Teyleen is an apparel and lifestyle brand founded by graphic designer and film maker, Jeffrey Thelin. Teyleen aims to bring back simplicity, deliver quality and timeless pieces. Deciding to start Teyleen wasn’t as simple for the busy college student and new dad at the time. It was an epiphany and desire for financial stability that inspired Jeffrey to take a leap of faith. In an exclusive interview, Jeffrey talks about what it’s like embarking on his dream career.
When did you start Teyleen?
This past November, during my final semester of college, I dropped everything and realized I just had to start this brand. It’s something that I had been thinking about for a long time and realized there would never be a perfect time to start, so I just went for it.
Where did you see yourself before pursing your business?
Well, I’m still a freelance designer, photographer, and filmmaker and I do still really enjoy the work I do in those spaces. My dream though, is to be able to run Teyleen full time. Teyleen is really a synthesis of all of my passions which makes the whole experience so fun for me.
What’s it like working with your wife?
My wife is now finishing up her last semester of school so she’s pretty busy too! But it’s amazing. I love being home with my family and still being able to work. Something just feels so right spending the day with the people you love most. My wife is also the person I trust most, so it’s always great to be able to bounce ideas off her.
Who were your biggest supporters?
My wife was certainly the biggest supporter and has pushed me to become the best version of myself. A good friend in the College of Business at James Madison University also helped me get my online store setup and is continually providing Teyleen with wonderful insights and opportunities.
What marketing strategies have you found worked the best?
Social media has been the largest driver of sales for Teyleen, but more than that, just being as personable as possible with people has given Teyleen the most traction. I always try to reply to every email and comment uniquely. Never automated or bulk messages.
What advantages do you think new/small brands have compared to larger established brands?
Small brands have a unique opportunity to provide specialized products to a niche group of people in a way that big brands never could. We’re able to really listen to our audience and react to their wants.
What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned thus far?
Don’t take anything for granted. If any opportunity comes your way put everything you can into it and just be as nice as possible to the people you come across because you never know what retweet, email, or comment could lead to your “big break.”
If you could pick one celebrity/spokesperson to endorse your brand, who would it be and why?
Absolutley, 100% Casey Neistat. He’s been a huge hero of mine for years now and I think our message of promoting self-expression and being unique is something he’d really like.
What can we expect from Teyleen this year?Any upcoming collaborations or collections we should watch out for?
Teyleen is always growing and developing and we certainly have some exciting things happening in the near future. Firstly, the Teyleen blog recently just launched and every Wednesday I’ll be featuring/interviewing artists that inspire me in a series called “Wow Me Wednesdays”. Secondly, Teyleen is collaborating with a small leather goods maker in New Jersey to make a limited run of wallets for us. Each one will be numbered and crafted by hand. I’m also in the midst of my year-long challenge to create a new design every single day, which you can follow along on our Instagram.