built by our hands, used by yours

October 5, 2019

notes


Recently, a fast food joint near our workshop claimed its offerings were ‘handcrafted’ - yup sound the alarm, ‘handcrafted’ is in danger of losing all meaning.

This is one of those moments where we have to be thankful that this problem exists. The evolution of appreciation for people making things (thanks craft markets and Etsy!) points to an important shift in the way we make purchasing decisions for physical goods. The desire to show off how and where things are made creates connections between people and products. Currently we don't like using ‘handcrafted’ because of it's watered-down popularity, but we hope it is in the process of re-discovering its meaning. And no, we're not going to start using ‘bespoke’ or ‘artisanal’.  We’re proud to have built an ethos of craft, care, and intention into our very business model and plan to stand by it (when hoards of peeps tell us you can’t make scalable businesses off of it, thanks though). Between the two of us, the best way to get us to do something is to tell us we can’t. Our goal is to share what we truly value in an intentional manner with others who share those principles. We know the whole world can’t work like this (because let’s face it, the age of instant! prime! now! deliveries makes buying cat litter a lot easier). But our neck of the woods can. We believe that beautiful, human-centered heritage goods crafted with loving intent are worth waiting for. Because, let's face it -

There is no mass-manufactured answer to human experience.

We are two humans, with a little help from our friends, designing and crafting pieces that we are obsessed with (aka, we argue endlessly over every tiny detail and Mal wins only 93% of the time). We started in a 160sqft back-alley workshop in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle going to as many farmer’s markets and holiday pop-ups as we could (in 2017 we hit 176 days of markets. Oofta). Technically before that there was also a few Kickstarters and work out of a tiny room in an apartment but we can’t really count that one. With this marathon of markets we learned 2 things: 1. This travel and daily set-up and take down was definitely not sustainable and we needed to think hard about a brick and mortar and a little more room for equipment. 2. People seemed to still not quite get the whole 'made by our damn hands' thing. In early 2018, after a lot of hustle and some luck (we aren’t ignorant enough to not recognize our luck and privilege in this situation) we received the opportunity to change those two things. 

Fast forward a few months of paperwork to lock down our 1500 square foot Ballard workshop and cue us saying

“eff it, let’s build it out ourselves, shove a workshop into the middle of a retail space and show off to the world what handcrafted truly means.”

"Oh and we’ll only give ourselves 6 weeks to do it...”

And then we got to work building things. We were astounded by just how much our story and craft landed when people were able to see it. Even something as simple as being able to punch an extra hole in a belt and fit it to a person on the spot gives people an undeniable glimpse of our work. It’s a little harder to convey through a screen, but we’re working to translate our message into a digital form anyway. We are working to unveil our process, how we come to dream up, design, and make these heritage pieces. We seek to create spaces in our shop and on our website that inspire ‘aha’ moments that land our ethos in a significant way. We expect our pieces to be your go-to, everyday, special occasion, choose above all other things(inanimate) love of your life product made by people who truly give a damn.


Recently, a fast food joint near our workshop claimed its offerings were ‘handcrafted’ - yup sound the alarm, ‘handcrafted’ is in danger of losing all meaning.

This is one of those moments where we have to be thankful that this problem exists. The evolution of appreciation for people making things (thanks craft markets and Etsy!) points to an important shift in the way we make purchasing decisions for physical goods. The desire to show off how and where things are made creates connections between people and products. Currently we don't like using ‘handcrafted’ because of it's watered-down popularity, but we hope it is in the process of re-discovering its meaning. And no, we're not going to start using ‘bespoke’ or ‘artisanal’.  We’re proud to have built an ethos of craft, care, and intention into our very business model and plan to stand by it (when hoards of peeps tell us you can’t make scalable businesses off of it, thanks though). Between the two of us, the best way to get us to do something is to tell us we can’t. Our goal is to share what we truly value in an intentional manner with others who share those principles. We know the whole world can’t work like this (because let’s face it, the age of instant! prime! now! deliveries makes buying cat litter a lot easier). But our neck of the woods can. We believe that beautiful, human-centered heritage goods crafted with loving intent are worth waiting for. Because, let's face it -

There is no mass-manufactured answer to human experience.

