Born and raised in South Dakota, Thomas John Patterson, studied at Arizona State University and became a medical device salesperson. After years of being an unsatisfied consumer in need of more fitted and functional undergarments and with no experience in fashion, Tom founded Tommy John in 2008. Developing a collection of patented stay tucked undershirts, stay put underwear and stay up socks that feature innovative materials, Tommy John, has become one of the fastest growing men’s brands in the US. Tom lives in New York City with his wife and newborn daughter. Tom has been a FoundersCard Member since 2012.
How does Tommy John set itself apart?
By focusing on the 3 F’s and not being afraid to be different which we showed the world with our brand video, The Big Adjustment, this fall.
Fabric- We break with tradition and use innovative materials and proprietary fabric and blends. Like our patented, non-pilling micro modal.
Fit- We research and find new ways of adapting to the real, moving human body. Such as our patented undershirt design, guaranteed to never come untucked.
Function- We constantly evolve and improve our products to make our customers more comfortable. Like our Quick Draw® Fly.
We launched our TV campaign, “The Big Adjustment” earlier this year. It went viral and the goal was to focus on male discomfort (vs partnering with a European soccer or tennis player to be a brand ambassador). We really believe the experience of purchasing underwear should be as comfortable as the product. We do it by using relatable models of all ages, races, and professions that were doing real life things in an approachable way.
Tell is about your Best Pair Guarantee.
We want men to experience a new level of comfort with Tommy John! We know it’s hard for them to experience our product without trying it on. For that reason, we’ve created our “Best Pair You’ll Ever Wear or It’s Free” Guarantee. If they’re uncomfortable for any reason with their first pair of Tommy John, they can keep it. We ask that they just let us know whether they’d like a refund for the undergarment or an exchange to get you something more comfortable.
Boxers or briefs?
Boxer briefs. They are the most popular style in the market right now and our best selling silhouette. I’m always testing styles and its common for me to wear 2-3 different styles per day for various activities.
What was the best piece of advice you have ever received?
If you ever doubt something, follow your gut.
Aside from your company, what is your greatest success?
Convincing my wife to marry me.
What is one book you would recommend to everyone?
Purple Cow, Seth Godin urges you to put a Purple Cow into everything you build so you stand out and are noticeable. In a sea of sameness, standing out is a very important part of creating the opportunity to be successful.
Aside from @TommyJohn, who is someone we should be following on Twitter right now?
@weatherford5. He is a friend of mine and an inspirational freak of nature in every way humanely possible.
What is one app that all FoundersCard Members should be using?
Pocket. It allows you to save online articles on your phone and desktop to read offline later. I use this daily on my commute on the subway where I lose wifi service and when I travel.
Give us your best plug/brag a little about as to what you’re working on now/next.
After almost two years of product development, in November we launched Tommy John Air. It is the lightest men’s underwear ever created. Air weighs-in at an average of two ounces. With 360 degree stretch and recovery, combined with a moisture wicking and anti-microbial fabric, the new collection can air-dry in less than four hours.
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