Shanayla Sweat’s firm, A Few Wood Men, a black-owned wooden watch collection intended especially for men and women of distinction, is making waves in the watch-making industry.
Sweat left her job at Microsoft with the goal of creating her own designer brand and redefining the watch business.
“As an African American woman, I realized the significance of positive representation and the need to create a space that celebrates men’s empowerment,” Sweat said, according to Black News. “A Few Wood Men is a tribute to the strong, distinguished men in our lives who shape communities and inspire change,” she added.
The entrepreneur told Voyage ATL that A Few Wood Men, which she established in 2017, was an unanticipated concept that arose from her search for the perfect gift for her grandfather, a well-known fashionista and watch collector.
Sweat stated that she noticed that the majority of his watches were damaged, too hefty for his wrists, or out of style. During her search, she came across many wooden watches and immediately fell in love with them.
“At the time, I didn’t know that they even existed, but I loved the look and liked how they were light-weight. He loved the watch, and what started out as a gift for him turned into friends and family asking where they could get one too. This simple watch search turned into me researching other opportunities, which later evolved into A Few Wood Men.”
According to her website, her brand was created as a “sounding board for black men who are striving to break down barriers, break curses, push boundaries, overcome strongholds, discover strength, come into self-love, and maintain peace while becoming fathers, husbands, leaders, commanders, and pillars within their community.”
Sweat’s brand has been recognized by major publications such as Essence, GQ, Melanin, Huami, and Kontrol, among others.
Wooden watches have recently captured the attention of eco-conscious consumers. According to Time Business News, the current market value is estimated to be $2.72 billion. Sweat had said in 2019 that in the next 5-10 years, she “can see the industry becoming more socially conscious and aware of natural resources that could be used to create watches.”