HardelCo4
Hardel & Co., makes quality made leather wallets and has future plans to expand into other men’s and women’s goods. I am picky about my wallet. It can’t be too big, but there are certain features that must be there to make it a wallet I can live with for an extended period of time. It must fit the bare minimum of credit cards, drivers license, cash and a few random tidbits and business cards that accumulate short-term along the way. It sounds simple, yet so many wallets fail at these simple tasks. Pockets are too small, too large or lacking all together. Cash holders, that don’t hold the cash. You get the idea. I’m always hesitant to try a new wallet, since the one that’s in my pocket has obviously made the cut and satisfies my needs. But alas, enter hardel & co.’s new 2.0 Cash & Card wallet. After…Continue Reading
SkookumDog2
Have you heard of Skookum Dog?  Our friends at Tom Bihn have created a line of amazing dog paraphernalia that is not only comely and durable, but made in the USA! We got the Camp Mat in Large. This amazingly simple mat fits perfect in the back of the car and is super easy to take with us when we are on the go. Our pup has made the Camp Mat her bed when we bring it in the house, take her camping or take it with us on the road. The plush sherpa side is comfortable and warm for those cold car rides (in winter, that is) and the ballistic side is cool and durable for the summer. We have been using this wonderful mat for several months now and it still looks brand new. We have yet to wash it or feel the need to wash it. It’s really quite wonderful. We also…Continue Reading
RIGID_S
The lighting industry has all but disappeared. Options are slim, and innovative new companies are even more rare. In 2006 Jason Christiansen started Rigid Industries. Rigid Industries is an industry leader in rugged LED Lighting.  They service off-road, fishing, fire & rescue, as well as military fields and are constantly pushing the envelope as far as what to focus on next.  Holding it down in Gilbert, Arizona with 200 employees, they’re making their mark and doing their part designing, engineering and assembling their line in the USA. We couldn’t be more excited about their products and also what they’re doing! Check out their website and they’re up to! rigidindustries.com
NAHBS_FI
Last week the North American Handmade Bicycle Show was on in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Team 50 BUILT took a roadtrip and met some super amazing people equally as passionate about all things made in the USA as we are. The theme of the trip was beautiful bicycles & awesome people.   STEVE POTTS BICYCLES, Point Reyes CA  Steve Potts Custom Titanium Bikes was a great booth to visit.  Mr. Potts was remarkably entertaining and after sharing dog photos and taking lots of pictures of his amazing bikes, we were honored to have met him.  All of his bikes are handmade in Point Reyes, CA by the man himself.  Very cool!   AVERY COUNTY CYCLES, Denver CO Josh Culbertson from Avery County Cycles out of Denver, CO is doing some amazingly creative things.  Remember 50 BUILT’s pal, Eli Cox from Berkeley Supply Co (pictured above, with me)?  Josh and Eli are good friends…Continue Reading
NAHBS_DW
Today we have the privilege of talking with Don Walker, founder of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, and Don Walker Cycles. NAHBS 2014 is opening today in Charlotte, NC and 50 BUILT is here to cover the show. Stay tuned for a full coverage feature of the show and the frame-builders in attendance.     Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourself up to this point? I grew up in Sacramento, Ca. and started racing road bikes at the age of 14. After I graduated high school, I went into the work force as an aircraft mechanic while still racing track, kind of part time. I spent 4 years working as a civilian on B1-B and B-2 Bombers. Around 1990 I wanted to take my skillset and make bike frames. It was a a way for me to stay with and give back to the sport…Continue Reading
SkytopTC_TN
Handmade saddle leather cases, crafted by professionals and paid a fair wage. It doesn’t seem too much to ask does it, to offer a quality good, made by a specialty craftsman, who in turn earns a fair wage? In today’s world this seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Enter Skytop Trading Co., makers of the absolute finest leather cases, created by industry artisans, trained by masters, and are paid a living wage to do so. The cases that Skytop Trading Company produce are bar-none, the most beautiful leather goods you will ever set your eyes upon. Crafted in the tradition of quality, and pieced together with pride and knowledge that delivers a guarantee that is quintessentially American. They know their products are the benchmark for the industry because they use the highest quality components, sourced from experts who value excellence, and are pridefully made under the guidance and…Continue Reading
Freaker_4
