2016 #GeorgiaBBQ Bracket Challenge: Sweet Sauce Bracket

Well, we are half way through the of the second annual #GEORGIABBQ Bracket Challenge with our friends over at Peach State Pride.  To bring everyone up to speed, we just finished the White Sauce Bracket, with B’s Cracklin’ BBQ in Savannah claiming their spot in the overall Final Four, joining Hot Thomas BBQ in Watkinsville and Big Shanty BBQ in Kennesaw.  Now we’re on to the Sweet Sauce bracket, with some heavy hitters ready to do battle.

The winner gets a custom design from Classic Georgia and Peach State Pride.  We’re using last years’ winner’s design (Zeb’s) as the logo for this year’s challenge:

Here we go with the Sweet Sauce bracket.  We’ll run this great-8 through Wednesday at 10PM ET.  Tell your friends and get your votes in!  The more the merrier…

Submit

Saturday Action: The Melindagloss Jacket

While the Navy blazer is every man’s shell of armor, go a little lighter in the Spring:

I came across the Melindagloss jacket on East Dane, and it lines right up.  It is considered ‘structured’, but it is 100% cotton and only half lined, so it will fit a little better than a traditional structured blazer.  The color is called ‘denim blue’, and it will go with just about everything.  It’s a good price point, and will feel a little lighter than a Navy blazer…like a lime La Croix.  Put it will lighter denim and some Res Ipsa loafers, or beat-to-hell jeans and a some double monks (sans socks of course), or on top of a pair of khakis.

A jacket like this will put you on another level.  If a Navy blazer is the common denominator, this sport coat is a high-interest return.

High Five

Here are five things that I’m digging…and I think you’ll like:

1. The New Persol 649s.  The iconic sunglasses got a facelift, and they look GREAT.  I found them on sale here.  It’s going to be tough not to pull the trigger.

2. Res Ipsa just loaded up their site with new Kilim Loafers.  You on board yet?

3. Ledbury has seriously stepped up their sport coat game.  Check out these beauties….

4. Oak Street Bootmakers has released double sole wingtips…and they are as sharp as a tack.

5. John Daly picked Danny Willett to win The Masters.  Of course he did.

Head’s Up, Atlanta: Strong Suit Made to Measure Event at Nordstrom at Phipps

Join the good folks at Strong Suit for a Made to Measure event April 23rd at Nordstrom Phipps Plaza, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

One Made to Measure Suit + One Made to Measure Shirt + One tie for $895 (a 20% discount)
or
Two Made to Measure Suits + Two Made to Measure Shirts + Two ties for $1,695 (a 25% discount)

April 23rd

3500 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30326

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Post Masters Thoughts

Now that the Masters has concluded, I wanted to get some thoughts down on paper.  I was in a wedding all weekend, so I wasn’t glued to the TV on Friday and Saturday, which would usually be the norm.  I did catch a few hours of coverage as well as the highlights, and finally feel like I have my brain wrapped around this year’s tournament.

The Good:

Danny Willett: What a great story about his son being born eleven days prior to the tournament, with Sunday as his original due date.  He also shot a bogie-free 67 on Sunday…which is almost unheard of, especially with those Sunday pins.  I was really impressed with how he pressed the accelerator after Spieth’s meltdown on 12.  Willett could have very easily let the moment get the best of him, but he stayed the course and won the Green Jacket.

Bryson DeChambeau: We saw him putting on Monday, and he had three sticks lined up and varying distances.  He’s a complete weirdo.  I heard him quoted as saying “I’m an artist”.  I dig it.  I really hope he wins at Hilton Head this weekend.

David Duval: As I mentioned above, I did get to see a bunch of highlights on the Golf Channel, and Duval is really coming into his own as a golf commentator.  He used to be a more bitter version of Johnny Miller, but he’s lightened up a bit, which gives him the ability to show off his knowledge about the golf swing, and what goes on between the ropes.  Good on you, DD.

The Masters Social Media presence: I was extremely impressed with the laser focus on The Masters Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  They have really come into their own over the last couple of years, and are hitting their stride.  They do an outstanding job of capturing the feeling of the tournament in a 2D social media aspect.

The Bad:

Jordan Spieth’s play on the 12th on Sunday:  They say that The Masters doesn’t really start until the back nine on Sunday, and Spieth was a lap ahead of the field after birdies on 6-7-8- and 9.  Then came bogies on 10 and 11, followed by a complete meltdown on 12.  Look, we’ve seen champions dunk it off the tee on Sunday and pull out a win, but it was the second shot that really baffled me.  Instead of going to the drop zone, he chose a spot on the ball flight much further back, on a downhill lie.

Ernie Els’ 7-putt:  I thought it was a joke, like some “Funny or Die” skit.

Bottom line: you can take anything for granted at Augusta National.  They don’t give you a single shot.

The missing early Masters coverage:  I can’t think of any reason that tournament play before 2PM or 3PM isn’t televised.  I’m sure most networks would be clamoring to show early coverage, even if they are only allowed four minutes of commercials per hour.

