We had the good fortune of connecting with Thomas Wages and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Thomas, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started the company because I wanted to answer something that was missing from the market – exceptional fitting, extraordinary quality, and ethically made clothing. Prior to clothing, I designed homes and businesses. After moving to clothing during the recession, I’ve continued to dabble in architectural design, and added landscape and furniture design. With the purchase of the new loft space, I view our business moving forward as a multidisciplinary design studio. I look forward to designing timeless clothing and unique spaces for living and commerce for years to come.
What should our readers know about your business?
I officially started the company back in 2007 with a very limited offering of my belts and a few accessories. I think what sets up apart from others is our attention to detail and our friendly environment. Our first brick and mortar opened in 2013 on a corner of Atlanta’s West Midtown district in a former horse stable from 1907. We were voted the most beautiful shop in Atlanta then, but last year I purchased a 1913 loft space just one mile down the street and did a complete redesign. We couldn’t love it more. It is similar to our former location, but with an approachable elevated feel, both literally and physically. It was a labor of love, both physically and mentally. Working 16 hour days for about 6 months to get everything just right. We are now on the top corner of the historic building, and have a 180 degree panoramic view of the skyline. We took the finish level up several notches – think marble, walnut, and original stone columns holding up soaring 12 foot ceilings. The vision for the design popped in my head over breakfast – it looks exactly like what I saw in my mind – and I couldn’t be more happy with the results.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love Atlanta and the South. Growing up in Athens, Lake Lanier, and now Atlanta… the options of things to do and great food Georgia has to offer is ever growing. I feel like Atlanta has truly grown up along side my life. Today new restaurants, parks, and venues open at a rate that you have to actually work at keeping up. Some of my favorite spots to take friends when they’re visiting are: The roof top bar at The Clairmont hotel, a good walk along the beltline, catch a concert at the Variety or Terminal West, for meals my list is too long to cover (haha!), but a few frequent repeats are brunch at West Egg or Sun In My Belly, no visit would be complete without some BBQ – I really like DAS BBQ and Sweet Auburn BBQ. For dinner… the sky is the limit in Atlanta, but I find myself going back to Empire State South, Antico Pizza, JCT Kitchen, and Bacchanalia again and again.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve long said quality is our culture. We currently carry predominantly only THOMAS WAGES goods I’ve designed and manufactured, but here are a few companies we love to work with who make incredible items that we don’t plan on going into on our own. For example, our friends at Dom Vetro are the makers of some of the most comfortable and exceptional sunglasses we’ve ever owned. Ashley and his team now create small batch editions that are exclusive to our studio. Customer’s swear they can see better through the crystal lenses than their own eyes.
Photography by: Jan Rattia