So now that you know that I love mason jars, and you may or may not know that I obsessively use them as beverage receptacles, I must share with you a noticeable problem with this set up and a rather ingenious solution. Mason jars, being glass, sweat.  When your desired drink on the inside requires ice, condensation forms on the outside of the container and drips all over the place creating a ginormous watery puddle (especially if said mason jar is the quart-sized one filled with ice and iced tea).  I took to carrying around a small towel and setting my jar on it, but it would drip all over my lap when I picked it up to drink out of it.  It was very sad. I also tried to make tea in my mason jar.  The hot kind.  Clearly I have a tea problem.  But the jar got so…Continue Reading
Cuppow 3
I love mason jars.  No kidding.  It sounds strange, but they’re so beautifully simple – and versatile.  I put serving utensils in them, I use them as cups, and I have so often thought to myself, “I wish I could take this ‘to-go.’”  Cuppow, the geniuses that they are, have made it possible for me to take my mason-jar-contained beverage on the road!  AND their brilliant roadie lids are made in the USA! If you’re like me, you have mason jars coming out the wazoo.  My poor husband.  They’re everywhere.  I have wide-mouthed ones, regular mouthed jars, teeny tiny jars, and how!  Cuppow has a roadie lid for both regular and wide-mouthed jars, so no matter what size the jar, a Cuppow lid will fit.  I have been using a quart-sized wide-mouthed jar as my go-to afternoon iced tea or water receptacle.  The wide-mouthed Cuppow lid is perfection!  All you do…Continue Reading
Argoz_2
Today we’re talking with Dan Soha, the owner and founder of Argoz Socks. Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourself and the events that led up to starting Argoz?  And can you tell us about how you came up with the name Argoz? It’s simple: I wanted awesome argyle socks and I couldn’t find them.  I bought over 100 pairs and all of them were poor quality and almost all of them were boring.  I contacted different manufacturers to see if anyone had high quality argyle socks in stock and I couldn’t find them.  The initial goal was to purchase socks that would go in my sock drawer, not to start a business.  When I saw how great the sock samples were, things got out of hand!  With my initial focus on argyle socks, it was only naturally that I go with a short simple name like…Continue Reading
PTECH4
Today we’re talking with George Chevalier, the man in charge of Marketing and Communications at Princeton Tec out of Trenton, NJ. Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourself and the events that led up to starting Princeton Tec? Bill Stephens started Princeton Tec in 1975, in the back room of their Princeton, NJ dive shop. To kick things off, they dreamed up and built the first automatic dive timer. Next, the PTEC product line expanded to include everything a diver could need, from watches to gauge consoles, flashlights and even replacement mask and fin straps. They were ahead of the curve with flashlights, and eventually PTEC transitioned into a lighting company. Today, we design and manufacture lights for the Outdoor, Industrial, Tactical, Bike and of course SCUBA markets. While Bill has retired, his son and grandson are integral to the company today.   What has the road been like…Continue Reading
Argoz04
When my friends and family travel, they bring me back socks. Not really sure how this got started, but I love it.  I’ve sort of developed a collection of funky and fun socks from all over the place- the funkier the better! Argoz is a company out of San Francisco, California who has perfected the art of argyle! This forward-thinking company has a plethora of wonderful colors that can be dressed up or down. I wore these socks around town and around the house to see how they fit and how they wore. They fit rather snugly up the ankle and/or calf, which is nice because they don’t fall down. I believe I was sent the ‘regular’ size, which is perfect for me (I am rather petite), but for kicks we had my husband try them on to see what the sizing was and they were too small. He would…Continue Reading
Buck2
I’ve been traveling a lot this year. There always seems to be someplace to where I am rushing off or a plane to catch.  It’s been a fast year, but certainly agreeable! On my ‘must-not-leave-home-without’ list is my backpack. For travel, I prefer a simple, no-nonsense, pack that is easy to pack, and unpack. Not a lot of extra pockets and caverns for things to be misplaced in. Just a good quality pack. Buck Products have added just the right creation for their 2014 collection called the FlapSack.  It’s a simple ‘daily hauler’ that is easy to get in and out of, has a handy flap-pocket that is the perfect spot to carry one’s boarding pass or any other must-get-to-easily items (for me – chapstick, pens, and itinerary), and is otherwise utilitarian and functional. Especially for travel, simple is good. I can see this bag being perfect for the bicycle…Continue Reading
JC_4
