Meet Colin Hanks, founder of Hanks Kerchiefs! We’ve recently collaborated with Colin on a line of handkerchiefs and he sat down with us to talk about why he started his company and his love for our national parks.
How did you get interested in handkerchiefs?
“I’m one of those guys who have always had a kerchief in my back pocket—my grandfather was like that, my dad always had a bunch on him. It’s just one of those utility items where it’s just ‘wallet, keys, kerchief,’ and I’m out the door. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found all of these uses for them and amassed a collection of them. I view kerchiefs the way people may view their favorite concert t-shirt or their favorite pair of jeans. There’s a familiarity with it but it also can be a memento of a specific time, place, or person. Kerchiefs can be personal mementos that you can pass down to people.”
Why did you start Hanks Kerchiefs?
As the story goes, I was sitting at a baseball game and I was thinking about all of the different things I like to purchase at events or when I’m traveling, and one of those is always a kerchief. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I couldn’t think of a company that is known for [making kerchiefs]. I thought it was a great opportunity to stretch out and do something different from the day job, being an actor and making documentaries, and thought that it could be a good opportunity to do something new.”
What about this collaboration makes you excited?
“In the last ten years, I’ve become more passionate about protecting the spaces we have here in the states and really celebrate them as the truly unique and special places that they are. No two parks are similar, they’re really different in their own ways. I think Parks Project is such a great idea, the fact that there’s a purpose behind the company, that the company celebrates a greater cause than just itself, that’s something that’s special. For me, working together is a no brainer because I want to be able to help the parks in any way that I can.”
Do you have any favorite memories in parks?
“I think one of the things I always love about the parks is that there is a sense of time travel involved for me. There’s something about the spirit of the parks that I think has always sort of spoken to me. It was like that the very first trip I took to Yosemite in elementary school, we camped out for four or five days. There’s also the time I drove with the woman who is now my wife through the western United States and we stopped in Zion—we’d never really seen photos of it, we’d just heard of it. We camped out for a weekend and it was one of the most stunning and the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.”