Brett Mikoll, left, and David Horesh, right, of Oxford Pennant.
You have a lot of pep, you have a lot of pride. You’re spirited, basically. But how do you show it?
With a pennant, of course. An Oxford Pennant, that is.
In 2013, Dave Horesh and Brett Mikoll launched Oxford Pennant, their Buffalo-based pennant-producing enterprise, eager to refresh a staid pennant scene filled with unimaginative designs and synthetic fabrics. Paying special attention to high-quality, local materials, they began making flags and banners with thoughtful and personalized designs. These designs run the gamut. Some are simple and nostalgic, with clean, classic lines. Others are more colorful, with detailed illustrations and vibrant typography.
You don’t have to support a sports team or celebrate your college years to need a pennant either. They offer pennants and banners celebrating many different subjects: your state, your borough, a gutsy motto, or even a lyric from a Drake song. Dave and Brett also make custom pennants (they recently made one for us!) so if you can’t find the message that suits you within their catalog, you can have one made especially for you.
We recently caught up with Brett from Oxford Pennant who took the time to give us an interview. Check out what he has to say about staying ‘Spirited’:
Q: Why pennants? How did the idea come about?
A: I’ve always had a thing for souvenirs. When Dave and I met, we bonded over art, music, and old things, and it led to Dave proposing the idea of us making some cool gifts for our friends — pennants! We figured out the process and made simple designs for Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Boston, then put the photos on Instagram. What really made it special after that was when people asked us to produce custom designs.
Photo credit: Oxford Pennant
Q: What do you look for when sourcing the wool and cotton?
A: First thing: American made. However, there aren't many options in 2017 for felt produced in the states — fortunately, we have a good relationship with our mill.
Q: Why do you think the pennants took off?
A: Celebrate Everything! There’s a reason why your hometown is special, your kid’s soccer team, your wedding day, etc. And I think pennants are a nice accessory to help tell the story.
Photo credit: Oxford Pennant
Q: How has the success of Oxford Pennant changed your life?
A: We’ve been able to collaborate with some of the coolest designers and companies that I would’ve never come in contact with as a freelancer. Additionally as the company grows, we have more opportunities to create retail concepts, products, and other fun stuff to share with our community.
Oxford Pennant x Adidas. Photo credit: Oxford Pennant
Q: What is the biggest challenge you faced in growing the business?
A: Oxford is still a very small company. We’re fortunate to have Dave’s mother help us out once a week with shipping, but otherwise if we have a busy week, it’s on Dave and me. But it’s an easy solution—we just sleep less and buy another case of beer.
Q: Which New York-inspired pennant was the most fun to make?
A: We’ve recently released some new 18x24” banners, which we refer to as Camp Flags. One of the first designs is NYC (I know, I know, there’s more to NY state than just NYC) but I think the simple peace sign illustration really works, we need all the good vibes we can get!
Oxford Pennant x United By Blue NYC collaboration. Photo credit: Oxford Pennant
Q: What do you (and Dave!) do with your free time?
A: Ha! That’s a recent topic of conversation between us - as the company grows, we need to remind ourselves to clock out every now and then. I enjoy making collages, driving around Western New York, and listening to the saddest music I can find. We both try to get to as many concerts as we can, too.
Q: What is your New York State of Mind?
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