Golf Entrepreneur Profile:
Name: Douglas Rose
Company: Douglas Rose Co.
Location: Charlotte, NC
Douglas Rose and his brand have swagger. His golf bags belong in a Sean Connery Bond movie up against a vintage 1964 Aston Martin DB5.
Douglas Rose, the founder of the Douglas Rose handmade leather goods brand, is creating a high-end leather golf bag with the proper accessories. And they are beautiful.
Doug grew up in New York City, and you can feel his background and life experiences in his brand. Doug’s father and grandfather owned a textile business, and his father owned a sports bar.
“WHENEVER I TELL PEOPLE ABOUT MY BACKGROUND, IT DEFINITELY FEELS LIKE A MERGING OF THOSE TWO WORLDS OF FASHION AND SPORT.”
That is what is so captivating about Doug’s company. It is not just about high-quality leather goods. It’s more than that. It’s about the stories you create with the bags by your side.
The creation of the Douglas Rose brand is the culmination of his story. It is one filled with sports and family, and the memories created when you combine the two.
Before picking up golf, his first love of sport was baseball. Doug comes from a family of die-hard Yankees fans. The sport has played a significant role in his life.
“A HUGE PART OF MY STORY AND THE CONNECTIVITY TO THE PEOPLE THAT MATTER MOST TO ME WAS BASEBALL. THERE’S A FAMOUS BOOK CALLED THE BOYS OF SUMMER WRITTEN BY ROGER KAHN AND IN IT HE SAYS “THE BOND BETWEEN MY FATHER AND ME IS BASEBALL”. I DEEPLY CONNECT WITH THAT.”
This connection of sharing a game with the people that matter most to you is what attracted him to golf.
Doug picked up golf when he moved to Charlotte in 2011. Around that time, he started becoming great friends with 2012 U.S. Open winner, Webb Simpson. The two met through their wives, and have bonded over similar family values and golf.
Every month, Webb and Doug team up against their buddies, Stockton and Michael. The foursome keeps their matchup interesting, holding ongoing bets throughout the year like lowest individual score gets a cash pot and the overall winning team gets a steak dinner from the other team.
Creating memories like this are what Doug enjoys most about golf, and ultimately became the inspiration behind his brand.
“As I came into contact with the game and its history, just the overall feel of golf and the things that attracted me to it, this desire to create something that honored that and felt authenticate to it was in a lot of ways born.”
Doug knew that he wanted to create a golf bag but didn’t know where to start. He had no previous experience in the fashion world. Like so many creators, he dove right in and learned as he went.
Doug went to LinkedIn and began reaching out to people who had experience in leather goods and lived in New York. He contacted over a 100 people telling them his story. A few responded and the 18-month journey towards creating Douglas Rose began.
From those relationships, he networked in the design world. He began meeting people that helped him grow out the concept, design the bags, and introduce him to manufacturers around the world. They helped him bring the brand to life.
In essence, he developed social capital.
“It was a year and a half process from start to finish. It involved going into stores in New York and looking at hundreds of bags. It involved taking trips to factories in multiple countries. It involved sampling in multiple countries and getting the samples back and realizing that’s not even close to what we wanted. that doesn’t look like the vision, we need to tweak this.”
In other words, it involved hustle, a whole lot of it.
After developing all of this social capital, Doug now has a team behind him. He learned that he needed to surround himself with the right people to move things forward and is doing just that.
Doug launched in January 2017 and is hoping to have a great first year. Along with the product, the brand will also become a vehicle to tell stories of the people who carry their bag.
He is calling it the Douglas Rose Portrait Series. It launched this week. The first story is of his good friend Webb Simpson in a rugged portrait about grit.
Doug’s story to launch is an exciting adventure. In many ways, it’s the essence of his brand. It took a story to make Douglas Rose, and he hopes you will create some of your own with his leather bags by your side.
Check out the podcast to hear the amazing interview I had with Douglas Rose as he talks about everything he has learned since jumping head first into the leather goods business.