Today we are talking with Jon Contino, entrepreneur, designer, and founder of CXXVI and soon to be, Contino Brand.   Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourself and the events that have influenced your passion for ‘American made.’? I grew up with a carpenter for a father, that kind of sealed the deal right there. I watched him make something from nothing my entire life, so I always had that bug to want to make something from scratch and get it out in the world as a total package. As I got older and played in bands, the DIY concept really stuck with me too. People making things because they love them and distributing them to like-minded individuals feels so rewarding to me. It just happens I’m American, so what else would it be?   You have the unique perspective in that you work and design for…Continue Reading
HB2
Luxury Fashion brands demand top dollar for the products they provide, and yet do not always live up to the same standards of their reputation. Often seeking out cheaper means of production for larger margins, and no added value for the customer, you. Hucklebury is set to disrupt this industry by redefining premium menswear fashion using strategies they are confident will make a difference to the consumer. Using a crowdfunding forecasting technique, Hucklebury is able to price high quality luxury dress shirts, that normally retail between $215-$550, at a steal of $78. By removing the guesswork of supply and demand (because customers choose what gets made), they can to deliver their product at realistic prices while at the same time, providing a superior product without the superfluous built in margins. Quality is key for Hucklebury and ‘Made in the USA’ is an integral part of that quality. They have partnered…Continue Reading
MillionJobsProject_S
Check out the new video and movement put together by Alex and Ana Bogusky. The two are actively involved in the American-made scene with the Made Movement and Mrs. American Made respectively. Check out the interview 50 BUILT did with the Made Movement last year here.   millionjobsproject.us
TINSELandTIMBER
As a general rule, I’m not a jewelry person. I have a few pieces that I wear every day (like wedding rings and sentimental earrings), and I have some pieces that were handed down to me; but rarely do I buy jewelry or find something that I can love and will choose to wear like my treasured few items. Tinsel and Timber has created amazing handmade jewelry pieces. These clever people have taken beautiful wood and made them into letters, shapes of the States, and a couple designer pieces that are gorgeous. None of which were cut with lasers; they’re hand crafted!  These certainly fit into my criteria for ‘everyday’ jewelry.  They have the potential to make that dress just a little more feminine, or to dress up that plain white tee. I have the Stars Necklace in Rosewood on a 20” sterling silver bead chain.  It has two sterling…Continue Reading
KLETTERWERKS_S
Today, we’re talking with Ben Nobel, the man with the plan (AKA Brand Manager), from Kletterwerks.   Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourself, the company and the events that led up to starting Kletterwerks/Mystery Ranch? Let’s see, where to begin.  Mystery Ranch is the modern Dana Designs by Dana Gleason, for those of you who ever backpacked or skied in the 80’s and 90’s – you might have owned one.  Before that, was Kletterwerks – a brand of backpacks built for climbers in the 70’s.  Since the adoption of Mystery Ranch in 2000, we’ve grown into a multimillion dollar business focusing on the professional user – Military, Fire Fighting, Hunting, Ski Patrol and Backcountry Guides.  2006 really changed the face of the company when we secured the SOCOM contract – outfitting the majority of the Tier 1 Military Units in the United States.  Fire Fighting came…Continue Reading
CH_TN
I remember growing up with an old Chicago Bears t-shirt. Every photo I look back on from the ages of 2-10, I swear I’m wearing the same classy tee. The fabric was dripping with memories and comfort. We all go through that stage of thinking we’ve grown out of being a ‘t-shirt’ guy/gal, but always end up in that favorite soft tee. There will always be tees. Charlie Hustle is a “vintage t-shirt company founded on respect for the old school and love for that perfect vintage tee.” They have you covered, literally. Go through their collection of events and milestones and find one that resonates with you. If they don’t have one now, keep checking back, they have several projects in the works. Currently Charlie Hustle has a Kickstarter campaign for their Negro League collection, with some artwork by Aaron Dana. These are premium, American made tees, celebrating the Negro League’s…Continue Reading
Topo5
People tend to collect things. Baseball cards, comics, shoes,cars, bicycles. Sometimes we don’t even realize it until these objects take over our mental and physical space. I had this epiphany as I was writing this review. I have a lot of backpacks. I collect, analyze and most importantly, heavily use backpacks. The Topo Designs Daypack is my new go-to daypack. It’s not easy to take the crown in my collection and boot my other packs aside, but the Daypack is king. It has a perfect mix of purpose, quality and aesthetics that make this otherwise simple pack a personal favorite. The kind of pack you see with you on adventures that you will one day tell your children about. I opted for the orange Daypack, a pack that suits your jaunts around the city and will store all the necessities for a day at work. For the last 3 months…Continue Reading
