Chubbies, or Chubbies Shorts, is a San Francisco-based online clothing brand that focuses primarily on men's short shorts and swim trucks. Chubbies was founded by 4 Stanford University grads; Kyle Hency, Rainer Castillo, Preston Rutherford, and Tom Montgomery. There have been a couple interviews with the founders where they explain the concept behind Chubbies. The idea for the company started when the founders took a Fourth of July trip to Lake Tahoe in 2011. They had created extra pairs of America themed shorts and sold them to people throughout the weekend.
The traditional Chubbies' shorts sit around mid-thigh and have a 5.5 inch inseam, and have recently released a 7-Inch inseam as well. The clothing company has released many new patterns and products since the original batch of shorts. The shorts have grown in popularity, with evidence from the company's rising sales, that even major clothing brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch have tried their hand at the short shorts style. Chubbies Shorts is an outspoken supporter of the United States Military and has been a supporter since the inception of the business. All Chubbies Shorts are made in America, using cotton produced in Georgia and construction of the shorts themselves in 19 different locations in California.
In 2014, the shorts brand began producing shirts. They currently sell on their eCommerce store short sleeve and long sleeve half-button shirts. They call these shirts "The Nutter", which is a Hawaiian style top. Chubbies has also released a half-zip sweatshirt for colder parts of the year and an effort to keep shoppers purchasing products year round. The fabric for the half-zip sweatshirts is currently sourced from a mill in North Carolina.
Chubbies Ambassador Program
The Chubbies Ambassador Program was started as an extension of the brand into college campuses, which is one of the companies biggest target markets. Brand ambassadors are responsible for promoting Chubbies across their campus, sticking to the traditional Chubbies style of marketing with radical events and tactics. Ambassadors receive real-world marketing and business experience to help carry them into the work force after graduation.
Male Model Search
Chubbies concluded a Male Model Search contest as a large campaign to not only promote the clothing line, but to also take a different stand on what's expected of a male model. The brand encouraged the "every-day", "real" man to sign up, men that don't fit the "tall, dark, and handsome" build that many people think of today. The final 10 winners of this contest received a two-year modeling contract and Chubbies shorts for life. They would also be seen in Chubbies ads across many advertising forms like TV commercials and billboards.
Marketing and financing
On top of its non-conformist promotion campaigns, Chubbies was one of ten finalist for the Intuit Quickbooks Super Bowl ad contest. The winner of the contest received a free Super Bowl ad, that normally reaches costs as high as $5 million for a half minute spot.
The shorts startup raised some funding from a handful of different investors. Included in the investor profile is Rothenberg Ventures, IDG Ventures USA, Trunk Club's Brian Spaly, Tory Burch co-founder Chris Burch, and Thrillist CEO Ben Lerer. Chubbies just announced on 2 February 2016 that hey have raised $9 Million in a series A round. This brings their total funding to just over $14 Million since 2011.
Chubbies has one brick and mortar store on Union street in San Francisco. Probably one of the most notable aspects of the company is the large following of their social media. The company has a very large collection of engaged and loyal Facebook and Instagram fans, and openly talks about their position on content marketing being the foundation for their brand awareness.