Explore how Podium Chicago is catering to men’s evolving jewelry needs with its minimalist necklaces and bracelets, see what its founder recommends to new customers, and get a coupon for 20% off.
Review Podium Chicago’s minimalist men’s jewelry, informed by my interview with founder Chip Longenecker.
Coupon for Podium Chicago Jewelry
About Podium Chicago
Founded in 2022, Podium Chicago is a stylish direct-to-consumer brand that specializes in minimalist jewelry for men. Podium offers a selection of Cuban link necklaces and bracelets in a variety of thicknesses, gorgeous minimalist cuff bracelets in polished or brushed silver or gold, thin rope necklaces and ID cuff bracelets.
Entrepreneur Chip Longenecker told me that he founded Podium with a goal of encouraging “men to feel more free to express themselves and explore a concept that’s more common in women’s fashion.”
He added that, “in jewelry, the options for men to shop from are pretty limited, so we wanted to offer a much higher quality option” as guys gravitate towards wearing accessories like cuff bracelets and chains.
Chip has a background in finance, including stints with Guild Capital and Bain and Company, and has been involved in other midwestern startups including Senita Athletics and Really Good Boxed Wine. He briefly served as COO for the terrific vintage-inspired clothing company HOMAGE.
In 2017, Chip founded his first startup, RompHim, which he observes “was a business focused on self-expression and pushing the boundaries of men’s style.” (You can still purchase items from the cheeky RompHim lineup of men’s rompers via Tipsy Elves.)
Chip sources recycled silver and adds thoughtful design design touches like heavy rhodium plating to strengthen the jewelry. Podium’s minimalist jewelry comes with a lifetime warranty.
How Much Does Jewelry from Podium Cost?
Podium Chicago’s minimalist bracelets and chains for men cost between $85 and $189.
Meeting Men’s Evolving Approaches to Style and Jewelry
I asked Chip how men’s approaches to fashion and style have evolved over the past 20 years. He told me that:
We place Podium in the context of guys upgrading their game across the board. 20 or 30 years ago, guys were buying Irish Spring and Fruit of the Loom, but stopping there. Now, we’re seeing guys more interested in skincare routines, Vuori, and investing in themselves – both how they look and feel. We see guys like that as interested in accessorizing and want to give them a higher end option.Chip Longenecker, interviewed by Modern Fellows
This is the First Piece of Minimalist Jewelry Podium’s Founder Suggests You Try
I also asked Chip what is the first item he would recommend for someone who perhaps has never worn a bracelet or chain, and is just getting to know Podium. He told me that:
It’s really all about personal expression, so whatever is calling to you is a big part of it. Generally, we see guys gravitating towards bracelets for their first jewelry as it’s a little more subtle and can feel like less of a commitment than a necklace.
Podium’s gold rope chain necklace and 5mm gold Cuban chain bracelet are great starting points. The bracelet in particular is a terrific “‘medium”‘ thickness that doesn’t read too loud but still makes a statement.Chip Longenecker, interviewed by Modern Fellows
This just goes to show that jewelry is a hugely personal choice. I find you’re either a silver or a gold fan, and my tastes definitely run to silver. For me, Podium’s minimalist cuff bracelet for men in brushed silver is the item that stands out from their lineup.
Focusing on Partnerships to Get Jewelry in Front of Guys
I spend a lot of time at Modern Fellows looking at how digital-native brands get in front of customers. Other companies like Bonobos, Away and M. M. Lafleur have opened Brick and Mortar 2.0 guideshops and popups, send mail order catalogs, and collaborate with other brands. How does Podium get its jewelry in front of customers and cut through all of the digital noise?
Chip told me that, “we really focus on getting the jewelry in front of guys in the context of other things.” To him, “that means partnerships and collaborations where the jewelry is in a context where they get a sense for how it could look on them or what it would mean to them to wear it.”
Tactically, Chip says, Podium is constantly on the lookout for like-minded brands “at the top of their field” as partners.
Other Favorite Menswear Brands
I asked Chip to name some of his favorite menswear brands that perhaps would pair well with Podium’s jewelry.
He observed that one of his favorite up-and-coming brands is Public Rec. “They’re a growing Chicago brand; we love what they’re doing here and can see a lot of our customers wearing their clothing,” he said. (Public Rec is growing into a great option for comfortable workleisure clothing for men.)
He also admires what some of the footwear companies have done to create communities around their products and quality like Sabah, which makes travel shoes for men, women and kids, and Taft, which sells strikingly unique boots and shoes.
What’s Next for Podium? Rings and New Mediums
Chip notes that “we’re quality fanatics here” that are “always in search of making the product better.” Podium, he says, will focus on “iterating on the plating, the clasps, and the details that make their products even higher quality.” He is also looking to expand the range and offer men more “essential” jewelry choices, including minimalist men’s rings and “new mediums.”
About JakeJake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and/or fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.
Other cool stuff:* Get $25 off your first experience with Wantable, an amazing online personal styling option for men and women.
* For comfortable Athleisure clothing for women and men, try these 25 alternatives to lululemon.
* Find 21 Alternatives to Warby Parker that also let you try on prescription eyeglasses at home.
* The Essential List: These 125 innovative menswear startup brands will transform your wardrobe
* Upgrade your business casual wardrobe with comfortable yet professional-looking workleisure clothing made from stretchy performance fabrics.
* Get $50 off your first suit at Black Lapel, one of my favorite online custom tailors.
* Discover the best places to buy colorful socks online.