Check the Label: GLD Streetwear Jewelry Tells a Story of Brotherhood
For the young entrepreneurs and longtime best friends behind jewelry brand GLD, it’s not just about selling products. For them, it’s about setting new standards and proving doubters wrong.
“We always wanted to start something together and not take the normal 9-5 approach to life,” co-founder Justin Novak told us. “We were told to wake up, go to school, eat, sleep, and continue the cycle, but we all believe in making our own rules and doing what inspires us.”
Growing up around Pittsburgh, buddies Justin, Christian, Jake, Evan, and Dan spent a lot of time immersed the city’s street culture, which is responsible for their collective interest in urban fashion and jewelry.
“When we were young, we all used to be in our own little gang, called the City Biking Kids. We would ride our bikes from our hometown into the city, and that’s how we all caught onto urban trends. It was a hobby for us; we’d go into shops in the city and check out the graffiti. That sparked the interest and that’s where we formed our bond.”
Fast forward a dozen-or-so years, and the City Biking Kids are now the driving forces of GLD, the high fashion jewelry line that’s quickly capturing the attention of big-name artists and influencers. Now, the 21-year-olds are heaving their hearts and souls into their newly established brand, proving that drive and dedication are two key ingredients in the recipe for success.
“We started an Instagram page in October, but we didn’t start taking it seriously until three months ago. Now it’s a full time job for us. A lot of us finishing up university and are busy doing our own things, so if we weren't so driven, none of this would be happening.”
“Coming into this, we were told to never do business with friends. We’ve learned how to work together and we’ve learned a lot about each other. We make sacrifices for each other. When you put in hard work, long nights, lots of coffee, and no sleep, you see the results. When we first started, we took seven days to ship, and now we send everything out within a day. Just from that, we’ve gotten DMs on Twitter and social love from really happy customers, which is what it’s all about.”
While they do offer a handful of rope chains and more minimal designs, many of the pieces presented by GLD make bold statements. Whether it’s an 18-karat gold Medusa piece or a roaring lion’s-head pendant, some of their chains might make conservative dressers nervous. But GLD encourages their customers to dismiss any hesitance.
“Wear something that represents you,” said Christian, the brand’s CEO. “If it’s something you can relate to, whether it’s tied to something in your life or just something you find interesting, if you see a piece you like, you shouldn't be afraid to let it show.”
GLD, though still in its first year of launch, is quickly establishing itself as a lifestyle brand with a well-defined vision: to recognize, embrace, and express individuality.
They’re gearing up for a big release in May, and they have some exciting plans in the works, including an expansion of retail stockists. For now, you can check out their current offerings on their online shop.
Images via @shopgld on Twitter