January 10, 2013

Buy American Handmade

It’s A Newman and I recently stopped by Noah Marion Quality Goods to see what he’s been cutting up, to have a bourbon, and to check out the space he co-habitates with Revival Cycles (custom and vintage motorcycles) down in Govalle. It was, you know, just some dudes doing their thing in an unassuming warehouse that smells like leather and gasoline, cranking out handmade products for customers who are passionate about the things they own and who want the same passion from the artisans who’re creating these things. Not a bad spot to get some shit done…

"SN" - numero uno recipient of custom embossing

18 years ago I pulled a new (and my current) pair of Red Wings out the box. They were.. virgin.. in their smoothness. Almost too new to wear; if you've ever bought 'em you know what I mean. Nearly half a lifetime it's been and I'm still breaking them in, which is the reason that I continue putting off the purchase of new ones, having neither the patience nor the occasion to do again what took so long to do the first time.

Noah Marion doesn't put much stock into this line of laziness. In fact, the man has built his business around a personal mantra that runs counter to the very idea that this process - of making something uniquely and perfectly your own - should only happen once.

Since 2006, Noah has been "designing and handcrafting products for the design-conscious individual" meant to age organically and last a lifetime. His veg-tanned leather goods are truly one-of-a-kind; how they get to be that way… that’s the part he outsources. His stuff is beautiful in its unfinished-ness, simplistic in its functionality. Making it one’s own is as much a part of the process as constructing the product itself. The first scratch’ll kill you, sure, but now you’re on the road to patina. And that, my friends, is just what I think Noah had in mind. 


All photos ('cept the first one) via: It's a Newman.