And we’re back! We took a monthlong vacation to recharge our batteries and jump-start our creative thinking. Our trip took us from ultra-modern Japan to quirky Amsterdam. We saw a lot of amazing designs and experienced a lot of very cool places.
Breaking out of your normal bubble really opens your eyes to all the amazing things other people create and how differently they experience regular life. For example, there seemed to be a common theme everywhere we went in Japan - take any object, no matter how simple, figure out what makes it what it is, then re-craft it into the most perfect version of itself. We visited several leather goods stores and it was really inspiring to see the amount of thought and care went into making wallets, belts, and bags.
Great design was evident in the Netherlands too, but with a little funky fun twist. We visited some of the best museums in the world, where centuries of great design were on display. One of the coolest we saw had to be the Boijmans Museum, where hundreds of years worth of household products were lined up together. You could see the evolution of how people created and used simple objects, like tea kettles and forks and even belt buckles!
All that to say that one of the best lessons we took away from this trip was this: there is a subtle beauty in the good design of everyday objects. Well-crafted products often fade into the background when you aren’t focused on them, but they still manage to elevate normal everyday experiences. We hope to take that lesson and infuse it into our belts and, hopefully, our customers get a greater sense of joy from owning a well-thought-out product.
What is good design? Bryan and I ask ourselves this question about our belts every day. Is it the simplest buckle, or the one that makes you the happiest to use? Is it one that holds your pants up the best, or the one that sparks conversations with strangers?