In the


How theStitch Began, by Andre L. Villa

Moving to Saint Louis, Missouri after having lived in San Diego, California for most of my life had a profound effect on me. I was unprepared for the hearty Mid-western welcome and the easy self-confidence of strangers who, to a person, treated me as if I were a native son. Cozy up to any bar in the downtown area and you’ll soon have riding buddies for a Saturday bike trip or a new group of friends to watch the game with on Monday night. It was really amazing.

I had always wanted to start my own business and I decided to create a company that combined the heartiness of the Midwest together with the laid-back California casualness that I grew up with. It was over beers with one of my newfound friends, Shanon Kocurek, that the idea for theStitch began to take shape. We didn’t know it then, but that would be the first of many, many meetings we would have together.

I decided to build an online community where people here and around the world, could share their stories through photos, words and videos and wear casual clothing made right here in the U.S.A.


As I did more research I noticed that most online sites and clothing companies focused almost exclusively on women who were very thin and/or guys with perfect bodies. Everyone else was left out. I felt that if I could develop an online culture that celebrated the beauty within each one of us, and create clothing that inspired confidence then my company would have a meaningful vision that could potentially have a profound impact on people’s lives. Now, what to name my fledgling company?