People: Ruben Hughes

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

I’m the Creative Director at Two Inch Cuffs and marketing consultant on the side. The main day-to-day duty focuses on creating concepts for our ever expanding catalog meets e-commerce. I manage a team of travelers who are always seeking adventure and a corky way to merge product into one’s everyday life.  It was my passion for writing and lifestyle books that led me to start my own blog. Growing up my family really didn’t understand my creative eye and to a certain degree, they still haven’t grasped it. For that, Two Inch Cuffs has been somewhat of a book documenting my rebellious yearn for life through product placement. It has taken me from New York to California and plenty of sweet places in between.

How did the idea of Two Inch Cuffs come to fruition?

The idea was very simple. Create original photography, content, and e-commerce to tie everything together.  There’s no sweeter feeling than taking a concept from pad and seeing it in reality. I enjoy what I do and the company of people I’ve met along the way. I’ve been a part of other ventures in the past and seeing that this has lasted through two and a half years is so rewarding.

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Building a brand like Two Inch Cuffs can’t be easy. What were some of the hardships you went through or road blocks you had to get over?

It was always apparent to me that this company wouldn’t build itself. Having no resources in the beginning was difficult for me, because I wanted to do so much with the ideas I drafted. Taking small steps with my own skills helped to gain the proper network to grow into what Two Inch Cuffs is now.

If I remember correctly you went to school for journalism. Why break off into the world of men’s fashion?

I came to the conclusion that men’s fashion would be the driving point for my interest in lifestyle. The other reason was that I could mostly relate to it as a guy. It was a one-man show for a long time and to be true to myself, I had to pursue something I knew. In the near future, I look to branch off into other spectrums of life other than apparel.

Ruben Hughes Two Inch CuffsWhat kept you going?

I kept going because I believed in what I was doing. I enjoy seeing things come to life and with that, there was that question of what next. I’ve had some lows at times, but it was the highs that really impacted me.

We all grab inspiration from so many different things. What inspires you?

Mainly, I find inspiration in landscape, music, and classic films. I’m a very visual person, so you can only imagine what our pin board looks like. Aside from that, I’m also inspired by the lives of people around me.

What is it about music that inspires you?

Music is everyone’s outlet. It tells a story like the editorials that I come up with. I enjoy U.S. Royalty, Koop, and even Girls. It can really add a definitive tempo to a campaign when used properly. We recently started an editorial series called Shop Sessions where we invite our favorite bands to be a part of our catalog. You can say that the job has some cool perks. We also mix seasonal playlists that are contributed by our in-house disc jockey

We live in such a fast paced world. What do you do to slow things down?

There’s a place about fifteen minutes away from my home that I call my safe haven. It has a small beach bed with an old Native American ruin that isn’t known to many. I like to go there and think. For an adventure seeker like me, it’s a short vacation from the day’s work.

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What is style to you?

Style is our exterior personality.

At what point will you look around and say I’ve made it?

I don’t think I could get that comfortable to the point that I would say I’ve made it. I’ve set high expectations for myself with goals that won’t come easy. But I don’t mind giving myself the occasional pat on the back–everyone deserves recognition.

If you could go back in time and tell a young Ruben Hughes one thing, what would it be?

I would tell him to just be patient in his endeavors. Building a company isn’t an overnight thing and with patience, you will get much farther with your goals.  That one word can lead to so many other things that is important to success.



Corey Knight

Founder of A&H Group.