Chris Olberding of Gitman Vintage

Starting in on a story about Chris Olberding is like walking into a corn maze and immediately hitting walls on three sides. Lost amid the seven foot stalks, I find myself in this field of dreams as I share a bit about the man who was my mentor for the last year of my twenties.
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Birth of a Hat: Making a Stetson

Thanks to the National Film Preservation Foundation, I discovered a 1935 reprint of the original 1920 film, “Birth of a Hat” an industrial short about, and sponsored by, the John B. Stetson Company.

From the press materials: “Within ten years of its founding, Stetson developed the widely popular ‘Boss of the Plains’ hat, the inaugural model of the now-traditional cowboy hat. By the early 1900s, Stetson hats were the most popular in the American Southwest, and the company operated the largest hat factory in the world, with 5,400 employees, in Philadelphia.”

Danny Luckett of Louisville Slugger

Head over to Basil Hayden’s to learn more about the time I spent with Danny Luckett, the man who has shaped bats for Louisville Slugger for the last 40 years.




District Millworks

Today on Whiskey. Among Other Things… I share the story of Jeremy Williams at District Millworks. While in Los Angeles earlier this year, after spending some time at Apolis’ Common Gallery with Raan Parton, he walked me over to “the mill,” as he called it. After Raan introduced us, we played a game on one of their killer shuffleboard tables, and then Jeremy showed me their skateboard presses.


You can see the whole story over at

Terrapin Stationers

TS Bloodhound 3

Thanks to the work I’ve been able to do with Basil Hayden’s this year, I was finally able to spend some time visiting Terrapin Stationers’ Ted Harrington and my old pal, Heather Pieske — you may remember her from the Baja Fish Taco Party.

TS Bloodhound 1

Read the story of the bloodhound business cards.
Here is a full album of photos from my visit.

TS Bloodhound 2

Extra special thanks to Christine Mitchell for illustrating the bloodhound.

Be sure to check out Terrapin Stationers for more of their great work.

Stock Mfg. Co.’s Kickstarter

Chicago’s Stock Mfg. Co. recently launched a fundraising campaign via the website, Kickstarter, a crowd-sourced funding site perfect for the small, local designer. With nine days and about $7,000 to go before hitting their goal of $20,000, I spoke with one of the partners, an old acquaintance of mine Areill Ives, about what he and the other Stock dudes hope to accomplish post-kick.
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Great American Flask


“Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake.” – W.C. Fields

With wedding season fast-approaching, and graduation and father’s day not far beyond, the questions in my e-mail have quickly shifted from “How do I tie a bow tie?” to “Is there something unique I can get my dad or my groomsmen or my soon-to-graduate boyfriend or all of the above?” And the answer is: The Great American Flask from Jacob Bromwell, the oldest kitchenwares manufacturer in America.
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Made Here

One Trip Pass‘ Jay Carroll — the King of the Road Trip — has created a series of videos centered on the work he’s done for Levi’s, traveling and buying up some of his favorite things to be sold in their stores. If dreams were realities, Jay would continue to travel and document these terrific people and their lives’ work forever.

Without further ado, Made Here.
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The Hill-Side: Old Virginia

This is what it’s all about: those old bobbins, drinking corn whiskey, and playing “The Red River Valley” with your thumb.

Thanks for sharing this with us, guys. Great stuff.

The Kamp Kit

Has this ever happened to you?

That thing your mom gave you, that thing you took to summer camp with you, that thing your brother stole from you, that thing you found hiding behind a pile of rubber Smurfs and plastic wind-up jumping frog figurines underneath the bathroom sink which you shared with your brother, that thing you dusted off and carried with you to college, that thing you stuffed in a backpack when you lived on trains in England and Ireland for a year, that thing you took to your first apartment in New York, that thing that always came with you when you left town, that thing your girlfriend laughed at because it looks like it came out of a Caboodle, that thing you called on when you just needed a place to put your toothbrush and a stick of deodorant, that thing which saw you through that really tough time when you were barely making ends meet and your Caboodle-loving girlfriend had dumped you, that thing that was there for you in good times, too, in great times like that week-long camping trip you took to the Gunks when you forgot that thing in a port-o-potty but your friends, understanding your inexplicable connection to that thing turned around and drove the hour back so that you could retrieve that thing, that thing, that favorite thing of yours which broke or tore or somehow failed you in a critical moment, for the final time and though you’d rigged it, repaired it, duct-taped it, done everything you could to it, you finally determined it’s time to say “goodbye” to that thing.

Well that happened to me.
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