Last year we had the pleasure of getting to know TJ Moran and learn all about the work that Feejays was doing. The company was made with so much more than just ridiculously comfortable (footie) sweatpants; it was created with the spirit of giving back in mind. This year we get to know Jed Wilson, the new CEO, and all the new things this year has brought them, with even more to come.
Jed came in when TJ called – “TJ brought me on full-time to take over the Feejays operation around May. Prior to coming to work for Feejays, I was a Battalion Chief with CALFIRE, here in the Santa Cruz area,” he shares. Jed grew up near Yosemite in a town called Mariposa, CA. He’s always been the outdoorsy type, playing sports and fly fishing, and majored in fire science when he was in college. “I was hired with CDF, now CALFIRE back in 2001. From 2001 and until April of this year I worked in the San Mateo – Santa Cruz Unit and worked my way through the ranks to Battalion Chief. The job with CALFIRE brought me to Santa Cruz, a place we would only visit as a kid.” But Santa Cruz brought him more than just fighting fires; it brought him a new life. “I was lucky enough to meet my wife here in Santa Cruz. She was born and raised within the county, and a few years later we welcomed our daughter into the world. We have lived in Capitola since. Our daughter attended a pre-school where she met her best friend, TJ’s daughter. The two are inseparable. TJ and I became friends over the years as our families grew closer.”
“Being semi-skilled with a sewing machine, he asked if I could take on the task of making the prototype pair, based on what he had made already. Over the next couple of years, we would discuss Feejays regularly, and it was neat to see them become a reality. Never did I think that I would find myself as the CEO.” Jed and TJ seem to be working pretty closely to grow Feejays. “TJ is not out,” shares Jed. “He brought me on board to oversee/run Feejays, but we are definitely talking weekly, if not daily about Feejays. He is still very much vested in the operation.”
Feejays has grown immensely this year. A huge one was getting the official patent for Feejays! There’s been a ton of work on improving the “escape hatch” of the foot, expanding the sizes up to 4X, and working on new colors and patterns. They’ve even begun custom printing, which has come in handy for the teams they are giving back to.
This year Feejays is sponsoring the Capitola Little League, Caletti CX (a local cyclocross team), and kids’ flag football. At Feejays, they believe in giving back to support their community. Jed said something that I loved: “We have always been taught that if you have the ability to give back to the community that has helped you, then you should give back. We are trying to do that with each team, event or donation we make.” They choose charities and teams based on what they are doing for their community. A lot of their focus has been on supporting the younger age groups. “By us sponsoring or donating we are able to help provide the younger generation with structured environments, positive role models and the ability to excel in something that may not be offered otherwise.”
And every September Feejays give $5 from every item sold to the Unravel Pediatric Cancer Foundation, both as a tribute to the wonderful work the Kranz family is doing and to bring awareness to Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.
Erika Mailman shares her heartbreaking account of the Kranz family and the battle that Jennifer Lynn Kranz (JLK) fought while battling terminal DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma). You can read all about that story and Feejays connection here.
Of course, there is always more to come from this wonderful company. Soon they will be releasing new designs and a new piece of clothing in early November and you won’t want to miss it. Check back with us for the Reveal and a Giveaway!