Our Mission

Our mission is to help people live a reflective and intentional life. We do this by creating art that inspires reflection and words that encourage action.

We believe that change comes from within. In order to leave this world better than we found it, we need to first truly understand and appreciate who we are and what we value. From there we can take action, and begin living purpose driven and intentional lives that leave a positive ripple effect on the people and world around us.

Founding Story

In the summer of 2009, brothers Dave and Mike Radparvar decided to quit their jobs in the heat of the recession to fully focus on Holstee, a t-shirt side project they had started with their friend and co-founder, Fabian Pfortmüller. Without a business plan or experience in fashion and retail, they reasoned that in the worst-case scenario, it would be the most memorable summer of their lives. They joked that they could always return to the 9-5 work world if their dream to start a company failed.

Holstee began with the intention of creating a t-shirt with a more functional design by adding a holster-positioned side pocket to carry a phone or notebook; hence the name, hols-tee. In producing the t-shirt, it became clear that the shirt’s design was as important as what it was made from and the process in which it was made.

“We realized that there was a huge opportunity to change the way things were being made,” Mike recalls. “People were creating disposable clothes thousands of miles away, while cut and sew shops were closing their doors here in the U.S.”

Not long after that realization, they went into production on a 100% recycled fabric shirt, cut and sewn in North Carolina, less than 100 miles from where the fabric was made. This set the precedent for how Holstee would design and manufacture their products moving forward.

More than anything, Dave, Mike, and Fabian were looking to build a company that would allow them to live their dream. They wanted to make that happen by creating a company that aligned with their personal values and the hope of leaving a lasting positive impact on the world. They continue to follow through on this mission today by inspiring others to do the same.

One of the first things the trio did when they started Holstee was sit down on the steps of Union Square in New York City and write down why they were starting Holstee. Together, they decided what they wanted from this new company and moreover, what they wanted from life. This message to their future selves became known as The Holstee Manifesto. Originally placed quietly on their website’s About page, the message took the world by storm with an estimated 100 million views. The Manifesto has been translated into 13 languages (and counting!), and was called “The New Just Do It” by the Washington Post. The words of the Manifesto continue to guide the company as it continues to grow.








The Holstee Family

As our product range grew, so did the family that worked to bring it to life. Today, our Holstee family is a diverse group of cyclists, illustrators, yogis, writers, bakers and creators. When we are not working from home, you can find us working at our neighborhood cafe’s in Brooklyn, Colorado, Dominican Republic, Seattle, Berlin and Portland. We are not currently hiring, but sign up here if you would like to be notified of future job openings.

A special thank you goes to our Holstee alumni. Without them, this dream would never be possible and we are so proud of where everyone is today: Andrew, Andy, Ankit, Barrie, Cody, Deidre, Emily, Eva, Ilya, Jennifer, Kaitlyn, Mandy, Mary, McLane, Molly, Monica, Mullica, Ryan Nirav, Ryan, Sarah, Thianh, Thomas, Tylea, Vincent and Yann.

In the news

We are proud that others have found our work as interesting and exciting as us! Here some nice words from people that we look up to:

“Most mission statements contain words like value and service but often fail to explain what the founders truly care about, much less inspire anyone else to care. Holstee's mission statement is an exception.” Inc. Magazine

“Scott Rick, a professor of marketing at University of Michigan, likens the manifesto to the “Just Do It” slogan popularized by Nike. The difference, Rick said, is that Holstee explained what the “it” is.” The Washington Post

“Using its marketing and design skills in Brooklyn, one start-up is helping to create jobs in Detroit via local sourcing.” CNBC

Here are a few other places that have mentioned our work:

Like to write about us, get hi-res photos or learn more?

Email us at press@holstee.com

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