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
Today we’re talking with Bron Heussenstamm of Alex Maine. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how Alex Maine came to be? As for my experience, I grew up in my parents’ surf shop, Newport Surf & Sport, Huntington Surf & Sport. I used to be the kid who would grab peoples’ ankles under the clothes. It’s just been my entire life, you know?, I’ve always been in the clothing and retail sales (industry).  So it’s something that I knew that I’d always want to get into. I went to USC and I was an entrepreneurship major. I started a couple businesses, didn’t really go the way that I was hoping with the partnerships and whatnot. So I took a job at Sanuk, doing their PR for a year. They’ve just been acquired by UGG, so that’s a good step for them. I knew that I wanted to…Continue Reading
Today we are talking with Tony Patella of Tellason. Tellason is a premium denim company founded by Tony Patella & Pete Searson in San Francisco, CA.   What was the catalyst for starting Tellason? Pete and I had been in the apparel industry for twenty years each in various forms — sales agents, sales directors and in my case, also as a partner in a San Francisco-based denim brand in the 1990s.  It really came down to our shared passion for denim and durable goods and our desire to do something of our own. We are a two-person operation. We have interns on occasion, but all of the design, distribution, customer service and sales management is handled by the two of us.  Our studio is in Sausalito, California and the factory that makes our products is right across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The factory makes products for several…Continue Reading
Take a step into Futures’ Huntington Beach headquarters where they make their fin boxes, CNC fin molds and engineer their fins. Not all fins are made in the USA. Factory is not open to the public for tours.   Futures USA – Headquarters 5452 McFadden Ave Huntington Beach, CA 92649 714-891-1695
Oakley Sunglass company produces some of the most sought after eyewear in the world. They are worn by the most premier athletes in the world and are the eyewear supplier to the United States Military and police forces around the country. On more days than not, you can walk into the Oakley headquarters and a member of the police force or military will be there getting outfitted in the most advanced and the safest optics available. The in-house R&D team tests and abuses all products in the Oakley line to make sure they surpass every regulation and requirement. Through their testing and prototyping, that is done right in Foothill Ranch, California, Oakley has been able to patent over 600 features on their eyewear. Their high-end X-Metal frames (featured in the video above) are manufactured at another company-owned US facility, and are proof of the power that in-house manufacturing can have.…Continue Reading
Infinity Surfboards has been shaping custom boards since 1970. They shape all sorts of boards from high-performance shortboards to longboards to Stand Up Paddle boards and Tandem boards. Founded by Steve Boehne, master shaper and owner, Infinity still manufactures, shapes and glasses their surfboards in the USA. The factory is located in San Clemente, California, The two story factory holds 7 shaping bays, an AKU surfboard shaping machine, and a full production glass-shop. If you’re getting a custom board made by Infinity, you can watch it get shaped right at the factory. FACTORY TOUR DETAILS: Cost: FREE Reservations: Required. 949.661.6699 Tour Duration: .5 hour (Longer if you’re watching your board shaped) Factory hours: No schedule. If you’re having a board made by Infinity, you can watch it shaped in their Southern California factory. INFINITY SURFBOARDS (Retail shop. Call for factory directions) 24382 Del Prado Dana Point, CA 92629
This week’s wallpaper highlights the Foothill Ranch, California Oakley factory. Available in 4 different sizes for your computer or iphone. Free to download. Also available as a poster for purchase in the shop. STANDARD SCREEN | WIDESCREEN SCREEN | HD SCREEN | iPHONE
Anchor Brewing Company has a great sense of history with an eye on the future and what it means to be an American brewer. Founded in 1896, Anchor Steam came about during the gold rush and hung around until 1965, when it was in danger of shutting down. Frederick Louis Maytag III, of the Maytag family, bought brewery in 1965 an has since created a leader in the U.S. micro-brewery industry. In 2010 Anchor was sold again, but remain committed to Anchor’s quality crafted beer. There are around 10 beers in the Anchor line, 6 of which are brewed year around. After you’ve tried their namesake Anchor Steam brew, check out the Liberty Ale appropriately named since it was first brewed to celebrate the bicentennial of Paul Revere’s historic ride. Cheers. The above video is from ReasonTV‘s YouTube feed and features Anchor’s longtime owner, Fritz Maytag. Mr. Maytag is an American icon and shows…Continue Reading
Today’s interview is with The Speed Merchant crew: Brandon Holstein, Dan Begakis, and Mark Kawakami. Speed Merchant is based on Southern California, and manufacturers custom motorcycle aftermarket parts & accessories.   Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourselves and how Speed Merchant came to be? The Speed Merchant is a team of like minded guys, Brandon Holstein, Dan Begakis, and Mark Kawakami, who each bring something different to the table.  The goal is to bring our sense of style and function to the motorcycle industry, while keeping our manufacturing here in California. Brandon Holstein: I have had a love of motorcycles ever since I was a kid. I started working in the motorcycle industry over 10 years ago. Building and designing has been something I’ve been doing steadily now for the last 7 years as, “Brawny Built”; my own company, that focuses on custom fabrication and custom…Continue Reading
The Dustbin trashcan comes from Brandon Ravenhill and is made in Los Angeles, CA. The video from Brandon Ravenhill shows the manufacturing process and the ingenious details of their Dustbin Trashcan. The video covers the production of the metal trashcan at Angell & Giroux factory and their brush at Gordon Brush factory.
