Every family creates their own holiday traditions. From baking grandmother’s famous gingerbread to selecting the perfect Christmas tree and serenading the neighborhood with yuletide carols, this is the time of year during which special family memories are made!
Birmingham native Brennan Peck and his family have started a somewhat unconventional set of traditions centered around their Christian faith and men’s clothing. With the help of his family, Brennan began building Hartbrook Clothier in 2010 and officially launched his business this past summer. The fashion start-up creates top-of-the-line, custom men’s clothing, including suits, tuxedos, ties, dress shirts and slacks at competitive prices with quick turnaround times. The Hartbrook style is classic, but with unlimited customization possibilities, and customers can choose aspects from both traditional and modern styles.
“The inspiration for Hartbrook came when my mom was shopping for my brother and me and realized the need for clothing lines that were both high-quality and faith-based,” Brennan says. “The idea to start this kind of business soared from there.” The name “Hartbrook” stems from Psalm 42:1, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” The Peck family holds this verse dear and strives for the brand to combine cloth and charity as an extension of their faith.
“We decided we could call ourselves a faith-based business, but how we were going to put that into action was the most important piece of the puzzle,” Brennan says. “We chose to contribute to Magic Moments because we could sponsor one child at a time, making it possible for our customers and sales representatives to personally know the children they are supporting.” Hartbrook donates a portion of each sale to Magic Moments, a Birmingham organization that grants “magic moments” to Alabama children with critical illnesses. These moments give each child the chance to live one of their dreams, like any other kid, most often in the form of travel or vacation. The company has already sponsored Magic Moments trips to Disney World and New York Fashion Week for three Birmingham children: Ally, Joshua and Kaitlyn. Hartbrook is currently working to reach the funds necessary to gift a 2016 trip for 5-year-old Zachary. “Each child we’ve sponsored shows an impossible courage and strength in spite of their life battles,” Brennan explains. “We want to celebrate them being kids and help them outshine their illnesses through our sponsorship.”
In the summers, Hartbrook administers a program for high school and college students, providing them opportunities to learn about sales, gain business experience and see the value of giving. Each sales representative builds a relationship with the student they are mentoring, which instills an even greater motivation to drive Hartbrook sales. Brennan plans to expand his sales team and run a summer youth program in 2016, and hopefully, transform more fantasies of Magic Moments children into realities.
In addition to helping men select their casual and professional wear, Hartbrook ventured into the wedding industry in October, designing the wedding suit for one of his longtime friends, as well as the suits for his groomsmen and ushers for his ceremony. “Doing the suits for Mel’s wedding party was new for Hartbrook, and it was an honor to have our suits be a part of such a beautiful ceremony for one of my best friends,” Brennan says. “I really enjoyed it and hope Hartbrook will continue providing memorable styles for couples on their most special day.”
Brennan, a 2015 accounting and business administration graduate of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA, never predicted men’s fashion would become his trade. “I wasn’t very interested in clothing until we started Hartbrook,” Brennan confesses. “As I spent more time working with clothes, I started to appreciate them more and more until I actually grew passionate about them. I never would’ve guessed that one day I would spend hours creating wardrobes and explaining proper fit, and actually enjoy it while seeing such a positive impact on my community.”
To Brennan, seeing customers proud to wear his clothing is only part of the reward. “After I have worked to raise money for these kids’ trips, it’s so fulfilling to see them and their families reap the benefits,” Brennan says. “Looking through the pictures they send from their trips brings me such joy because I can tell they are having the time of their lives. It reminds me why we started this business.”
For many Magic Moments children, the holidays can be a little different than for most. By supporting Hartbrook Clothier, you not only enhance your wardrobe and support the summer program students, but you also give magic moments to children like Zachary who cherish life and each moment through a unique lens of utter love and appreciation.
Thank you to Elizabeth Anne King for the photos.