Owen & Fred August 2014 Playlist

During our many hours of hard work, we love a good playlist to keep us going. Each month we'd like to feature a few of those tracks to hopefully inspire you during your own hard work.

Roy Orbison - In Dream

Devendra Banhart - Für Hildegard Von Bingen

Netherfriends - Austin, TX

Sebastiao Tapajos & Pedro dos Santos  - Himalaya

Beak> - Spinning Top

Tinariwen - Tenhert (The Doe)

Nicolas Jaar - Mi Mujer

ARP - More (Blues) 

If you like any of these musicians, we strongly encourage you to check out more of their music. Check back every month for new playlists, or subscribe to our 8tracks profile. Enjoy!

 

Process: Bags Bags Bags

Many conversations this week on one of our favorite products: men's bags. We're researching and discovering a whole world of options when it comes to a new line of bags we plan to create. We want to make sure we've covered our tracks and made some good decisions when it comes to everything from a dopp kitt, to a weekender, to a messenger bag. There's a lot of work to be considered.

For example: what kind of fabrics can we use?

We love the feel and durability of a good duck canvas like this Duffel we sell from Wheelman. A strong fabric that doesn't tear easily and ages beautifully.

Waxed canvas also comes to mind for a fabric of choice. It's just as strong as duck canvas but, after several uses, develops a wonderful aged shine. This happens from the wax that the canvas is covered in. Either fabric is a good choice, we love out Wheelman Duffel, and you should too.  

 

We're also considering a smart use of pockets. Every man these days has more accessories than they can count. We don't want them losing anything important, so we're making sure our bags have lots of pockets, inside and out, for a man to put his favorite gadgets.  

The Owen & Fred Gym Bag, for example, has one large pocket on the outside and one hidden pocket on the inside. So, while your handkerchief, keys, mints, and pen can sit in the outer pocket, your wallet, phone, and iPad mini can slip into the inside pocket with still room for everything you need for a morning or evening workout. 

You may notice the bag below not in the Owen & Fred store, and although we're sure people will love it, we're still putting the finishing touches on a beautiful canvas dopp kitt. The conversations this week covered those last touches, along with some big, all-encompassing strokes. 

 

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Our coast to coast conference calls always bring a smile to my face because every week new products come through that look better than anything we imagined. That's why we're so excited to start production on more bags made from great materials and set at affordable prices. 

What do you look for in a great bag? Let is know by leaving a comment or tweeting at us @OwenandFred. We'd love to hear your opinion.

The New Space Comes Together

Moving can be stressful, particularly moving boxes and boxes of inventory that you'd hate to see fall on the concrete! Last week,

Last week, we packed up our things and moved to a new warehouse and office location in Greenpoint. We shipped out on a day with a heat advisory, 90+ degrees in fact, but that didn't slow us down.

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The move went exceedingly well, our shipping operations only went down for about 4 hours. That means every customer got their package on time, as expected. Our friendly neighborhood FEDEX and UPS teams didn't miss a beat. 

Our new space is perfect for us — not too big, and not too cramped. We decided to give it some nice finishing touches — walls painted in our signature Owen & Fred red, our ampersand proudly stamped on the door and floor, and some super comfy leather chairs for extended brainstorming and dreaming.

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It's bright, it's happy, and everything we need to take this company to the next level. We're super thrilled to have customers that are supporting our expansion and making men's goods, made great. 

We're now at 61 Greenpoint Avenue in Brooklyn, with a really, really bitchin' view. 

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Process: Finding Inspiration at MOCA with Urs Fischer

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This week I spent time at Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art where an Urs Fischer exhibit is currently on display. This is his first comprehensive museum retrospective in the United States. Some of Fischer's works are dreamy and whimsical while others can be disturbingly clever. Some aspects feel as though you stepped into a fairy tale, while others have you question your own perception of reality. 

One of the best part of the exhibits: Horses Dream of Horses, 1500 handmade raindrops that hung from nylon filament, put a new perspective on the surrounding works as they are shrouded by this blue filter. With works such as this, the viewer can feel almost intrusive of the piece. Not surprisingly, you cannot walk through the cloud of rain. I found this out this out after stern warnings from the security guards when I stepped too far into the middle. 

The security guards had a lot of trouble with me, actually. Taking video is apparently frowned upon too. Whoops. 

I couldn't help it though- great exhibits like this exhilarate us to rethink even the simplest products. When you walk to the second half of the room only to realize the artist has literally sawed through the wall and you're walking through that hole, you feel part of the work. It turns a museum into something more, the essence of Fischer's process, of his own studio or workspace. 

To feel part of Fischer's work, to me, was the most inspiring part of this exhibit. Part of our work is to take the simple- the essential- and transform it into something exciting. So when someone rubs their hand across our luggage tags or our collar stays or one of our notebooks, they're holding something that we helped create. They can feel the process, they can imagine the commitment.

When you walk through the exhibit, you'll notice the ground, covered in black adhesive vinyl, runs up the walls. The white that covers the wall is haphazardly spread at the bottom allowing the white and black to overlap. It evokes the energy of the process. This is key to any piece of work. At Owen & Fred, we question how to do this everyday. To make our customers feel just as involved as we are. 

With that said, have you seen the Urs Fischer exhibit or any of his work? What did you think? How did it inspire you?

Process: Finding Inspiration at the Pasadena Flea Market

The Owen & Fred team looks everywhere and anywhere for inspiration. This is how we come up with kickass products, first we find the stuff we like and that catches our eye. Then we ask ourselves if it will help a man succeed in his everyday life. If it doesn't, we ask ourselves how we can improve upon it. Simply put, Goods Made Great.

This last weekend, I took a trip to the Pasadena City College Flea Market, one of the best flea markets you'll find in the Los Angeles area. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but rather, anything that might interest me and inspire new ideas for products.

The market is half outside and half in a parking garage. Unfortunately, this Sunday was a bit rainy so the whole thing had to be inside. I found a really cool Navy uniform from WWII in full. That's awesome...

After that I came upon a really cool travel kit with all its pieces. Small tubes still had the original products such as a Colgate toothpaste bottle from the '60's. A very interesting piece, I wondered if Owen & Fred could make something similar.

Last, I've been on the lookout for some really cool whiskey tumblers and shot glasses. While we have shot glasses coming very soon, we're still looking for an innovative way to present tumblers. What do you think of these I found? Any of them interest you?

The PCC Flea Market is so big I didn't even have time to cover the entire grounds. I almost immediately regretted not buying that travel kit when I left. Well, maybe it will be there next month... Or perhaps Owen & Fred will make an even better one.