If you’re like many Westporters, you once read “06880” on the train. What else would you do with those 15 hours a week?
Since March, you may not have gone back to the office at all. What — besides reading “06880” in even greater depth — have you been doing with your time?
Ben Sturner did not waste any of it. From the moment last March he realized he much preferred wearing sweatpants to suits — and suddenly had time to walk on Compo Beach, hang out with his family and actually appreciate the town he paid good money to live in — Sturner has thought about the joys of working from home.
And — because he is an experienced, creative marketing executive — he wondered how he could leverage his new lifestyle into something, um, marketable.
Last week, Sturner launched WFH. The trademark — it stands for Work From Home — is currently a brand of men’s and women’s hoodies, crewneck and t-shirts, joggers, loungewear, robes and hats.
In 2021 it will grow to include other “W”s: Wellness From Home. Workout and Workspace too. (Workspace has already started, with an assortment of coffee mugs, water bottles, wrist rests — and a stress relief ball.)
The goal, Sturner says, is to create a destination for working people around the world, offering solutions needed to live “your best Work From Home life.”
A portion of the proceeds from every purchase go to Mental Health America.
Sturner’s partner in this venture is DJ Irie. The official DJ of the Miami Heat, he was on the road up to 6 days a week When COVID grounded him, he found the comfortable, casual answer to a pressing question — “what should I wear for Zoom meetings?” — at WFH.
Sturner – who admits “I don’t know clothing, but I do know marketing” — has hired experts from companies like Gap, Reebok and American Eagle.
WFH grew quickly. Much of the work, of course, has been done by Sturner, at home. He has been to New York only once since March. He does not miss his commute at all.
In fact, looking back, he realizes how much he loved — in his pre-COVID life — the occasional Friday he would work from home. He vows not to take his new lifestyle — the extra summer hour at Longshore, the chance to watch his kids at soccer practice — for granted.
Once upon a time, Sturner spent 4 years on the railroad station parking wait list. Now he drives by, and sees it almost completely empty.
He’s not the only person working from home.
But he may be the only one making a brand out of it.
(Click here for the WFH “Work From Home” website.)