The Ugly:

Dustin Johnson’s putting:  The guy would have won the tournament if he made 60% of the 10-footers he missed on Sunday.  Did you see his second shot on 15?  He snap-hooked a long iron about 225 yards to 11 feet.  Then missed the eagle.  That was the sixth putt he missed JUST LIKE THAT.  If DJ gets his putter working, look out…

Rickie Fowler: “Golf Happened”.  Good lord, dude.  Get it together.

The wind:  I’ve never seen anything like that over here in the US.  I thought I was watching the British Open on a color TV.

All of the above prove once again that The Masters is probably the greatest sporting event of the year.  I’m already counting down to next year’s tournament.

What did you think?

Images: Google Image Search

Catching Up: TJ Callaway of Onward Reserve

TJ Callaway, the fearless leader of the Onward Reserve empire has been busy over the last few years. He and his team have been busy growing their storefronts, their brand influence all over the Southeast. With the growing popularity of their seasonal old school, hard copy catalog, Onward Reserve is now a national brand.

We caught up with TJ to drink some bourbon and have a chat about this growth and his success:

Describe what Onward Reserve’s growth has been like over the last couple years?  Very exciting. Ambitious. While I am never really satisfied, I have to say I am pleased with the momentum that we have been able to sustain. I never feel like we are moving fast enough. However, when I look back and think about the fact that Onward Reserve didn’t exist 2.5 years ago it is pretty remarkable how far we have come in such a short amount of time.

The First Onward Reserve store in Athens, GA

What strategic moves have you made that have paid off?  I have made so many moves, I couldn’t begin to decide. I have failed 20 times for every 1 time I have succeeded. I believe that is the difference between successful people and everyone else. Just the drive to keep going through it all. There have been a lot of things that have worked out for me though. The sum of those little victories is what makes up any success I have found so far. Perhaps more important are the lessons I have learned from all my failures.

What have been the biggest surprises?  Most of the surprises, positive and negative have to do with people. People are the hardest part of all of this. The good ones more than make up for the bad ones, but you have to watch out for the bad ones. If we could just all be good people, the world would be a lot easier place to live and do business in.

Athens, GA Onward Reserve Store

What are the business lessons you have learned from running Onward Reserve?  If you want to learn how the business world works, get into a fast growing retail start-up. I would say any start-up, but retail just has so many facets. I have experienced and can have meaningful conversations about: merchandising, inventory management, product design, customer acquisition, customer service, customer retention, licensing, law, marketing, advertising, interior design, construction, PR, finance, photography, publishing, entrepreneurship, real estate, web design, web maintenance, fulfillment, logistics, insurance, management, management compensation, employee retention, banking, credit card processing, investment banking, private equity and the list goes on…   Most people never get to dabble in that many areas of the business world and that is a shame because it is really enlightening to be able to spend time in that many different buckets. Most people are just stuck in one of them. I used to work for SunTrust here in Atlanta. I loved it, but it was easy to forget that there is a world outside of the bank. A big world, with lots of people doing lots of different things.

What advice would you give the pre-Onward Reserve version of TJ?  Hold on tight, it is going to be one CRAZY. ASS. RIDE. You won’t regret a minute of it, though. If anything I would tell him to leave the bank sooner because time is of the essence.

Buckhead Onward Reserve Store

What is your favorite item from your catalog?  One of the most exciting moments for me was this Fall when I saw one of our catalog covers and everything the model was wearing from head to toe was designed by our team. I am really proud of what we are accomplishing with the Onward Reserve label. We will never abandon the key brands that make us a specialty retailer, but the catalog is going to be more focused on our designs and we will continue to expand the Onward Reserve collection.

What would you say is your biggest success to date?  Hiring and keeping some absolute rockstars. We have some of the hardest working and most passionate young people in the fashion industry and I am honored to work with them everyday.

Looking into the future, what are you most excited about?  There is something new to be excited about most every week so the “future” is a relative term. The annual warehouse sale later this month is a lot of fun and the Spring catalog will launch in February. We will likely open a couple more stores in 2016 (none to announce just yet) and will basically just continue to raise the bar in all aspects of our business.

Be sure to follow Onward Reserve on Instagram…it’s a rockin’ good time.

#GeorgiaBBQ Bracket Challenge: White Sauce Finals

And we are down to two in the White Sauce Bracket of the #GeorgiaBBQ Bracket Challenge.  The good folks at Peach State Pride and I were reflecting on the passion for Georgia BBQ.  It is inspiring!  And it is goooood….  Congratulations to B’s and Two Brother’s BBQ, they are up for a spot in the overall Final Four, so get your vote in now!

The winner gets a custom design from Classic Georgia and Peach State Pride.  We’re using last years’ winner’s design (Zeb’s) as the logo for this year’s challenge:

We’ll run this finals challenge through Tuesday at 10PM ET.  Tell your friends and get your votes in!  The more the merrier…

Submit

Be sure to follow Peach State Pride and Red Clay Soul on Instagram