Loyal Stricklin Wayman Jacket
We've been developing this jacket for about 3 years now, with over a dozen samples and test pieces worn and tested, and we are so excited to announce that our first run of jackets are finally available for immediate shipment. Made --as always-- in the USA, our initial launch features three distinct fabrics:
- 17oz Brown Waxed Canvas from British Millerain in the UK,
- 14 oz Indigo Selvedge Denim from Vidalia Mills in Vidalia, Louisiana
- 14 oz Black Selvedge Denim with Charcoal Weft from Nihon Menpu in Japan
- 1 Chest Pocket
- 2 Handwarm Pockets
- 2 hidden interior pockets for your phone or wallet
- Bartacked and reinforced pocket openings
- Custom "Loyal" buttons
- Durable, Flat-Felled Seam Construction
- Keyhole button holes
How The Wayman Came to Be
Loyal Stricklin started at first as a denim and design company. Our plan was to start doing jeans back in 2012. However, I was still in college, had no money, no knowledge of the industry, and no connections to factories. My denim dream was quickly pushed out of reach by reality. Leather seemed the easiest to start working with at home, so that's what I did, and that's what our focus has been since before we actually settled on the name Loyal Stricklin in 2012.
Around 2015, we'd be established for a few years and the Made in America movement was in full force. That's when I got my first chore coat. I fell in love with the idea of an unlined, quality denim or canvas jacket for those brisk, cool mornings we have so often in the south. Big jackets just aren't needed that often, with the day often heating up 20F+ degrees by lunch time. From then on, I knew that a lightweight jacket was what we needed to do. I tinkered around with patterns for a few years, but didn't really understand what it took to hone a pattern in. I made a few chore coats, and I still use one of them to this day for yard work, remodeling my house, welding, and working on my old 90's range rover in. It is worn, imperfect, and still holding up beautifully.
In 2019, I was finally ready to move forward and commit to producing a jacket I was proud of. I wasn't worried about the body of the jacket, but I was obsessed with creating a beautiful shoulder to arm connection, and I believe we achieved that, but we didn't do it alone. We ended up hiring a pattern designer who specialized in leather and denim jackets and worked here in Nashville. We developed the fit alongside her, and she defined the outline and fit of the jacket to our requirements. After that I made a few samples in house.
Even with all that effort, it just wasn't translating from paper the way I wanted. It fit great, but the look wasn't there. I wanted a jacket that felt familiar, but looked different than what I've seen out there, so we developed our new signature curved front pocket shape, added the yoked connection at the chest--which incidentally helps the collar from folding open too much, which is an unintended detail I love-- and went with a single chest pocket. Often in the car, I would find myself leaving my phone in that chest pocket on speaker to talk handsfree, so we had to have that included. The big hand pockets help keep your hands warm, and the two hidden interior pockets allow a safe place for your phone or wallet, depending on their size and your case.
When Covid hit, we were gearing up to get production moving. We scoured all over for factories: from LA to Tennessee and beyond. It was a difficult search, but we found one factory we liked. The details were all there, but his communication was awful. The sample looked good, but ended up longer than the patterns somehow. So we moved to another guy. He answered the phone quickly, but once it came time to make the pattern, he did great with the denim sample, but couldn't handle the waxed canvas, and then he stopped answering the phone. We tried to have a company an hour from us make them here in Tennessee, but they refused to sew it how we wanted, and basically just told us know. either factories said we weren't going to order enough to be worth it to them. Understandable, but disappointing. We were stuck.
Finally, before I started to lose hope, I found one last factory who claimed to have worked with a few other brands that we respected and knew, and they were able to prove their claim. We knew we were getting someone. They are a small factory in LA's garment district focusing on denim, shirting, and jeans, with a small staff under 20 employees and communication skills we wished all our partners had. Finally, we felt we had found the right factory to work with.
I spoke with the owner for an hour, and within three weeks, we had a sample back in hand. By this time it was September and our deadline was looming. We ended up having to push it back even further, and launched a preorder over Black Friday weekend. All the fabrics and patterns arrived to the cutter, we paid our deposit and production began. The owner of the factory kept us in the loop every step of the way, messaging us with the smallest details to make sure they had it correct. Production actively took about two months and after a week shipping, we had them in hand. By now, it's mid-March 2021, and we had our order of handmade waxed canvas and denim cayman Jacket in hand! They turned out beautifully, and to the same quality as if we had made them in house.
Why made in a factory?
It wasn't an easy decision to outsource these jackets. Almost all of our products are made in house. We wanted to make them in house, but to do that would require space we don't have (Nashville building rent is very expensive), more employees, and our other products would suffer. I've always read that the best business owners surround themselves with people better and more skilled than them, so that's what we did.
We went to a specialist manufacturer would had the half dozen machines required to make these already, and our regular product production did not suffer. It's important to us to partner with strategic, ethical factories here in the US who pay a living wage whenever necessary. As we continue to grow and develop our clothing range, we will begin to bring in these same machines needed for clothing, and plan to develop more jackets, small batch runs, jeans, work pants, and more, with some being made in house, and some made in our partner factory. Loyal Stricklin's future trajectory is more than just wallets, and bags, but a full line of clothing and lifestyle goods, all built to the same exacting standards that we always have. We can't wait to show you what else we come up with.
If you've made it this far, thank you for reading, and thank you for your support, whether it's a purchase, a review, a like, a comment, or a follow, we truly appreciate it. A lot of work goes into what we do, and products can take months or years to develop. I hope this has shown y'all a little more of what goes into our work, and I hope you find what we make worthy of including in your daily wear.
Owner / Loyal Stricklin