The coolest find lately has been Fony Hats. I found my first batch of Fony Hats at Pens and Needles on 25th and Guerero. Each hat was a different fabric, and most of them had some really awesome embroidery on them. The hats aren’t adjustable though, so after trying on all the hats I only found one that fit me, and it didn’t have any embroidery. I hemmed and hawed for nigh on 30 minutes and finally plunked $33 for it.Best purchase ever, the material really grew on me and the hat is so fucking well made. Which is nice compared to all my bad shoe experiences with Adbusters (and yes the Worn Again shoes).
When my friends from the midwest came to visit, they really dug the hat, so I tried to take them back to the store but there was only like one small hat there.
Luckily I met John, the owner of Fony last weekend, he had a bag full of his newest generation hats. Tons of sizes, and they where only $15! Holy shit, he spends at a couple hours making each hat, that’s such a great price. So I placed a custom order, 4 large hats, two with “doc” embroidered on them. The other two are gifts are for midwesterners. You can’t see it in the pic, but John even adds labels to his hats now.
So this good buyer experience reminded of a messenger bag company I saw once at Pens and Needles called Love Life. I’d been on the hunt for a Love Life bag for the last year, after giving up on ever being able to get my own Zo bag, but none of the stores had any stock. Lately when I’ve been asking around all I hear is “didn’t Steve leave the country”.
Finally I found http://lovelifebags.com/ Check it out, ’cause I can’t post pics here. Now, most of their outer materials aren’t re-used fabrics, but the inner lining (not pictured anywhere on the site from what I can tell) is made from old vinyl store signs. So the inside of each bag says something different, like “big sale” or “coming soon” or whatever. So I showed up at their bag factory on 16th and Mission and they let me go throw ALL of their fabrics, and ALL of their tags, and All of their trim to make my own totally unique bag. I love it. AND Roxanne from Love Life said she would try to pick up a half yard of the same material I picked to make my bag with, so I can use it for patching clothes, or make a yo-yo holster, or give it to John so I can have a matching Fony hat and Love Life Bag, what a dream!
It may take up to 6 weeks for my new bag, but I scanned in the material and used it in this sketch. The sketch was done with office supply style pens (highlighters, blue bic) and our copy machine printed out this bastard copy of crazy lines that I scanned in and used to diffuse the background, so the fabric of my bag won’t have all the lines and stuff it has in this pic.
You know what my dream job would be? Having a distribution biz for these crazy unique handmade items. Carrying Fony Hats, Love Life bags, local zines, etc. If I was doing that sort of thing, I would offer stores the chance to have exclusives, like have a roll of orange fabric only for Split Culture and stuff. Sigh, the reality is, these guys can only manufacture such limited quantities at a time, they aren’t selling as much stuff as they could, because they don’t have enough time or materials. There’s already enough demand for people to seek them out, getting into stores isn’t a priority, and their pricing structure often times isn’t set up with wholesale pricing in mind.