Our buddies Emil and Sandy Corsillo of The Hill-Side and Hickoree's Hard Goods were recently featured on Secret Forts, one of Blackbird's favorite blogs. The guys waxed poetic concerning their daily duties, what it took to carve their niche(s), and what's coming up for both Hickoree's and The Hill-Side. Check out a few pertinent snippets below, and click over to Secret Forts to get the full original post here.
Spring/Summer 2010 ties by The Hill-Side (available here).
Q: Let's start with this, what's an average day like for you guys? You have The Hill-Side and Hickoree's under one roof (a relatively new roof at that, we'll get to that). Give us an idea of what running the two looks like on any given day? How do you split up the duties?
Sandy: An average day begins with the two of us talking about how much shit there is to get done and ends with us frustrated that we didn't get enough done. In terms of roles, Emil does about 90% of the work and then I take credit for 50% of the outcome! To be honest, splitting up duties is a really important and challenging part of running the business that I didn't expect would be as difficult as it is. Figuring out who is better at various types of tasks and actually transitioning from one of us handling certain things to the other taking over, that's been tough. We're working to get better at this.
Emil: The two businesses/brands complement each other in many ways, and it's been a lot of fun and very educational doing both of them simultaneously. It's also a crazy amount of work, and we're always feeling like we're falling behind on things. There are times when it feels like Hickoree's is a distraction from The Hill-Side and vice versa. Hopefully it won't always be like this. Also there's just a lot of immediate, unglamorous work that some days can feel like it gets in the way of higher level things. That's the work that can be hardest to divvy up, because we both feel like we have more important things we could be doing . . . but I think that just comes with the territory when you start something from scratch like this.
Emil and Sandy hard at work punching numbers and firming up their abs.
Q: ...Let's get into the present collection. Talk about some of the fabrics we're looking at for SS10. What's new? What's got you stoked?
Sandy and Emil: For spring/summer 2010, our second season, we have introduced several new fabrics to complement the pieces that we carried over from SS09. We have two new colors of our standard chambray, one is a natural unbleached white with green selvedge line and the other is a heavy stonewashed version of our basic indigo chambray, which yields a really pretty pale blue color. There are two lightweight cotton chambrays, which weigh in at 3.5 ounces. One is a standard indigo / white weave and the other has indigo yarns in both directions, giving it a solid, deep, intense indigo color. We've added a black selvedge chino to complement the khaki and army green versions of the same fabric that we carried over from SS09. There are two new camo-print twills, one of which is a very abstract pattern based on Switzerland military camouflage and one that's from a Danish army pattern. We've added two different indigo & white hickory stripe chambrays. There is an un-dyed organic cotton "colorgrown" canvas, which has a really nice greenish tan color that comes from this particular strain of cotton's natural hue. And finally there are the "covert" chambrays, which might be our favorites. These are made by a similar process as weaving a heather grey t-shirt, where white and colored yarns are twisted before being woven in one direction of the fabric, so sometimes the white shows on the surface and sometimes the color shows, giving the fabric an irregular, "speckled" or "salt & pepper" texture. All of these new fabrics are produced in Kojima, Japan by some of the best textile artisans in the world.
Q: How would you describe the ethos of The Hill-Side and how does it differ, if at all, from that of Hickoree's?
Emil and Sandy: The two are quite aligned in their taste and mission. We aim to satisfy customers who love shops like Hickoree's when we are designing new products for The Hill-Side, and we look for brands like The Hill-Side when seeking to expand the Hickoree's product offering. The Hill-Side ethos is about valuing craftsmanship, honesty of materials, and provenance. We feel that these traits, along with a good aesthetic sense, are the ingredients to creating objects that people will be proud to own. Approaching the maker-seller relationship from the other direction, Hickoree's Hard Goods is a place you can go to find objects that share these values.
Click here to see what's in stock from The Hill-Side on BlackbirdBallard.com, and watch for more great products from the guys, coming soon.