Digital Solutions For An Analog Life

The James Brand

The James Brand was created in Portland, Oregon, in 2012 by a group of designers and adventurers who were looking for something better. The James Brand makes products made with premium materials, a minimalist design aesthetic, and clear attention to detail. Modern, minimal everyday carry is what The James Brand is all about.

The James Brand PDP for laptop and phone


The James Brand’s existing site was split into two different experiences - a CMS based website that was aiming to tell the story of each unique product, and a Shopify site that functioned separately as the retail site. The goal of this project was to combine these experiences into one premium site, incorporating the storytelling and lifestyle elements of the brand throughout the shopping experience.


Our goal was not only to increase performance and conversion, but to design a site that perfectly captured the modern, minimal design aesthetic of The James Brand. With the vast majority of traffic coming from mobile devices, the mobile shopping experience was a key priority. It was also important to create a design system that would provide their team with a variety of flexible designs and reusable components capable of telling the unique stories of each product for future product launches. The result was a new Shopify site that offered a much better user experience for The James Brand’s customers, enabling them to shop for products while also connecting to the brand through their high-quality lifestyle imagery and stories throughout the site.

Flexible Content

Prioritizing Mobile

With over 70%+ of all traffic coming from mobile devices, our team designed each component to maximize mobile viewports. They leveraged portrait oriented product imagery and various UI patterns in order to maximize the impact of the brand experience while also maintaining ease of use.

A Lifestyle Driven Shopping Experience

The James Brand supports a lifestyle where an everyday carry tool is essential. Their products are made for people who live for adventure and every knife or tool has a unique purpose and story behind it. When designing the category and product pages, our goal was to create an immersive shopping experience that connected their customers to the lifestyle, values and adventurous spirit of the brand.

Expansive Stories

The James Brand required a flexible blog layout that would better support a wide variety of stories. Whether they were featuring a “how-to” article, or an ambassador story, the ZaneRay team created the tools and systems to support their ability to enhance the storytelling capabilities and really bring these stories to life. From typography, to galleries, to product cross-selling, we designed a variety of components that would better support a more dynamic range of future needs.

“Work with Your Friends”

The James Brand has a large team of partners and ambassadors, each with their own varying backgrounds and personal stories. With this list of collaborators constantly growing, we needed to design a flexible layout that was not only captivating, but one that would also allow for expansion into categories. The result was a lifestyle driven experience that allows each collaborator to share their unique story and a link to their favorite product.

The crew at ZaneRay thoroughly understands the end game. Working with agencies can be challenging, but ZaneRay's unique approach aligned their experience tightly with our needs. Their agile team found ways to work around the challenges. The end product exceeded the high standards we have set for James.

Michael Hoefer, CEO, The James Brand


As we continue working with The James Brand to support their ongoing needs, we are now able to focus on optimizing and enhancing the site to accelerate the initiatives of a growing brand. The James Brand now has the right framework, technologies and systems in place to continue to build their brand and sell more products.