The conversation starts when I stumble across a former squadron mate, usually at an airport. Most of my old mates are now airline pilots, so this isn’t an unusual happening. It starts like this, “So, Thai, what are you doing these days? Who are you flying for?” Thai was my ‘call sign’ back in the day and this instantly transports me back 20 years in time. When my mind comes back to the present, I answer: “I’m not flying anymore, I make women’s pajamas”, which is always followed by a long, slightly uncomfortable pause and then, “you do what???”.
Then I get to explain the whole story of how I met my beautiful wife, and how I was eventually invited into the secret Faceplant society… how I work in a very cool office building that I designed in the historic district of Ybor City Florida. How I’m surrounded by our smart, beautiful, energetic Faceplant Family every day, while they’re designing, manufacturing, and distributing women’s loungewear. I tell them about our two large warehouses with enough room to store race cars and motorcycles. (I don’t fly Harrier jump jets off aircraft carriers anymore and a guy needs a little excitement now and then.) The Faceplant woodworking shop is extremely useful for building props and displays, but recently did weekend duty as I rebuilt a small 1890’s fishing schooner. Of course, all they want to know is why I haven’t invited them to stop by when we are doing a photo shoot!
As much as I enjoy the challenges of running the operations side of the company, it’s been disappointing not having any cool Faceplant loungewear for myself. But that has now changed. The Hendrix line is here, and it is built for men; and I mean Active Men, not sit-around-napping and watching-TV men. Our proprietary fabric made from sustainably sourced bamboo rayon is silky smooth and absolutely feels wonderful against your skin. It looks great on the ladies, but it just doesn’t hold up to the abuse it can receive being worn by a motorcycle-racing, gearhead, boat-builder. It took a few tries, but we solved the problem. We added natural cotton to make it more durable, but not just any cotton. The threads are polished on stainless steel rollers, so the final yarn is smoother and more uniform in size than standard off-the-shelf cotton. When we add this to our bamboo yarn the result is a more durable fabric without giving up the great feel.
When we got our first shipment, I grabbed shirts and lounge pants for my closest motorcycle-racing buds and handed them out at the next race. Biker tested. Race approved. Everyone raved about the Hendrix line. The cut and sizing were spot on, but what they liked most was that they didn’t stink when they wore the Hendrix shirt under their leathers. I called my wife from the track and asked her to double our next order. Not only does our Hendrix line stand up to the abuse of normal active men, but it breathes, powerfully draws sweat away from the body and doesn’t support odor causing bacteria. Like most guys I still have my favorite race day shirt I’ll never give up, but every time I wear it, I am shocked by how bad it smells after just a few hours in the Florida heat and humidity. If you love your “real man” but are not so fond of his “real man” aroma, try the Hendrix line. You’ll thank me.
Happy Father’s Day to all the men in your lives.
Harrier Pilot, Boat builder, Motorcycle Racer, Car Racer, Father of three, Brigitte’s husband and partner at Faceplant Dreams.