You won’t find any modern sewing machines in Traveller Denim’s manufacturing facility in Austin, TX. The cutting-edge founders, Selenia Rios and Erik Untersee, went totally old school when it comes to producing quality denim garments. They only use vintage industrial sewing machines.
“We have Singers that are over 100 years old. They’re all made of steel,” says Rios. “Eric has taught himself how to repair and rebuild them. He’s rebuilt the motors.”
When customers enter their store in Austin, they are presented with choices: pick out the denim, choose thread and hardware. Then 20 measurements are taken to make sure they get the best fitting jeans around.
“We are the first and only custom denim company in Texas,” says Rios. “We hand make everything.”
For customers ordering online, there’s a ready-made line of jeans for men offering three choices: Skinny, Slim Taper and Slim Straight. The Slim Taper leads the pack as the best seller and features a tailored upper block and tapers from the upper thigh down the leg.
Traveller Denim came on the scene June 1, 2013. Business has exploded in the past year and the co-owners, who met while working in the film industry, have plans for some unique expansions.
“We hope to expand to produce items for other local designers,” says Rios. “We want to help manufacture their products so they don’t have to outsource outside the U.S. and keep it totally local.”
They are also working on a shipping container that will serve as a replica of their showroom in Austin. The plan is to go out on tour and do custom fittings all over North America.