by Karen Alberg Grossman

Many maintain that thanks to the internet, it’s easier to launch a brand today than it was years ago. Yet with success stories few and far between plus rapidly rising costs for customer acquisition online, numerous D2C brands are now looking to strengthen wholesale.

HyperNatural’s Chris Kolbe, after just one season, reports a 50/50 balance between direct online sales and wholesale. His launch product, for those unfamiliar, is an all-natural performance polo, produced (after two years of R&D) with jade stone and crab shells for cooling, odor-elimination, and 95 percent biodegradability. This near-perfect polo contains no polyester or plastics, is available in 29 colors and sold through at regular price ($135-$165 retail) in better specialty stores and at Nordstrom.


Crediting initial success largely to positive reviews from major publications (Esquire, Departures, Forbes), Kolbe recognizes a need for advertising and trade shows. “Since my partner and I were doing everything ourselves, we also decided to hire some powerhouse sales reps. Gary Williams (NorthEast), Chuck Bush (South), Rick and Jason Port (SouthEast), and Sid Stumacher (West Coast) are now integral parts of our team. Our future plans include seeking out international partners and angel investors.”

The HyperNatural collection has notably expanded for Spring ’24 to include tees, pants and shorts, prints as well as solids and cover-ups with 50+ UV protection. Check it out at Society NYC, Dallas, Charlotte and several regional trade shows.