It all happened over a few drinks (doesn't every great story start with that?) Late one night we were sitting around our kitchen table with our good friend Andy, who had made the generous offer to design our logo. While sipping on some Moscow mules, we began to brainstorm ideas for what the 608 Threads logo would look like. We had played around with some fancy templates and fonts and designs, but nothing was sticking. Turns out we didn't need fancy - we just needed real.
Andy asked Jason, "Dude, what matters to you? What are you about?" For the next 20 minutes Jason talked about his childhood, his friends, his love of sports, his pride in growing up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and also, how training and racing Ironman competitions had given him an even greater perspective on work ethic, grit and commitment.
He talked about being a proud kid from Ishpeming, Michigan, who spent a lot of time on his skateboard, the football field, the basketball court and participating in plenty of other shenanigans. The name of his hometown, Ishpeming, was rooted in the discovery of iron ore back in the 1840s. (It actually comes from the phrase 'on the summit' which pays homage to the rich history of mining.)
"That's why our mascot is the Hematite," Jason said.
Andy, who was busy creating something on his laptop, looked up and asked, "So what exactly is a hematite?"
It's a rock, Jason said. (And makes for a very glamorous high school mascot.) He then explained that hematite was a major property in iron ore, and that for over thirty years, both his and Mel's fathers worked in a local iron ore mine. "We grew up in households where hard work was expected and nothing came easy."
Pride runs deep in Hematite country.
Andy was inspired, and he was designing. "Keep talking dude. What else represents who you are?"
Jason then talked about the past three years of training and racing Ironman Wisconsin, a 140.6 mile endurance competition. It was a personal challenge for him to see what he was capable of, and he talked about what he learned while training week after week on the Ironman Madison course. The bike course consisted of hills - a lot of big hills. "You hated them, but you loved them. The hills are what make you stronger for race day."
And then he added, "You know, I think training for an Ironman is probably a good test for starting and running a business. It's about effort and showing up. No one is going to do the work for you."
Andy continued to work on his computer, and then smiled. "I think I got it."
He swung his laptop so Jason could see it, and there it was - our logo, simple and bold and blending together all of the life experiences we treasured most.
The rock formation represents Jason's youth - the enduring strength of hematite and growing up the son of an iron ore miner. And the peaks and valleys in the rock design represent different elevation points on the Ironman Madison course.
And for those of you wondering, the '608' represents the area code here in Madison, the place that we've called home for over ten years. We are proud to bring this business to our local community, while honoring our roots and where we came from.
Special thanks to Andy Knapp for this logo design. Find out what he's up over at Ironworx Multisport.
4946 Voges Rd Madison, WI 53718
(Located just behind Premiere Paint)
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