You’re either reading this because you wonder how exactly this product fits into our collection, or because you got excited, and were just about to make a purchase. If the latter: Our apologies, this product is not for sale at KM. We’ve fooled you, because we wanted to bring awareness to why we’re doing what we’re doing.
We’re growing and we’re looking for people to join our team. If you enjoy what we do, get excited about high quality products, and fit one of the below job descriptions, then we’d love to hear from you. And please forward this to friends who might be interested.
Why Kaufmann Mercantile?
We’re a young and creative company located in Brooklyn, NY. We are as passionate about the people who work here as we are about the products we sell. You can learn more about what we stand for here.
Holding On to the Handmade
Rosa, Basket Maker
Alice Bernardo is the author of Saber Fazer, a documental project started in 2010, with the goal of preserving the artisanal and semi-industrial production tradition in Portugal. “I understood that a lot of the knowledge these makers held wasn’t being passed on to anyone,” Alice said, “and it was going to be lost very soon.”
Alice has been featured on her own TEDx talk for this evolving project. She took a break from her travels in Brazil to talk with me about why the stories of these makers in particular seemed so necessary to preserve. The photos here are all by Alice, with more published on her blog.
Cyber Monday At Full Price
Frequent visitors to our store know that we very rarely offer discounts. Today, on Cyber Monday, the annual day of online discounts, might be a good time to explain why. We’d love to hear your thoughts at the end of this post.
Generally, I understand why discounts sound great (You: more products; us: more sales), but I don’t feel it’s the best solution for either of us in the long run. First, being against discounts doesn’t mean we’re against low prices. We regularly turn products down because we feel they’re too expensive. And we offer many items below the suggested retail price.
Shop by Region, Material and Price
A good purchase can be defined in many ways, but largely it comes down to these two questions: Where did the product come from, and what is it made of?
The value we place on a product’s origin and material is why we’ve now integrated a Shop by Region and Shop by Material section into our website. These options are meant to equip you with valuable information about the product you want to buy before you buy it, giving you knowledge about its quality, safety, environmental impact and the manufacturing conditions under which it was produced. The material and origin of a product also open up a beautiful world of art, tradition, skills, aesthetics, physics, engineering and many more.
Giveaway - Join the Conversation on Makers, Win a Free Copy of the Book
Leave a comment telling us a compelling story of a maker you know, what they make so well and why you love it, and we’ll pick a comment at random and send you our copy of Brooklyn Makers!
There was a time when you could shop Banana Republic through a catalogue filled with romantic hand-illustrated drawings and flourishing annotations. When walking into a Banana Republic store was like walking onto the set of Raiders of the Lost Ark, complete with Bush jackets, Ghurka shorts and a stipple mural of an African safari. A time when adventure and fashion went hand in hand.
Banana Republic Gift Work Book, 1987
November 1942. Columbia Steel at Geneva, Utah. Floodlight servicing on a new steel plantation for the war effort.
“A photograph can be kind,” Einstein said. It never changes, even as the people in it grow old and their stories change completely. You can look back on a photo of your mother or father, or the old town where you grew up, and see things as you remember them.
We love people who make it their business to keep life’s simple pleasures alive.
The Letter Writers Alliance is one group of stalwarts like us who won’t stand to watch the art of letter writing die out. Founders Kathy and Donovan first got together in 2006 as 16 sparrows, and became the designers, makers and distributors of handmade paper products. But not just any paper products. Specifically, the kind that cater to sarcastic people with a smart-ass sense of humor who also happen to like pretty things.
Our friend Keith Ehrlich just put out a new film in his six-minute documentary series about craftsmen, called Made by Hand (@madebyhand).
The fourth documentary features Martinez Cigar Shop in New York City, filmed right in the shop in Chelsea. Keith has already made four other documentaries for the series about a gin distiller, a knife maker, a beekeeper and a bike maker, and there are two more films in the works.
When I talked to Keith about how Made by Hand started, he said some of his inspiration came from his own desire for connection. He was questioning why more people didn’t live a life where they had a little less stuff that they could actually have a relationship with.
The motif comes through in his films. Some of his subjects became craftsmen after feeling dissatisfied with other jobs. They wanted a new organic connection to their work. “It’s not just a maker thing,” Keith said. “There’s a ton of that energy going on these days – the desire to make something, to own your own quality, success and failure.”
We want to continue sharing more news about people and friends like Keith who we find inspiring, and you can send your suggestions over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org