Today’s interview is with one of the founders from We Are Runts (WAAR), Michael Quinones. Michael and Matt Davis started WAAR as a mission to bring Made in the USA to market with influences pulled from the surf, skate and motorcycle culture. They have dedicated themselves to bringing an affordable, 100% USA made, product to the consumer.   Can you give 50 BUILT readers some background on yourselves and how WAAR came to be? Matt Davis & I both have worked in the action sports and contemporary apparel market for about a decade now. All the brands that we have been apart of were developed and manufactured overseas with the intent on being more or less volume driven. We saw the issues of developing and producing overseas as startup companies. The constant ‘bait and switch’ that would happen with production, poor quality, and generally zero accountability for the issues at hand…Continue Reading
Vapur is a water ‘anti-bottle’ company located in Westlake Village, California. They are on a mission to educate the consumer and support the movement away from bottled water. They have statistics on their website, and they donate/fundraise for Drop of Hope & the Anti-Bottle Project, all in the name of good, clean, water. Their product is unique in that it is flexible, reusable, eco-friendly and made in the USA. These ‘anti-bottles’ are also freezable, dishwasher-safe and BPA-free. They offer three different anti-bottles: Reflex, Runaway & Element. Today we’re reviewing the .7L/ 23 oz Element. What an awesome product. It really provides a stylish and easy-to-use container for your favorite thirst quencher. The .7L Element retails for $11.99. This is truly a steal for such a functional, USA-made product. When it’s full, the container stands on its own, no awkward tipping or any sign of being unstable. When it’s empty, it can be rolled…Continue Reading
The above video documents American Apparel’s three Los Angeles factories. With complete control from cotton sourcing, dying and manufacturing of their garment they can assure an end product that can be proudly Made in America. They pride themselves on vertical integration from manufacturing, wholesale to retail. Promising “Sweatshop-free” garments, American Apparel pays its employees over $12/hr compared to workers in China making 40 cents/hr. As the largest garment factory in the USA it has the capability of producing 275,000 pieces a day and up to a million shirts a week. It’s a business platform that appears to be working as American Apparel is the go-to t-shirt blank for companies across the world. Made in the USA is possible, even in an industry that has virtually disappeared from our country. americanapparel.net
The craft brewery explosion of the 1980s is a microcosm of how pro-American business legislation can clear the way for innovation and entrepreneurial ventures. Sierra Nevada, one of the most respected breweries, was a part of that explosion, and one of the leaders of the craft brewery movement in the USA. Located in Chino, California, Sierra Nevada was founded in 1980 and currently employs around 450 workers. The company has announced the opening of a new brewery in Mills River, North Carolina in 2014. FACTORY TOUR DETAILS: Cost: FREE Reservations: Yes, call ahead: 530.899.4776 Tour Duration: 1.5 hour Factory hours: SUN-TH 12-4PM, F/SAT 12-5PM Sierra Nevada Brewery 1075 East 20th Street Chico, CA sierranevada.com
Looking for innovative, American made kitchen appliances? Since 1965 Dacor, a family owned company, has been designing and engineering luxury kitchen products that serve as industry benchmarks. They have frequently been the recipients of industry awards and strive to provide paramount service to their customers and industry partners. Dacor’s new premium performing and stylish 30” dual-fuel ” Slide-in range, Model DR30DI, offers homeowners entry into a professional grade range with an unrivaled price-to-performance! This range in combination with their newly introduced Renaissance 30” Epicure raised ventilation system is a natural for an island or wall without the additional vent hood expense. The Dual-fuel range has many distinctive features such as the electronic angled control panel with clock and touchpad for easy reading, six cooking modes, electronic indicator lights, SimmerSear TM Burners with 14” extra wide continuous platform grates, porcelain-enameled spill basins for easier cleanup, digital temperature probe, Dacor’s Four-part Pure…Continue Reading
Today’s interview is with Steve Boehne of Infinity Surfboards. Infinity brings a unique perspective to 50 BUILT being a manufacturer, retailer and wholesaler of their products. Steve having been a shaper for 50 years now, and Infinity having been around since 1970, together bring an outlook that spans decades, economic times and technology.   How did you get your start in shaping surfboards and how was the surf industry different back then? I would say that all American Surfboard makers started out as surfers in the first place, and that’s where the key to our success is, that we love the sport. With me, I started out surfing when I was 12 years old and that very same year I made my first surfboard. Within 10 years after that, by the time I was 20 years old, I was shaping professionally, at the same time I was going to college.…Continue Reading