Even as our world becomes increasingly digital, there s a movement afoot. We’re seeing a recent uptick in the amount of young people who are saying to hell with the 9-to-5, stepping away from the computer, and starting small businesses that allow them to make stuff with their hands.
But why quit a lucrative job to get your mitts dirty making leather goods? Didn’t our ancestors work in factories all of those years so we wouldn’t have to work in factories? It’s the type of thing you announce to your friends at a bar and the room falls silent, followed by a lot of sideways glances before someone pipes up with, “OK, man, whatever’s gonna make you happy!”
“I would encourage anyone who wants to make and sell something unique that there are manufacturers in the US who would love to work with them.”
Do It Yourself
It all started with a wallet. Back in 2012, Arnot—who has had an illustrious career, working as a public policy advisor in the Canadian government, an attorney and a digital marketer for CNBC’s Jim Cramer—wanted to upgrade his.
“The only wallets I could find either weren’t interesting or were overly designed,” the New York-based entrepreneur recalls. “I thought that I should be able to have a wallet that’s nicely crafted and well designed, and unfortunately, I found that unless you do it yourself, you have to settle for what’s out there.”
And so he created Owen & Fred (named for Arnot’s two young sons) with the ethos of “if we can’t find the product we like, we’re going to make it.”