artist owned and operated
What sets us apart is that first we’re artists--a team of designers who love to get outside. The Landmark Project at its core is a collection of talented, passionate, creative individuals, motivated to bring you the best products possible.
In 2007, we began printing tees in the spare loft of our small South Carolina home. Being small was great because it allowed us to make quick trips to the Blue Ridge Mountains for any number of outdoor rec opportunities. Back then it was hiking, climbing, and backpacking. The Landmark Project didn’t exist yet, we primarily did design and print work for other small businesses in the area. Screen printing was not our dream job, but it payed bills and we were happy for the flexibility while we finished grad school.
After a few years, we needed more space and an employee to keep up with business and allow us some free time to focus on next steps. We moved into a small 1,700 brick and mortar store in a developing area near downtown Greenville. With our first storefront came the opportunity to add retail to our b2b offerings. Having a degree in art and wanting to combine that with the love of the outdoors, I created a line of tees featuring some illustrations of our favorite local parks. These became instant favorites in our communities, so we began adding the collection and selling them at handmade markets and local festivals.
Gear and guide shops in our area took notice and wanted a piece of the pie. What better than to sell these tees where people are supplying for their adventure. If this side project was going to continue to grow into a brand, it needs to have a name. The Landmark Project was born.
In 2016, we observed the 100 year anniversary of the National Park Service by designing products for Yosemite, Glacier, Yellowstone, Joshua Tree, Zion, the Smokies, and several other key parks. We packed it all up and headed to Outdoor Retailer to show our goods to the world for the first time. Having never been to or paid for a trade show before, this was a huge scary leap. We were confident that if anyone were to resonate with our graphics, it’d be a room full of people who have built their career around America’s wild places.
We soon began to sell into retailers found in the gateway communities around the National Parks. Larger retailers like REI and National Park concessioners took a chance on our brand and have continued to be amazing retail partners since the early years. The demand for volume led us to explore relationships with cut-and-sew factories who can help make the perfect tee. Now having built relationships with multiple factories, our economic impact stretches to Guatemala, Mexico, and India. With custom manufacturing, we felt the responsibility to make our product in a way that would have a positive social and environmental impact. Our factories helped us find responsibly sourced fibers and implement best practices.
Smokey the Bear
After human-caused wildfires tore through the Smoky Mountains in 2016, many of our friends and family members were impacted. These close-to-home fires were startling, so we began to wonder if there was a way we can use our small brand to help. Our thoughts immediately went to Smokey Bear, the cherished wild-fire prevention icon of the USFS for the last 75 years. We began working with the USFS to create and license Smokey Bear artwork and reintroduce him to the mainstream outdoor industry. Since we began this effort, we’ve been able to raise over $500,000 for the USFS for educating about wildfire prevention.
Where We Are Now
With the growth of our brand, our SC team has grown to about 30 amazing people. We grew out of that first brick-and-mortar shop, and the next one. Still located downtown (but now with 40,000 ft), we continue to print, finish, and distribute the majority of our tees in house. We really like having our eyes on the last step of the process, ensuring that we see everything we send to the consumer. I love walking around our facility and seeing the flow of product coming in unprinted and exciting as neatly folded graphic tees.
Our whole company gets Fridays off. It’s not uncommon to find us headed to the Blue Ridge Mountains. I’ve had the privilege of hiking some of the most amazing mountains around the world, but these foothills are still my favorite. The tunnels of rhododendron and mountain laurel, the rocky balds with long range views, the cold waterfalls and creeks - this part of the country will always be home. This feeling of being outside is so powerful that it drives us to continue to create great art that pays tribute to the outdoors. Being in touch with nature is also the reason why we care about reducing our environmental impact - we want these places to be around in this condition for future generations to come.