Carpe Chic isn't just a name, there's a story, there's history to how this all came about.
It all started in 2002 when we were introduced to our new English teacher, Mr. Robert McElroy. It didn't take long for him to begin making an impact on the minds at our small, little high school. He pushed us to look past the limits of what we had been taught and critically analyze what we were reading and how it applied to life. He also created a theater program his first year and we put on the first play the school had seen in years. He added AP English to the curriculum to push us even harder.
Mr. McElroy was a huge Shakespere nut which consequently meant we studied all of his works. He even made a few appearances to school dressed as characters from the plays!
By my junior year I had landed myself in his AP classes and had grown even closer to him. So much so that when he came in to our class after lunch I would scold him for smoking on his break and he would just stare at me, shake his finger and reply, "you knowwww" and then class would begin. That same year I was selected as an understudy for the MAIN role of the play even though I never tried out or even wanted to be in the play! On opening night the lead, Cassie, was nowhere to be found and he came in and broke the news that she had gotten sick and that I would have to take over. I stood there absolutely horrified with my mouth hanging open because of course I had never even read the lines! Cassie came running in behind him laughing so hard she was crying while Mr. McElroy giggled like a little boy. He knew he could give me shit and I knew I could give it right back.
Mr. McElroy could light a fire in his students. For me it was when he would stand at his podium in the front of the classroom and say "SEIZE THE DAY" in his deep raspy voice. He would hold his hand out in a giant fist and just look around the room at each of us to make sure we thought about what that might mean for each of us. He made me believe I could do and be anything I wanted. Carpe Diem or Seize the Day became my mantra from that day forward.
My husband (we are high school sweethearts and began dating in 2002) also had a unique relationship with Mr. McElroy. Most would have considered him a "bad boy" in school and the teachers didn't take him seriously at all. He was trouble. Mr. McElroy didn't see that. He saw a young man with a ton of potential who would rather be outside doing something physical than sitting inside a classroom. They were a lot a like. Mr. McElroy was able to see Grant for who he really was and and because of that they had an awesome connection and bond.
He meant a lot to both of us.
In late May of 2005 my husband and I received the news that Mr. McElroy had passed away from a sudden heart attack at his home. We were a year out of school so we hadn't seen him for some time but I always kept in touch with him via email because he mentored me through some of my college courses. We were both absolutely devastated and the world lost an amazing educator.
As I sat thinking about my business and what I wanted from it I kept circling back to my time in his classes and the mantra I had learned from him, Carpe Diem. I knew I had to incorporate it and thus, Carpe Chic was born.
All of the denim had been named after characters in his play and often times some of our more popular pieces are named with parts of poems and sonnets.