Interview with J.Stark Designer Erik Holmberg (and Giveaway!)

interview j stark designer erik holmberg
We recently caught up with Erik Holmberg, the founder of the new leather accessories company, J. Stark. Named after Jim Stark, the character played by James Dean in ‘Rebel without a Cause’, Erik was inspired by the heritage of goods that are durable, well designed and classic. He was also tired of being in front of a computer all day working as a graphic designer. The line launched this year and is gaining traction around the States as a new, well thought out line for guys who want something different. But different doesn’t have to mean eccentric.

Here we catch up with Mr. Holmberg about his career and life. You can follow Eric and his work on Instagram and Facebook.

interview j stark designer erik holmberg

Give us a bit of background about yourself.

I’m from a small suburb outside of Cleveland, Ohio called Brecksville. My parents moved me and my two older sisters there from Cleveland so we could get a better education. They pretty much based their whole existence on trying to give us a better life than they had. Now that I look back, I can see they set a great example of selflessness for me.

interview j stark designer erik holmbergHow did you start?

I started by sewing a felt iPad Mini case by hand. It was absolute shit and I didn’t craft anything else for a few months after that because I was discouraged. I came to the realization that you had to accept failure as part of the journey. If you’re paying careful attention to the craft, every minute you spend will progress you.

What brought you to Charleston?

Beaches and sunshine! I wanted to live an active and outdoor lifestyle, and it fits me very well. I feel like we’re all in tune at our core with the ocean. Now that I’ve lived by the ocean, I don’t think I can live away from it.

Where do you source your leather?

Horween! Family owned since 1905. They supply some of the biggest shoe and bag makers in the world with their leathers. They take their time and make the best finishes and toughest leather out there.

What has been a great seller?

The Hough by far. It’s a logical step if you’re transitioning from a traditional bi-fold Costanza wallet. It’s minimal, yet you can carry a stack of cards and cash folded once. Slides quickly out of the pocket and pops open for easy access. 

What are some of the brands you admire?

– Billykirk

– Imogene and Willie

– Forestbound

– Spit Shine Goods

– Red Wing

– Apple

What are you working on next?

I just bought four specialty leathers I’m going to use to make a product in four variations for the Garden & Gun Made in the South awards.

After that I want to introduce a slimmer messenger into the lineup and possibly a leather / selvedge duffle for travel.

interview j stark designer erik holmberg

Those sound great. What are your end-of-summer plans?

Working my ass off. I want to jump on the wave of rugged men’s stores popping up throughout the country and internationally right now. Trying to make every product better, one tiny step at a time.

Now for the Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Fall Reading List: 10 Books to Read in October for Chills and Thrills

Poe, Dante, and King... the boys are back in town.

Levi’s Wellthread X Outerknown Clean Up Dirty Denim with Fall 2018 Collab

Each of these products are built with their end in mind.
Food & Drink

10 Best Beef Jerky Brands to Try Before You Die

Do your tastebuds a favor and chow down on each of these beef jerkies.

Beards, Booze, and Bacon: The Mongolian Cashmere Episode

How did a trip to Mongolia turn into a failed non-profit that eventually became a direct-to-consumer cashmere brand? Listen in.
Fashion & Style

The Best Fall Sales on Menswear and Gear This Weekend

Jackets, outdoor gear, watches, shoes — you name it, we've found a deal on it.
Fashion & Style

Meet Corridor, the Fashionable Clothing Company Founded by a Former FBI Agent

"I was going to transfer over to CIA from FBI, and I went to graduate school during the process. I started tailoring clothes on the side just to make money."
Fashion & Style

Layer Up for Fall ASAP with the Best Men’s Puffy Vests

Get in-vested in this quintessential fall style staple.

15 Best Travel Pants for Hiking, Exploring, and Everything in Between

Our favorite, all-around travel pants are suitable for every environment and activity, from finding comfort on the plane to finding adventure outdoors.
Fashion & Style

Weather the Season in Style with the Best Men’s Boots for Fall

These boots were made for walking ... in the crisp autumn air.
Fashion & Style

Stock Up on the Best Crewneck Sweatshirts for Men this Fall

The best crewneck sweatshirts are warm, stylish, and easy to layer.
Fashion & Style

What to Wear Tailgating: Fall Style Essentials for Football Fans

Snag these tailgating style basics before the next game.
Fashion & Style

Keep it Cozy with These Seven Warmest Winter Socks

Winter means padding around your pad in the softest, warmest socks possible.