If you haven't felt the solid weight of an axe in your hands recently, we suggest a visit to Best Made Co.'s new shop in downtown Manhattan.
Designer Peter Buchanan-Smith founded Best Made Company in 2009 because he saw the need for a better axe. In 2010, Best Made partnered with one of oldest axe makers in the United States to develop the American Felling Axe. Today, the company sells three distinct axe types with handles in a variety of striking designs. At Best Made Co., the axe is seen foremost as "a tool for survival and productivity," but beyond being a mere wilderness tool, the axe is seen as a symbol of other admirable virtues. Namely, the four the company cherishes most: courage, compassion, grace, and fortitude.
In addition to crafting singularly impressive axes, Best Made Co. continues to add carefully wrought products to its catalog of goods, including bags, camp supplies, first aid kits, wearable goods, and a series of limited edition silk screened maps.
Best Made Company has already duly impressed online shoppers with crisp photos of products with compelling back stories. For shoppers who like to touch things before buying, the new storefront at 36 White Street is an opportunity to interact with the goods in person. The space also functions as design headquarters for the company and a space for classes: axe restoration, field medicine, and foraged cocktails have all made the lineup recently.
Photographs by Erin Boyle.
Above: Inside the shop, a charcoal gray pegboard displays shop wares and cherished artifacts, alike.
Above: The impressive wall of the Best Made Co. Axe Collection.
Above: Colorful handles make for a compelling design element on the axe handles, but the folks at Best Made remind us that an eye-catching axe handle is practical too: good for spotting axes in the wood at the woodpile.
Above: An axe and leather cover emblazoned with C.C.G.F.; the acronym for the company's four favorite virtues.
Above: The Best Made Ditty Bag; $124.
Above: Neatly arranged in a prototype of an oversized tool box, Best Made includes the Audubon Field Guide Series ($375) among goods the company carries to complement proprietary designs.
Above: On the pegboard: The Davy Lamp; $180.
Above: An inspiration wall of sorts in the back of the shop.
Above: Colorful pendant lights cheer up the communal space in the rear of the shop; designed by Brooklyn-based Rich Brilliant Willing. A similar Bluff City 8-inch fixture is available at Roll and Hill; $550.
For more details about the shop, visit Best Made Co. or head there in person; open Wednesday to Sunday, from noon to 7 pm.
For more wilderness equipment, see 7 Emergency Kit Essentials.