Small States features small companies that design and manufacture within the United States.
Update (10/4): Thanks for all of the entries into our Small States giveaway, @kenjancef is our winner and he has been contacted.
Right away, when the package arrives, you know that you are getting something special. Even the packaging tape has a notable design to it, boldly declaring that your goods from Owen & Fred have arrived. Not just any old box, but the one you were waiting for from Owen & Fred.
When you open it there is an attention to detail in the packaging: the smaller boxes are neatly packed, greeting you right away. Everything feels just right – like it was meant for you.
It is clear from the beginning that with Owen & Fred, you get a unique and special experience. When you speak with proprietor Mike Arnot, you understand that this experience was not accidental.
“Design is what we do — be it for web or for a new product we’re launching. We focus on the tactile. We work with a sample and give it nips and tucks. We work with brass polish to give our opener a special shine – and incorporate that into production. We don’t feel the need to over design, because the products we work with are often simple – with a cheeky touch.”
The best way to describe Owen & Fred is that they have mastered clever yet functional design, that just makes sense. Isn’t that what everyone wants out of a product? Isn’t that what every man wants out of a product? You don’t have to overthink it with Owen & Fred, you simply get a product that looks great and makes you feel great using it.
It all started for Mike with a simple trip to Bloomindale’s for a wallet. He found the quality to be sub-par or lacking style and nearly every item to be manufactured outside of the United States.
“I thought, there has to be a better way to do this, so we started with a wallet” Mike says of the beginning of his company.
Now for most people, that is where the story would stop but not for this lawyer. After dabbling in different areas of the legal world, he left his job and it was off to the races in an attempt to make a great wallet created here in the States. So in December of 2012 ‘Owen & Fred’ was born, named after Mike’s two sons. By the end of they year they were named one of GQ’s best of 2012.
“The concept really evolved from, hey I’d like to have a wallet that is really cool to I’d like to have a bag that is really cool, too. I don’t want a regular flimsy bottle opener, I want something special.”
Ultimately, the goal is very simple: Owen & Fred strives to create high quality and affordable gear that is all made in the United States. We found that sentiment to be absolutely true.
There are a few products that really standout in the Owen & Fed line, we were lucky enough to get our hands on a few of them. For the bright, eye-popping colors of the duffel bag to the smooth ‘crafted-with-care’ look of the wallet, these products certainly get your attention.
Perhaps, nothing pops out more than the solid brass bottle opener. I mean really, you could do bicep curls with this thing. The first time that you pick it up, an instant impression is left on the user, from its shear weight to the embossed “you earned it” on the side. I took a moment for a small social experiment, I filmed a short video clip of the opener in action and sent it off to a number of my friends. The response was almost instantaneous:
“You’re right, I DID earn it.” “Now you are just making me jealous.” “That thing is a beast! Can I get my hands on that?!”
The reality is that, even without ever putting their hands on it, my friends had an experience as well. How many products out there can cause that kind of reaction from a simple video message?
“We design products that make people smile. And the process of making people smile is what we focus on.”
For Mike, that’s mission accomplished.
Promo Code and Giveaway
So how can you bring a little style and quality workmanship to your life? For the next 30 days, Owen & Fred are offering 9to5Toys readers an exclusive promo code with 10% off any purchase. Just visit their website and enter the promo code 9to5Toys at the checkout.
We are really excited about this week’s giveaway, Mike is hooking our readers up with the full line of Owen & Fred gear. One lucky winner will receive a gift box worth $412 that includes: flask, brass bottle opener, duffel bag, shaving kit bag, notebook with pen/pencil, customized leather bag tag, “Box o’ Balls” and a “this is not your bag” leather tag. Safe to say that the winner will be looking sharp with their new Owen & Fred gear. As always, it’s simple to enter our Small States giveaway, just follow @9to5Toys on twitter and retweet this article, or like us Facebook and share with your friends. We will choose a winner next Saturday.