with Abby Dobens
Hometown Crew, owner and founder
I moved to Duxbury, Massachusetts when I was seven and spent my entire childhood planning my escape. As soon as I graduated Duxbury High, I seized my opportunity, spending the next decade living in high-rises and traveling to any place that wasn’t home.
Traveling is a funny thing though. It can open your eyes to the world but more often than not, it allows you to see what has been right in front of you all along. No matter where I was in the world, if someone asked, '“Where are you from?” I would jump at the opportunity to bring up my magical sea-side New England town with the long wooden bridge. Full of people that knew me, and I knew them.
When a pandemic and the love of my life (a boy that lived in the town next door) brought me home to stay, I saw my tiny town in a new light. I was no longer looking through the lens of an eighteen year old escape artist but rather as someone who finally understood the value of her hometown. And as such, Hometown Crew was born. Sweatshirts with hometown pride. Built to last. Just like your love for your Hometown.
What is Hometown Crew? What made you want to start the brand?
It is my hometown. The whole idea for Hometown Crew came about because I wanted to represent my hometown so it was only right to have my Debut Crew be for my hometown.
The nostalgic connection that one find with their hometown is interesting because it is not unique. Most, not all, but most have immense pride for where they are come from.
Whether it be a Philly cheesesteak, or a Boston accent, or a New York Yankees fan, these small cultural elements make up the tapestry of our being. And as we identify with what makes OUR hometown, OUR hometown we are also further defining our own identity.
How do we fit in this great big world around us? Duxbury is my hometown. Full of people that love oysters, and the Patriots, like me. Full of people that love the Fourth of July parade on Washington Street and the Tinkertown Luminaries on Christmas Eve, like me. They love the spring daffodils on Harrison Street, and the crinkle of Autumn leaves under the Jeep tires. They are proud to be New Englanders, and I am proud to be one of them.
Why a sweatshirt? Was that the idea from the beginning?
Sweatshirts and athleisure really took over during the pandemic and I constantly found myself in search of the coziest work from home clothes.
I realized that I didn’t have a sweatshirt for my hometown of Duxbury. As I said before, Duxbury is quite a small town, and there weren’t many options when it came to finding a Duxbury sweatshirt.
As we rang in 2021, I realized that loungewear wasn’t going anywhere and I wanted to have a sweatshirt that represented my hometown. I also knew exactly what I wanted in terms of quality. I wanted the design to be something that anyone could wear and would also never go out of style. I wanted it to be made of a really high quality material, something soft that wouldn’t pill and wouldn’t shrink.
But most importantly I wanted it to be everyone’s favorite sweatshirt. One that you wear until there are holes in the sleeves, but you can’t bring yourself to throw it out. And with Conjetta Design’s help, that is exactly what we made.
Prewashed and Preshrunk, Vintage design, Soft and Durable
Is your background in fashion?
If you consider matching your shoes with your tights with your dress when you were three “in fashion” then yes. But in terms of understanding the ins and out of the fashion industry, absolutely not. I love fashion but I work mainly in the entertainment industry. However, when everything ground to a halt during the pandemic, I was eager for any opportunity to get the creative juices flowing.
I came up with the idea for the Duxbury Crew one night at dinner, and with a “That’s a great idea!” from everyone at the table, I was off to the races. Within a week I had reached out to anyone in my life that I thought could help get the product made, and was quickly connected to Conjetta Designs through a Fashion Facebook Group that my only friend in fashion was apart of.
Connie helped me every step of the way, from the initial design, to the samples, to a full pallet of sweatshirts being delivered to my home. I truly could not have imagined going through this process without her help.
I also have a new found respect for anyone that brings a product to market. Getting a product made is full of thousands of micro-steps that the consumer will never see. It takes a long time, and is a tough process but once your product is in your hands, all the late nights and the grueling hours drift away and what is left was totally worth the wait. It is the most magical feeling holding something that only existed in your mind, until you made it real.
What is the future of Hometown Crew?
Duxbury is a part of a conglomerate of Southern Coastal Boston towns called the South Shore. We started with Duxbury but will be expanding to all South Shore towns and beyond. We will also be adding kid sizes to the Dux Crew and all future crews.