Jeff Plotner (left), Ben Ross (right)
Q: For those that don’t know, what’s the background of Brackish? How did it begin?
A: Brackish started 13 years ago as I was searching for a gift to give my groomsmen family that would show them how much they meant to me. I knew I wanted my gift to incorporate nature, and I have spent most my life playing with feathers as I tied flies and fletched arrows. Not many weeks before my wedding I was sitting at the dining room table one night admiring turkey feathers and I had a bow tie in my hand. I noticed that night that the natural shape and tapering of the turkey feather fits a bow tie perfectly - this was the lightbulb moment. From there the idea was born, and I crafted turkey feather bow ties for my groomsmen to wear as they stood beside me on my wedding day.
Fast forward about six years, one of my groomsmen, Jeff, came to me with a pitch and even before he began to speak I saw the drive and determination in his eyes. He said, “I think you’ve got more than a wedding gift here, Ben. Your creation is something special, lets see what we can do.” After this conversation, we decided to launch Brackish in April of that year, and we haven’t looked back since.
Q: As you founded the company on the ideals of men’s fashion accessories, what does the launch of our women’s collection mean to you?
A: The launch of our women’s collection is extremely special. There have been more women in my life than I can count that have had, and continue to have, a positive impact on my life. They’ve each acted as mentors, guiding me in directions which grew my love for all art forms, and how meaningful it is to honor those you love with creation.
The way the women’s line came about was very organic. After seven years in the men’s fashion industry, we have found a way to display the natural beauty of feathers on statement accessories like no one else in the world has done. While it came with lots of thought and consideration, applying these same skills to women’s accessories was a natural shift for our team. This collection embodies skill and artistry that is incomparable, and each piece honors women in the lives of Jeff and I which makes it all the more meaningful.
Q: How long has this collection been in the works?
A: The women’s collection has been in the works for about three years now. I brought, like many ideas, a rough prototype to Jeff and we mulled it over, but the timing wasn’t right then. It needed to go through development, and that’s when we put it in the hands of our incredible team of artisans here in Charleston. We shared the idea and concept with them, reminding them to always incorporate one of our core values into the process, “Better, Better, Better.” We also wanted this collection to hold the same quality and functionality as our men’s accessories do. What we’ve arrived at is nothing short of breath taking. It is truly, truly and honor to be a part of releasing this collection.
Q: Where did your inspiration for these pieces come from?
A: The inspiration for these pieces is gathered from everything around me. Whether it be art, music, people, or a sunset, whenever I slow down and unplug to take notice of the little details, the big picture falls into place.
Q: What does this collection mean to you? What feelings and emotions does it hold?
A: Wow, this collection means a lot to me. It is a special thing to put your heart out there for the world to judge, not knowing how it’s going to be received. We’ve done a lot of market testing and have gotten lots of feedback, but the true test is releasing the product to everyday consumers. I am more than confident about this line and I know that it came from the right place, but I still get butterflies every time a new piece is released. It’s exciting, and man, what a ride it has been to get to where we are today.
Q: If you had to describe this collection in one word, what would it be?
A: If I had to describe this collection in one word it would be “natural.” A famous man by the name of George Strait once said, “It just comes natural,” and for us here at Brackish, our team and the creative design process, it all comes naturally here at Brackish.
Ben's Wedding - 2008
Jeff Plotner (left), Ben Ross (right)