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The Beginnings of Ahanko

What's Ahnako? Well, I made it up. Here's the story of how that happened.

I remember being 19 and talking with my friends about what we wanted to do in the future. For me, it was music, but I also spoke of starting a clothing company. The latter faded pretty quickly, but I never truly forgot about it.

Years later, I'm 26 and working professionally as a graphic designer. In August of 2019, the idea of a clothing company slowly drifted back to mind, and I quickly found myself becoming more and more excited about the idea. I didn't really know what I wanted it to be yet, but I knew that I wanted to make that company a reality — so I set out to do just that.

It took me a while to sort out the ideas in my head and find my sense of direction. Have you ever had an idea in your head where you knew how you wanted it to feel once it was finished, but you didn't know how to articulate it? That's how I felt. I started going to coffee shops and spending hours immersing myself in the world of apparel. Bit by bit over several weeks, I began to map out where I wanted to head.

I knew that I wanted to create something that amounted to much more than just some cool t-shirt designs. I wanted to build a meaningful brand that resonated with people who shared similar values and interests as myself. A brand that is well designed with a simple aesthetic and focuses on being socially and environmentally responsible.

So with that, I set out to come up with a name. This was a several day process that pretty much consumed all of my mental bandwidth. Spreadsheets, notes on my phone, notes scribbled down on paper, etc. I tried so many things and they all were either already taken, flat out lame, or just didn't quite feel right. But then, I finally got it. I came up with Ahnako (pronounced ah-nuh-ko), I loved the structure of the letters, I felt it had lots of branding potential, and it wasn't already taken.

After months of spending all of the free time and spare money I had on preparing the company, I was finally nearly ready to launch in mid-December. I decided January 1st, 2020, seemed like the perfect date - I mean, how cool is it to get to start a new company on the first day of a new decade? And so here we are.

Founding my own company wasn't something I had planned, but now that I'm doing it, it feels right. I'm excited to have started this journey, and I look forward to where it will take me. I'm happy you're here for it.


- Dennis
Founder & Designer

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