Los Gatos-based online retailer Artus Clothing was founded in 2002 by David Box and Mike Donahue. Since beginning with simple t-shirts, Artus has grown its line to include hats, jackets and sweaters, and expanded its town-focused market area to popularity around the globe.
Los Gatos Patch: What did you dream of being as a kid?
David Box: I always wanted to be a professional baseball player, but I wound up focusing on my education instead.
Patch: How does your personality play into your business?
Box: Artus grew out of my ability to make an impression and grow strong relationships with talented people; this helped the brand become associated with some big bands and amazing artists early on. Without those relationships in place, Artus Clothing may have never gotten off the ground. With the people we have met, we've been able to grow our awareness and popularity outside the local area much faster than possible otherwise.
Patch: At what moment did you decide to open a business?
Box: In 2002, my founding partner Mike Donahue and I really wanted to express ourselves by bringing a different perspective to the clothing market. We had so many friends who were doing something with their individual artistic skills, particularly music, that we wanted to bring what we could to the table.
Patch: What inspired you?
Box: Mike really inspired us to create a new brand after seeing so many other small brands that were lacking creativity and passion. People we went to school with were travelling the world on tour, and by having our own brand, a little piece of us was able to go with them.
Patch: Describe the biggest challenge of owning a business in the Town of Los Gatos?
Box: The largest challenge of being located in Los Gatos is that it is not an inexpensive place to locate, fortunately, the nature of our business means that our storefront can be on the Internet instead of downtown.
Patch: Describe the best thing about owning a business in the town of Los Gatos?
Box: Los Gatos is full of artistic, unique people. The town has a tight community spirit and is loyal to homegrown business, music, and athletes. I've been here my whole life, and am always thankful to come from such a great place.
Patch: What is one thing you would never change about your business?
Box: We'd never want to risk the integrity of our brand or our art.
Patch: What is your business' greatest asset?
Box: Our artists, loyal fans, and all the people that support us worldwide are our greatest assets. The bands and athletes we forged our strongest relationships with have been with us since day one.
Patch: What is your favorite spot in town?
Box: Great Bear Coffee is definitely my favorite place to relax while waiting for the caffeine to kick in.
Patch: What's one thing the community should know about you?
Box: As a brand, we often find ourselves involved in helping good causes achieve their goals, whether it is disaster relief, a university's solar car project or general donations of time and money. I'm hoping to build Artus Clothing to the point where it can do more good for more people. I want to start some programs to help out less fortunate kids. We already do some garment donations, but the goal is to start doing it more regularly and on a larger scale. It may sound silly, but there are already so many programs that handle the big things food, shelter, education. Everyone gets a little personal boost when they look their best, and I think more kids deserve to have that feeling more often.