Were pretty big fans of beer here at Shout Out Studio. Recently we were fortunate enough to do a collaboration on our own beer with local brewery, Seventh Sons Brewing, here in Columbus. It got us thinking. Craft beer isn’t the only thing now a days being made in small batches by talented craftsmen. Here is a list of some our favorite companies crafting incredible things:
Expert craftsmanship comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms of physical states (solids, liquids, and I guess I don’t know of any artisan gases yet but keep me posted). One brand that I use every day and admire their design, level of craftsmanship and innovativeness comes in the shape of a wallet. zerOz was started by a guy with decades of product design experience, who was one day inspired to create a better wallet.
What I love about these wallets is that they aren’t your typical wallets. They are designed to complement a minimalist lifestyle as it encourages you to rid yourself of month old receipts, rewards cards you use once a year and anything else that is dragging you down. Each one is made by hand in their design studio from a variety of Italian leathers that make up the look and feel of the wallet while they use recycled materials to give it structure. The innovation comes in the way the wallet functions. The wallet is like a card-shaped cylinder with no top or bottom, the cards are meant to slide in and out in the same way you slide a new DVD out of its outer cardboard sleeve and it also has a strap on the back to hold cash. The wallet is an old product, but it is exciting to see new life breathed into it by someone with the expertise to do so.
It’s people and brands like this that make me excited to think of the possibilities when people apply their unique expertise and level of skill to craft new products for all of us to enjoy. There are a lot of talented people out there, I hope they too are inspired to go forth and craft something for us all!
As someone who was taught to sew at a very young age by my grandmother, I have a great appreciation for the skill, patience, and attention to detail that goes into making something from hand. One Columbus retailer who caught my eye several years ago for their craftsmanship is Substance. The women’s apparel and accessories retailer offer a curated collection of name brand and local artisan products, as well as designs and produce their own collections. In fact, you’ll often see them making the pieces right there in the store. In support of fostering new talent, the second floor of the space also provides a place for up-and-coming independent designers to showcase their work.
Not only does Substance embrace the craft of making a piece by hand, but they’re sharing that with their customers. The brand offers Design Lab workshops which allow individuals at all skill levels the opportunity to explore their creative abilities working side by side with designers to create a one-of-a-kind piece.
If craftsmanship is an important element of what makes your brand unique, make sure your customers see that online as well. Use Instagram to share the raw materials and fabrics of your product or short video of a piece in production, or consider Pinterest to share your brand’s inspiration or DIY ideas for the creative type. The purpose is to utilize the online environment as an extension of your customers and followers to tell those stories that matter to your brand and are relevant to them.
Handmade is something to appreciate from where I’m standing since I don’t have a creative bone in my body. When I walked into Celebrate Local a few months ago I was completely shocked at how amazing it was that everything in that store was from local people just doing their thing – being crafty and awesome. Celebrate Local doesn’t craft their goods and products, but they sell and appreciate Ohio-produced handmade goods. They sell everything from Ohio signs, jewelry, and kids clothes to soaps, hot sauces, and alcohol. All crafted from people who are around Ohio. Having a store like Celebrate Local around keeps the appreciation for locally crafted products running high and we are lucky to have them around.
At one point we blogged about our love of crafts made items and we were not just blowing smoke. But when it comes down to things I think of and use, the first one that comes to mind is a pocket knife I have from Forge de Languiole. Now I’m s southern boy and one thing you can always count is that we will have a pocket knife somewhere in reach. It’s one of the first gifts I ever remember getting and I’ve always loved them, but the first time I had my hands on one of these knives it was a complete game changer.
Before I knew anything about the life I’d been given, I knew it felt great in my hand and was a joy to use for almost anything. Never having heard of the company I got curious and did some research. It turns out that the knives are modeled on a peasant knife first used in the Aubrac region for France and are considered a family treasure handed down for generation-to-generation. Each one is handmade including engraving and carving on the handle. Each one is considered a piece of art and unique. Having learned that, it made sense. Sometimes you just see something special and realize its special without evening knowing why. As with most things handmade by people who love their craft. It’s very special.
Photo Credit: Kuba Bożanowski