We are two humans, with a little help from our friends, designing and crafting pieces that we are obsessed with (aka, we argue endlessly over every tiny detail and Mal wins only 93% of the time). We started in a 160sqft back-alley workshop in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle going to as many farmer’s markets and holiday pop-ups as we could (in 2017 we hit 176 days of markets. Oofta). Technically before that there was also a few Kickstarters and work out of a tiny room in an apartment but we can’t really count that one. With this marathon of markets we learned 2 things: 1. This travel and daily set-up and take down was definitely not sustainable and we needed to think hard about a brick and mortar and a little more room for equipment. 2. People seemed to still not quite get the whole 'made by our damn hands' thing. In early 2018, after a lot of hustle and some luck (we aren’t ignorant enough to not recognize our luck and privilege in this situation) we received the opportunity to change those two things. 

Fast forward a few months of paperwork to lock down our 1500 square foot Ballard workshop and cue us saying

“eff it, let’s build it out ourselves, shove a workshop into the middle of a retail space and show off to the world what handcrafted truly means.”

"Oh and we’ll only give ourselves 6 weeks to do it...”

And then we got to work building things. We were astounded by just how much our story and craft landed when people were able to see it. Even something as simple as being able to punch an extra hole in a belt and fit it to a person on the spot gives people an undeniable glimpse of our work. It’s a little harder to convey through a screen, but we’re working to translate our message into a digital form anyway. We are working to unveil our process, how we come to dream up, design, and make these heritage pieces. We seek to create spaces in our shop and on our website that inspire ‘aha’ moments that land our ethos in a significant way. We expect our pieces to be your go-to, everyday, special occasion, choose above all other things(inanimate) love of your life product made by people who truly give a damn.

Our four hands can only do so much and we like it that way. We love not having to chase margins and profits for someone up the chain. This means we use the absolute, no-compromise, last-forever materials like full-grain leather, full cast-brass hardware and rugged waxed cotton canvas. If it looks at first like that other bag from Madewell is just as good - it isn't and time will always tell. Also, limited production means each piece is infused with care and we never stop using these things ourselves and listening to our customers - this means our products evolve and change with us. We know intrinsically that you get what you pay for, but for many of us it takes a big (or many) realizations. For me it was being shocked at my aunt's $400 vacuum until I realized my mom was repeatedly buying $50 vacuums all the time and they sucked (or didn’t, in this case, badum-chh!). Do you remember that time you fully felt the truth of that statement? Our one goal: 

Create beautiful, rugged, heritage goods that add value to your life and become infused with your experiences

every. fricken'. Day.

Because this style of manufacturing is so different from the status quo, we find that a few notes of re-education can be useful. We know you know this, but it’s still worth saying (and a good resource for that friend you bought a gift for who still is using a rubber band as their wallet). Here’s some things to expect with our goods.

Our constant iterating and handcrafting process makes every product a one-of-a-kind as opposed to an exact replica. Our full-grain leather is characterized by small differences in dye, natural range markings, and varying grain patterns. Because we're lucky enough to interact face to face with so many of our customers are products are always being refined and slightly changed. If you receive something that is slightly different, then you’ve found the golden ticket - one of the many constant design improvements we’re able to undertake because we keep our process 100% in-house (if you didn’t already think you were cool, hellooo one-of-a-kind!)

Once you receive your product, our goal is that you now have a once in a lifetime heritage piece. You haven't just found a bag, you've found the last bag bag you'll buy. If something should happen or go wrong with your product, reach out, we guarantee our goods for the lifetime of the product. If we made it, we’ll fix it.

Yes we do custom work, but NO we're not going to recreate the 20 pockets & plastic ID cover in that flimsy “leather” wallet you got from that flea market. BUT if you have something you're S-T-O-K-E-D about, let's talk.

-Dan & Mal

photography by Sullivan & Sullivan Studios

Our four hands can only do so much and we like it that way. We love not having to chase margins and profits for someone up the chain. This means we use the absolute, no-compromise, last-forever materials like full-grain leather, full cast-brass hardware and rugged waxed cotton canvas. If it looks at first like that other bag from Madewell is just as good - it isn't and time will always tell. Also, limited production means each piece is infused with care and we never stop using these things ourselves and listening to our customers - this means our products evolve and change with us. We know intrinsically that you get what you pay for, but for many of us it takes a big (or many) realizations. For me it was being shocked at my aunt's $400 vacuum until I realized my mom was repeatedly buying $50 vacuums all the time and they sucked (or didn’t, in this case, badum-chh!). Do you remember that time you fully felt the truth of that statement? Our one goal: 

Create beautiful, rugged, heritage goods that add value to your life and become infused with your experiences

every. fricken'. Day.

