Collecting Memories #02 - Pay in Pizza

Collecting Memories #02 - Pay in Pizza

“While paying for the repair of his jeans, a customer amusingly said that we could enjoy pizzas again that evening. He got it totally right, because that was how we liked to spend the money earned by repairing jeans the most.” This is the story of Marcel and Roger Grivec, founders of Grivec Bros, who calculated their repairment fees in terms of their favorite pizzas.

The finest way to give your jeans their own authentic character? Wash your jeans as little as possible. Back in the days, Roger and I used to wear our pair as long as possible, until it wasn’t sufficiently decent anymore to wear it and a proper wash was unavoidable. That was just the way we rolled. As a result of this habit, our jeans were now and then desperately in need of a repair. These worn-out jeans then led us to a friend of ours, who had her own atelier. Like the good friend that she was, she was willing to help us out and rescue our beloved jeans.

Our customers were good listeners and followed our advice on the finest way to give their jeans their own authentic character. As you can undoubtedly imagine, their jeans also needed some serious repairs every now and then. Our friend had her own business, and helping us out with our jeans was more of a side job to her. As in love as our customers were with their cool jeans, they wanted them to be repaired as quickly as possible to rock them again. Besides that, our friend was not always too charmed to repair every pair of jeans, since some were, to put it nicely, not that clean anymore. We didn’t want to let our loyal customers down, who are the core of our business. This led us to brainstorm about potential ways to help our customers out with the repairs of their beloved denim pieces.

After a fruitful brainstorm session, we found ourselves on our way to Amsterdam. The solution to our problem was found in Jason Denham, founder of DENHAM. As eager as we were, we let the denim master teach us how to sew. Let the journey begin! After being his sewing apprentices for some days, Roger and I were confident in our ability to repair denim. Next to the undeniable fact that our sewing skill came in quite handy and complemented our customer service, we were proud of our skill because of its coolness. Just like every bone fracture and scar, each and every repair has its own story. It has something to tell. And that’s what contributes to the authentic character of each pair of jeans.

Just getting started with the repairs of jeans, Roger and I had not a single clue on what fees to charge for these repairs. As the enormous pizza lovers that we are, we came up with the craziest idea to calculate the repair fees in terms of our favorite pizzas. Whenever a repair was finished and the customer dropped by to pay for his repair, we ensured that the customer paid just enough so that we could enjoy our favorite pizzas that evening. Prices in terms of time dedicated to the repairment? That was unfamiliar to us.

Roger was always pleased with his Pizza Margherita topped off with arugula salad and little hot peppers. And I was the biggest fan of that pizza with Italian ham, arugula salad, and famous parmesan. Still my absolute favorite. For about six years long, this unique way of pricing was our way to go. A few customers that we considered to be part of our inner circle were aware of our peculiar way of pricing. While compensating for the repair of his cherished denim piece, a customer amusingly said that we could eat pizzas again that evening. He got it right, because that was our iconic way of spending the money earned by repairing jeans. We don’t joke about serious matters such as pizza. After a repairment day, we found ourselves enjoying this Italian specialty, thinking to ourselves: we could eat this every day and still not get enough of it.

Like all good things, this beautiful tradition came to end. After a while, we started our own brand, Grivec Bros. From that moment on, customers enjoyed lifelong guarantees and free repairs on their Grivec Bros denim pieces. Whereas this tradition ended, our love for pizzas will always remain.

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