision-making into round two. Thanks to the insanely warm weather here in NYC lately, I usually take a break in the afternoon and hit Central Park for a run before returning to my office. I’m training for my second 70.3 Ironman, slated for September. For a guy that looks like Gizmo when he eats after midnight in the water, I’m not sure why I sign up for sporting events that involve swimming, but I really enjoy triathlons.
I’ve found out that you have been involved with Lacrosse for some time now…can you tell us about your past and present roles within the sport?
As the third of four kids, I pretty much did whatever my older brother did, so when he started playing lacrosse, I followed suit. I played through high school in New Jersey and was fortunate enough to play in college at Princeton. What made that experience even better was having my younger brother join me for my final 2 years. When I graduated I moved to New York City and began volunteering with an organization called CityLax. (www.CityLax.org) Unfortunately, this year my time volunteering has been limited, as I try to grow my business, but I’m still involved in the organization and help however I can. In the spring, I suit up and play with some old college teammates and opponents, but truth be told I don’t know if what I do anymore is technically “lacrosse” as much as it is just being on a field with lacrosse equipment on. I love the game though, and try to stay involved however I can.
Let’s get to the reason we’re here. Hudson Sutler…when did you start this great company, and what inspired you to do so?
Almost a year ago I was working in finance in New York City when I decided to roll the dice and try my hand at starting up a company. At the time I had already founded a sports apparel brand called Streaker Sports and was doing that, but Hudson Sutler quickly became my next passion project. The brand (under about 1000 other names) was in development for close to 9 months before it was launched in December. The inspiration for the brand comes from a true appreciation for “Timeless American Classics.” White button down shirts, broken in jeans, the movie Caddyshack and a cold beer on a warm day with some buddies to me are just things that are Timeless American Classics. With Hudson Sutler, we set out to create another classic item that seemed to have been lost over the years; the canvas duffel bag. In paying homage to our namesake, we set out to have our bags Made in the USA, and be evidence that the American working spirit is alive and well.
Tell us about the design process. Was there an “it” moment that you wanted to see that would let you know your bags were exactly what you wanted to create?
I don’t even know how many rounds of prototypes we did before I had that “it” moment, but I do remember clearly, getting the last test round of samples and just knowing. The weight of the canvas was just right, the contrast stitching was just right, the thick, vintage style zipper just clicked and the icing on the cake was the plaid liner. Beyond that, the moment when I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt this way, was about one week after we launched the brand. I was meeting a friend for lunch, and as I placed my bag down on the chair next to me, our waitress commented “That’s a really sharp bag.” As a merchant of products meant to be seen and felt, I get really amped every time we get a comment like that, an email from a customer, or even just a tweet about how much people like their Hudson Sutler bags.
Last but not least. My Hudson Sutler duffel has been just what I needed. All of my CrossFit gear fits in there perfectly. What’s in your bag?
With tri training in full swing, I’ve got a set of workout clothes which always includes (self promo warning) Streaker Sports shorts. Aside from that, I’m kind of old school and always carry a book (no Kindle for this guy) and a folder with tons of work notes in it. After missing some late night emails to myself, and Evernote not working on the NYC subway, I reverted back to writing notes. Work keys, apartment keys and that’s about it. When the warm weather really kicks in, my Randolph Engineering aviators make the daily trip.
Our thanks to Grant for taking the time out of his busy schedule to visit with us. Next week, we will have part II of our take on Hudson Sutler. Be sure to check us out then, and in the meantime, click on over to their website www.hudsonsutler.com and check them out. I assure you, it will be time well spent!