What does the founder of a luxury duffel bag company and a former Marine have in common? In most contexts, these would be two different people entirely. In Elliot Weeks’ case though, they are one exceptional individual’s enterprising brains behind Old Enfield Co., a luxury outdoor gear company based in Austin, Texas.
Weeks’ beginnings began in the Tarrytown neighborhood of Austin. Growing up with a famous cattle rancher in the family, the Texan equivalent of dynastic royalty, cattle drives, and horse riding explorations on his family’s ranch were a regular occurrence for the Austinite. With a desire to be remembered most as “the best 3rd string wide receiver Austin High Football has ever seen,” you could say Weeks experienced an ordinarily Texan childhood.
“Being immersed in Austin’s unique, creative culture definitely influenced me in many ways,” Weeks said. “Austin itself is a creative, different town, so growing up here you get shaken by that whole aspect.”
Post-high school life led Weeks into fulfilling his civic duty by enlisting in the military. During his 4 year stretch in the United States Marine Corps, serving as an infantry rifleman in Afghanistan and Iraq for a portion of the time, core values that would shape his worldview were embroidered into the fabric of his being. Eventually, Weeks was tasked with the role of Corporal, leading him to learn the art of shepherding a team through taxing circumstances and preparing him for the next chapter in his life.
“In the Marines, we were taught to understand the mission, task, and purpose at hand, as well as the ability to take a risk and handle stressful situations,” Weeks said. “I feel that this is a common trait amongst both Veterans and successful small business owners.”
Wrapping up his duties in the Marine Corps by 2008, and consecutively attaining a degree from the University of Texas, the seeds of Old Enfield Co. were planted, at last. Although, Weeks venture into the world of outdoor gear began long before. As an avid REI fan, Weeks was often present in the recreational equipment mega-store browsing the selection of outdoor gear available, only to discover there was potential waiting to be tapped.
Come 2015, the concept of Old Enfield Co. was hatched and Weeks began sewing a prototype of what would ultimately become the 48-Hour Duffel Bag - now an Old Enfield staple piece. Enlisting the help of his mother and grandmother’s expert sewing skills, in alliance with the aid of YouTube tutorials and military experience under his belt, Old Enfield Co. was born.
“I wanted Old Enfield to not just cater to the Veteran community, but to anyone. You don’t have to feel like you’re part of ‘the club’ to associate with the brand,” Weeks said.
“I didn’t want it to be a brand that immediately when you look at it, you think ‘oh, that’s a Veteran owned brand,’ but more of an ‘oh, it’s also a Veteran-owned brand.’”
Old Enfield Co. caters to the rugged outdoorsman that implores undeniable quality to be a key ingredient of all personal possessions, which we at Texas Standard ascribe to as well. Delivering on promises of excellent craftmanship and longevity, Old Enfield is rightly named after a historical and opulent Austin neighborhood in close quarters to Weeks old stomping ground of Tarrytown.
“Durable quality is the entirety of what I tried to create with the brand,” Weeks said. “I think people identify with that because it’s the idea of a bag that maybe your grandad owned and has lasted a long time through generations and generations, then got passed down - but it’s new and modern.”
Keeping similar principles in mind, Texas Standard with Old Enfield Co. exemplifies the best of Texas clothing brands. In pairing with Weeks’ vision of a champion company offering an array of impeccably crafted products that all Texans can identify with, both brands’ intentions are to provide the best quality to the best women and gentlemen.
Although he can occasionally be spotted paddleboarding on Lady Bird Lake or at one of his go-to joints like Pool Burger and Icenhauer’s on Rainey Street, Weeks always ranks his devotion for Old Enfield as highest in importance. In true Texan Gentleman fashion, Weeks has assembled and applied years worth of wisdom and hardship to actualize a project that the Lone Star state can genuinely stand behind.
“It’s interesting to think of cowboys and ranchers back in the day,” Weeks said. “The people that originally came [to Texas] knew it was a more difficult way of life, but they were willing to be more independent, and so Texas attracted a more or less ‘get-the-job-done kind of person.’ It’s that history that formed the identity of Texas and the people of Texas.” We couldn’t agree more, Elliot.