Steven Grasse started his advertising agency Quaker City Mercantile (formerly Gyro Worldwide) in 1988. QCM’s first client was MTV, which remained for eight years. Puma joined the roster in 1994.
From almost the beginning, QCM developed its own brands; the first was Highball Magazine, the definitive guide to girls, cars, and booze, which pre-dated Maxim by about five years. In 1999, Steven moved into the clothing business with the development of Sailor Jerry and g*mart lines. He grew the Sailor Jerry brand to a presence in 1600 stores worldwide.
Grasse’s first book, Evil Empire:101 Ways England Ruined the World, was a smashing success in the UK, winning Grasse a coveted spot on the Richard & Judy Show and multiple BBC interviews. Recently, Grasse has won acclaim for his book, Virus: The Outrageous History of Gyro Worldwide.
In 2006 he developed the artist-driven clothing line Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction . The Philadelphia flagship store of Art in the Age has been featured in Lucky, Elle, Marie Claire, and The New York Times and recently received a Best of Philly award from Philadelphia Magazine.
Grasse’s most recent project is ROOT, a new certified organic liquor that has earned a feature article in Vanity Fair, mentions in Men’s Journal, The New York Times and Uncrate.com. Since then, Grasse’s Art in the Age brand has released three additional organic spirits: SNAP and RHUBARB tea, and most recently SAGE, to similar acclaim. In 2009, Grasse changed the name of his company to Quaker City Mercantile.