Because this style of manufacturing is so different from the status quo, we find that a few notes of re-education can be useful. We know you know this, but it’s still worth saying (and a good resource for that friend you bought a gift for who still is using a rubber band as their wallet). Here’s some things to expect with our goods.

Our constant iterating and handcrafting process makes every product a one-of-a-kind as opposed to an exact replica. Our full-grain leather is characterized by small differences in dye, natural range markings, and varying grain patterns. Because we're lucky enough to interact face to face with so many of our customers are products are always being refined and slightly changed. If you receive something that is slightly different, then you’ve found the golden ticket - one of the many constant design improvements we’re able to undertake because we keep our process 100% in-house (if you didn’t already think you were cool, hellooo one-of-a-kind!)

Once you receive your product, our goal is that you now have a once in a lifetime heritage piece. You haven't just found a bag, you've found the last bag bag you'll buy. If something should happen or go wrong with your product, reach out, we guarantee our goods for the lifetime of the product. If we made it, we’ll fix it.

Yes we do custom work, but NO we're not going to recreate the 20 pockets & plastic ID cover in that flimsy “leather” wallet you got from that flea market. BUT if you have something you're S-T-O-K-E-D about, let's talk.

-Dan & Mal

photography by Sullivan & Sullivan Studios

learn more about taking a class

built by our hands, used by yours

October 5, 2019

notes


Recently, a fast food joint near our workshop claimed its offerings were ‘handcrafted’ - yup sound the alarm, ‘handcrafted’ is in danger of losing all meaning.

This is one of those moments where we have to be thankful that this problem exists. The evolution of appreciation for people making things (thanks craft markets and Etsy!) points to an important shift in the way we make purchasing decisions for physical goods. The desire to show off how and where things are made creates connections between people and products. Currently we don't like using ‘handcrafted’ because of it's watered-down popularity, but we hope it is in the process of re-discovering its meaning. And no, we're not going to start using ‘bespoke’ or ‘artisanal’.  We’re proud to have built an ethos of craft, care, and intention into our very business model and plan to stand by it (when hoards of peeps tell us you can’t make scalable businesses off of it, thanks though). Between the two of us, the best way to get us to do something is to tell us we can’t. Our goal is to share what we truly value in an intentional manner with others who share those principles. We know the whole world can’t work like this (because let’s face it, the age of instant! prime! now! deliveries makes buying cat litter a lot easier). But our neck of the woods can. We believe that beautiful, human-centered heritage goods crafted with loving intent are worth waiting for. Because, let's face it -

There is no mass-manufactured answer to human experience.

We are two humans, with a little help from our friends, designing and crafting pieces that we are obsessed with (aka, we argue endlessly over every tiny detail and Mal wins only 93% of the time). We started in a 160sqft back-alley workshop in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle going to as many farmer’s markets and holiday pop-ups as we could (in 2017 we hit 176 days of markets. Oofta). Technically before that there was also a few Kickstarters and work out of a tiny room in an apartment but we can’t really count that one. With this marathon of markets we learned 2 things: 1. This travel and daily set-up and take down was definitely not sustainable and we needed to think hard about a brick and mortar and a little more room for equipment. 2. People seemed to still not quite get the whole 'made by our damn hands' thing. In early 2018, after a lot of hustle and some luck (we aren’t ignorant enough to not recognize our luck and privilege in this situation) we received the opportunity to change those two things. 

Fast forward a few months of paperwork to lock down our 1500 square foot Ballard workshop and cue us saying

“eff it, let’s build it out ourselves, shove a workshop into the middle of a retail space and show off to the world what handcrafted truly means.”

"Oh and we’ll only give ourselves 6 weeks to do it...”

And then we got to work building things. We were astounded by just how much our story and craft landed when people were able to see it. Even something as simple as being able to punch an extra hole in a belt and fit it to a person on the spot gives people an undeniable glimpse of our work. It’s a little harder to convey through a screen, but we’re working to translate our message into a digital form anyway. We are working to unveil our process, how we come to dream up, design, and make these heritage pieces. We seek to create spaces in our shop and on our website that inspire ‘aha’ moments that land our ethos in a significant way. We expect our pieces to be your go-to, everyday, special occasion, choose above all other things(inanimate) love of your life product made by people who truly give a damn.