Tradlands1
I have always envied women who could pull off the ‘jean jacket’ look.  I’ve never been able to swing it… that is, until now. Tradlands, an amazing company out of San Francisco, have put together some really great pieces.  As they themselves claim, they, “have designed pieces for the woman who drifts toward menswear and thinks, ‘if only this were made for me.’”  And they have!  I am certainly that woman. Though it’s a mite on the spendy side, weighing in at $187, I really think it’s worth every penny.  It’s a piece you’ll have forever and it’ll never go out of style. I was taught young to buy fewer things, but nice things. This is a nice thing. Their EMB Denim Shirt Jacket is an amazing feat. Not only does it fit stunningly, it is comfortable (no neck chafing like most denim shirts/jackets I’ve ever worn) and can be…Continue Reading
BERKELEYSUPPLYstore
Today we’re talking with the one and only, Eli Cox, founder of Berkeley Supply in Denver, Colorado USA. Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourselves and the events that lead up to starting Berkeley Supply? I think I was just fucking sick of having to fly to places like Portland, SF, NYC, LA, or Boston just to find quality menswear, when in those towns for visits. If I wasn’t doing that, I was ordering everything online, which when it comes to this type of clothing, it can be hard, you want to be able to try things on. I had been talking about doing a shop like this for a few years, we were sitting around Pearl Velo one night drinking beers, and we came up with this idea to give me the 165 sq feet of frontage that was connected to Pearl Velo and Avery County…Continue Reading
Warstic4
Baseball is a game of tradition. It’s an American pastime that deserves respect. It’s a beautiful game in all aspects from strategy to the equipment used. Every kid growing up needs a ball and glove, but they want a bat. Today we’re reviewing a bat by Warstic, that any kid would dream of having and any professional would be delighted to use. This Texas based company makes their bats from American White Ash with straight grains, Rock Hard Sugar Maple or Dense Yellow Birch, all designed for ultimate performance. The model we have used, and have drooled over, is the Whiskeyville Maple, Pro Designer series. It retails for $129 and comes with a full dip vintage black with a warrior flame Wartip®, and off-white engraving, including a free engraving of the player’s name. Sizes range from 31-35″ and bats take 7-12 business days to ship, since each one is made to…Continue Reading
WORD2
I can be a little bit overly organized at times. One of the things that I love are pocket (or purse) –sized notebooks in which I can make my shopping lists, remember things I’d otherwise forget, or jot down a book I’d like to read. I have used lots of these little books and have liked some and hated others, but this one I love and WORD’s the word! Brought to you by Cool Material, Word. notebooks are 3.5”x5” notebooks with 48 lined pages. There is a space at the top of each page that can be titled and down the left side of each line is what looks like a little bulls-eye. On the inside of the front cover is a key of how they suggest you use the little bulls-eye for organizing tasks, ideas and thoughts. It’s pretty cool. Or, of course, you can make up your own…Continue Reading
TomBihnSLDR
If you’re looking for a backpack that is smart, functional, and well thought out, then Tom Bihn’s is the backpack for you. Not only is it 100% made in the USA, it’s a bag that makes other backpacks I’ve used seem under-thought out and bulky, without reason. Today we are reviewing the Smart Alec, a modular bag with 13 webbing loops on the front of the Smart Alec and an included removable reflective bungee. Tom Bihn has created a backpack that is modular so you can pick from lots of different inserts and add-ons that make the backpack suit your needs exactly. Each accessory snaps into the webbing loops to build your own unique set-up. I took this bag while I traveled, loaded with my work-items. I took my MacBook with me and the case for the computer was pretty cool. Tom Bihn has dubbed it the “Vertical Brain Cell.” …Continue Reading
H4v2
Today we are talking with HANK co-founder, Adam Rice. Hank is here to “make buying American-made clothing a wholly better experience.” Read on!   Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourselves and the events that lead up to starting HANK? Ryan, Sarkis, and I (Adam) have been friends for over ten years now. We originally met way back in middle school and stayed friends through high school and college. We all just graduated this past year; I went to Michigan, Ryan went to Michigan State, and Sarkis went to Kenyon College. In college, the three of us maintained a short-lived lifestyle blog that developed a decent following but never grew into anything more than a hobby. Our blog was made up of things we found interesting: film, design, and culture, but mostly style. Being from the suburbs of Detroit, we’ve seen first-hand what the departure of a…Continue Reading