By MADDY VITALE
OCEAN CITY – Jake Brown is not shy about admitting he is superstitious. Why should he be anyway?
He is growing a successful business that came out of one very well-known phrase: Knock on wood.
Brown, 24, of Ocean City, created the WoodLuck clothing line of shirts, hats, hoodies and shorts with a very special and unique piece that adorns each item — a real piece of wood.
“I have always been really superstitious. If someone said something jinx-worthy, someone would need to knock on wood to fix it,” Brown said in an interview.
The clothing line can be found online at https://woodluckapparel.com/
“The name sounds like good luck, but it incorporates the knock on wood aspect,” Brown said matter-of-factly.
The homepage to the website says it clearly: “Superstitious? Knock on wood, no matter where life takes you.”
But the idea of wearing a fixed piece of wood on clothing is not only unusual, but may seem bizarre.
Not so, says Brown.
The wood adornments are thin and small and add a perfect touch of uniqueness to apparel designed for the outdoorsy types — from surfers to campers to beachgoers.
Brown, who grew up in Ambler, Pennsylvania, with his parents, Marnie and Jim, and brother, Ryan, has spent his summers in Ocean City since he was a baby.
“I have always been a fan of the surf shop outdoors style and when it clicked that I could take my creative interests of drawing and graphic design, and combine the two to create something of my own, it just came together,” he explained of his clothing line.
He is a 2019 graduate of Bloomsburg University, where he studied business management. It was while he was in college that WoodLuck came about. The website launched in March of 2018.
The idea for WoodLuck came out of Brown’s senior project in college and has been growing ever since.
Brown, who works full time as a risk management information account executive, said he enjoys creating the clothes and that he has had help, especially from his father, along the way.
“My dad helped me with the prototypes for the wood manufacturing,” he noted. “We started off and the original wood was way too thick.”
Brown continued, “My father is a bit of a craftsman, so we were custom ordering the wood pieces, cutting them, branding them, treating them and drilling them out.”
Brown has a busy schedule with a full time job, family and friends, and his girlfriend, Alex Valentini. WoodLuck has been his “baby.”
“I would really like to see it grow into something bigger that can give back,” he said. “I wanted to start a business that other people could get behind to support.”
And while he enjoys the clothing and hats that he sells, the goal is to eventually expand the WoodLuck line.
Recently, a family friend joined Brown as a business partner, offering guidance and capital to help grow the business at a faster rate.
“We have some big stuff in the works,” Brown said.
Yes, he does. But of course, Brown would knock on wood — just to be sure.