June 18, 2018
Adam Broin and his brothers Derek and Jacob knew they wanted to go into business together.
Finding the right fit – literally and figuratively – brought them to CuffLinks.com. The business was founded in Dallas in 1999 and created, as the name might suggest, to sell cuff links.
It has since grown into a major player in the men’s accessory industry, selling wholesale to the likes of Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom and private labeling for Brooks Brothers.
For Adam, the opportunity to acquire the business struck a personal chord. He remembers receiving his maternal grandfather’s cuff links and tie bars right before his confirmation.
“So it kind of spoke to me personally,” he said. “My grandfather was in the Netherlands during World War II, wound up in a concentration camp, escaped and immigrated to America and believed there were bad times and good times in life. And since we’re living the good times in life, let’s make the most of it.”
The products, which are sold online through cufflinks.com and at retailers, evoke that sort of celebratory theme. The business has exclusively licensing with Star Wars, Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Game of Thrones and major league sports teams.
“They’re such great gifts items, and that’s where our company really shines,” Adam Broin said. “It’s with engraving Father’s Day gifts and gifts for weddings, graduations or Christmas.”
While cuff links are a signature item, the inventory includes socks, ties and tie bars, pocket squares, collar stays, label pins and tuxedo stud sets.
“We do the product process from start to finish,” said Adam’s wife, Joy, who handles marketing. “We do design, production, sales and fulfillment, so we’re the full process.”
Adam and Joy are Augustana University graduates who moved to Minnesota and have since returned to Sioux Falls. Adam, who has a degree in physics, held jobs in industry automation, safety and compliance, and supply chain management, while Joy worked in marketing and communications. Adam’s brother Derek worked at an app startup in Minneapolis and his brother Jacob attended Augustana and then worked as a Boy Scout camp director.
“So the whole family is involved,” Joy Broin said. “It was a bonus they needed me too.”
The brothers grew up surrounded by entrepreneurialism. Their father, Rob, is the “R” in RMB Associates, which oversees many area developments and other ventures. He previously helped found the family business Broin Cos., which is now part of Poet LLC and led by his brother, Jeff.
Cufflinks.com “checked a lot of the boxes we had,” said Joel Dykstra, CEO of RMB Associates. “Each of the three brothers has an active role in management, so they could work there to make it grow and use their talents to the benefit of the business.”
The business has 20 people and is in the process of moving its headquarters to Sioux Falls. Its new office and warehouse space is at 57th Street and Cliff Avenue and eventually will include some retail space.
“We’re very grateful to the Dallas-Fort Worth business community for their support and how it has helped foster the growth of the company,” Joy Broin said. “We’ll continue to have a presence in Dallas, but Sioux Falls is home and this is a family company, and we’re excited to be growing it here.”
They plan to hire several positions in customer service, design and the warehouse. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information. The business also can be found out Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @cufflinksdotcom.
The hope is to have the office running in early July and set up a small retail area after that. The Broins also will be reaching out to Sioux Falls retailers that might be a good fit for carrying the products.
“The whole idea is to grow. We think it could be the start of something really significant in e-commerce for Sioux Falls,” Dykstra said.
“Once you’ve got a platform in e-commerce, you can add to it and leverage it. People forget Amazon used to be a bookstore.”