I love makers. Everything about the creativity, craft, handmade appeal, and the people behind the goods you can buy from small artisans and makers is extremely satisfying.
One of my long-time friends in this community is Keegan from One Star Leather Goods who I love to showcase and review his wares when I can. I've bought probably about a dozen pieces from him over the years, but this time around he was kind enough to send me over a couple of new items from his workshop to take a look at.
From the first time I got my hands on a piece from One Star Leather Goods, I was blown away by the quality and precision of Keegan's craftsmanship. His pieces can hold a slight premium over other leather makers, but I personally feel that his goods set a precedent for me of what I should expect when delving into higher-end products like these.
One of the newest items in his lineup is called the EDC1. A small leather sleeve that serves a very unique purpose.
Designed for those who carry a small, folder style pocket knife as well as a pocket pen like the Fisher Space bullet or Kaweco Liliput, it keeps these two items tidy amongst your keys or phone without allowing anything to jingle together.
I've had from Keegan two sleeves at a given time, one to hold my folder pocket knife and another to hold a pen, but by combining these together I've found it to be an awesome and functional product.
While I like my things to be used, I DO NOT like to neglect my things or abuse them for no reason. "Oh, just throw it in there with your keys. It'll give it character."
Yeah, not really my style.
When investing in nice things, they stay nice by taking care of them. I know this philosophy is super important to Keegan and he is of the mentality that you can buy (or, invest in) something great that will last. One of his tag lines is:
"Buy good things, own them a long time."
The EDC1 is small coming in only around 4.5cm x 2cm, so it doesn't take up a lot of pocket space. I carry in mine a Northwoods Knives Broadway Jack and a brass Kaweco Liliput ballpoint (the capped version which is pretty new). Both fit great and it has broken in well.
Initially the pen sleeve section had to do a little stretching, but is normal.
The knife pocket holds the knife just tight enough, but not too snug which is perfect. Any tighter and my fingers probably wouldn't be able to fit in there to pry it out!
This particular EDC1 is made from Horween shell cordovan which is really nice, high-end leather. The inside is soft, yet firm while the outside has a bit of polish and sheen to it which looks sharp. This model retails at $60 due to the leather used, but a less expensive vegetable tan option is also available for $35 which will age as you use it. Either one would hold up to years of use.
LEUCHTTURM 1917 A6 COVER
What sets the precedent by Keegan is the attention to all the little details that go into making something. How it fits, the even and consistent stitching, the crisp edges... never have I had something come from him that seemed overlooked or amiss.
In addition to the EDC1 he also sent over one of his popular notebook covers. In conversing back and forth he asked me about which type of notebook I prefer for everyday use and my answer was the Leuchtturm 1917 in various sizes.
He has traditionally made these covers for either a Moleskine or the popular Hobonichi notebooks, but he was kind enough to put one of these together for a hardbound A6 Leuchtturm.
The exterior of the cover was also made from a premium Horween leather, but from a style known as Chromexcel in burgundy which is a rich, reddish purple.
Softer and more supple than the shell cordovan (and a bit thicker), the chromexcel is generally what I prefer to request when Keegan makes something for me as I love how it feels as well as ages. It may get a nick or mark here or there, but it blends in a bit more than the shell in my opinion.
The inside leather is a thinner, smoother bridle leather in chestnut which is a really nice contrast.
Branding on the covers is subtle, being on the inside. Stamped in the left cover is a small star within a circle and on the right cover a One Star Leather crest. Nothing on the outside to distract from the leather.
The notebook fits snugly and while opening and closing it didn't get caught or misaligned. Also, in the right cover is a slot cutout to allow for the notebooks elastic band to come through and be used to secure the cover shut.
After initially sending this one my way, he now has an option on his website to custom build a cover like this one to your liking even offering to include pen sleeves and card slots to make it more of a folio style notebook which is pretty slick.
To wrap up, both of these products are extremely well made and I'm so happy Keegan sent them for me to share on the blog.
Now, the goal of sending the two pieces was so I could also give one away, but I told Keegan after receiving them I wanted to keep them both for myself! Although, I will resist...
We're offering up the A6 notebook cover to a lucky reader of the blog! It will come loaded up with a Leuchtturm 1917 A6 hardcover notebook with dot grid.
CONTEST RULES (the "fine print"):
- Contest will run through Friday, January 13th and will end at 11:59pm Arizona Time, USA
- To enter, leave a comment below answering the following question (limited to one entry per person; no cheating!): What is your favorite non-pen (or pencil) stationary/desk item you own or hope to own soon?
- I will arrange the entries in numerical order and randomly select a winner. The winner will be announced on the blog on Saturday, January 14th and will need to connect with me within a week to claim their prize.
- This giveaway is open to readers within North America. Don't worry international readers! More giveaways to come soon.