Our four hands can only do so much and we like it that way. We love not having to chase margins and profits for someone up the chain. This means we use the absolute, no-compromise, last-forever materials like full-grain leather, full cast-brass hardware and rugged waxed cotton canvas. If it looks at first like that other bag from Madewell is just as good - it isn't and time will always tell. Also, limited production means each piece is infused with care and we never stop using these things ourselves and listening to our customers - this means our products evolve and change with us. We know intrinsically that you get what you pay for, but for many of us it takes a big (or many) realizations. For me it was being shocked at my aunt's $400 vacuum until I realized my mom was repeatedly buying $50 vacuums all the time and they sucked (or didn’t, in this case, badum-chh!). Do you remember that time you fully felt the truth of that statement? Our one goal: 

Create beautiful, rugged, heritage goods that add value to your life and become infused with your experiences

every. fricken'. Day.

Because this style of manufacturing is so different from the status quo, we find that a few notes of re-education can be useful. We know you know this, but it’s still worth saying (and a good resource for that friend you bought a gift for who still is using a rubber band as their wallet). Here’s some things to expect with our goods.

Our constant iterating and handcrafting process makes every product a one-of-a-kind as opposed to an exact replica. Our full-grain leather is characterized by small differences in dye, natural range markings, and varying grain patterns. Because we're lucky enough to interact face to face with so many of our customers are products are always being refined and slightly changed. If you receive something that is slightly different, then you’ve found the golden ticket - one of the many constant design improvements we’re able to undertake because we keep our process 100% in-house (if you didn’t already think you were cool, hellooo one-of-a-kind!)

Once you receive your product, our goal is that you now have a once in a lifetime heritage piece. You haven't just found a bag, you've found the last bag bag you'll buy. If something should happen or go wrong with your product, reach out, we guarantee our goods for the lifetime of the product. If we made it, we’ll fix it.

Yes we do custom work, but NO we're not going to recreate the 20 pockets & plastic ID cover in that flimsy “leather” wallet you got from that flea market. BUT if you have something you're S-T-O-K-E-D about, let's talk.

-Dan & Mal

photography by Sullivan & Sullivan Studios

Our four hands can only do so much and we like it that way. We love not having to chase margins and profits for someone up the chain. This means we use the absolute, no-compromise, last-forever materials like full-grain leather, full cast-brass hardware and rugged waxed cotton canvas. If it looks at first like that other bag from Madewell is just as good - it isn't and time will always tell. Also, limited production means each piece is infused with care and we never stop using these things ourselves and listening to our customers - this means our products evolve and change with us. We know intrinsically that you get what you pay for, but for many of us it takes a big (or many) realizations. For me it was being shocked at my aunt's $400 vacuum until I realized my mom was repeatedly buying $50 vacuums all the time and they sucked (or didn’t, in this case, badum-chh!). Do you remember that time you fully felt the truth of that statement? Our one goal: 

Create beautiful, rugged, heritage goods that add value to your life and become infused with your experiences

every. fricken'. Day.

Because this style of manufacturing is so different from the status quo, we find that a few notes of re-education can be useful. We know you know this, but it’s still worth saying (and a good resource for that friend you bought a gift for who still is using a rubber band as their wallet). Here’s some things to expect with our goods.

Our constant iterating and handcrafting process makes every product a one-of-a-kind as opposed to an exact replica. Our full-grain leather is characterized by small differences in dye, natural range markings, and varying grain patterns. Because we're lucky enough to interact face to face with so many of our customers are products are always being refined and slightly changed. If you receive something that is slightly different, then you’ve found the golden ticket - one of the many constant design improvements we’re able to undertake because we keep our process 100% in-house (if you didn’t already think you were cool, hellooo one-of-a-kind!)

Once you receive your product, our goal is that you now have a once in a lifetime heritage piece. You haven't just found a bag, you've found the last bag bag you'll buy. If something should happen or go wrong with your product, reach out, we guarantee our goods for the lifetime of the product. If we made it, we’ll fix it.

Yes we do custom work, but NO we're not going to recreate the 20 pockets & plastic ID cover in that flimsy “leather” wallet you got from that flea market. BUT if you have something you're S-T-O-K-E-D about, let's talk.

-Dan & Mal

photography by Sullivan & Sullivan Studios

learn more about taking a class