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Band of Brothers

We catch up with the trio behind the Wheat Group and their handsomely rugged new line for tastemakers on the go.

From left: Chad, Kelly and Bryan Grismer in the Puma lounge, one of the many office spaces decked out in repurposed plywood from their shipping crates. “Our Midwest roots have always stayed with us,” says Chad of their San Diego-via-South Dakota style. “Focused Space is an homage to the era of Americana and the timeless aesthetic of modernist design.”

Boys will be boys. At least that’s true for Chad, Kelly and Bryan, aka the Grismer brothers. Their S.D.-based Wheat Group designs cool-kid accessories for international lines like Puma, Skull Candy and Hurley. They also just debuted their own brand of backpacks and tech accessories, Focused Space. But that doesn’t mean they’re above a little horsing around.

At the Wheat Group HQ in Rancho Bernardo, you’ll find skate ramps, motorcycles and a soundstage where up-and-coming bands from all across the country jam for live online broadcasts.

“We’re expressing our brand DNA through music,” says Bryan. “Instead of looking for the next athlete to promote our product,” adds Chad. “Music is the common theme among our target consumers.”

The brothers, who talk over each other in an endearing way, enlisted Louis XIV alum and longtime musician pal Brian Karscig to handle marketing for Focused Space, which launched exclusively in Apple stores and will be carried in upscale outlets like Fred Segal and American Rag come February. The stylishly rugged line is meant for on-the-go tastemakers.

“We all travel so much and wanted to find homes for all these different electronic devices we use every day,” explains Bryan.

Focused Space products pay high-end homage to the Grismer heritage. Though the brothers grew up in the PQ, they were born in South Dakota, where their grandfather was a wheat farmer.

The Grismers, who founded the Wheat Group two decades ago out of their surf and skate shop, definitely inherited their grandpa’s pluck and sense of family pride. Even their mom works with them.

“She keeps us in line,” Kelly says. Then he adds, “Or maybe we keep her in line.” And all three brothers laugh.