About the Brand:
Crafter: McCord Rees
Website: Instagram Page
McCord Rees was looking for a good Field Journal. One that he could take anywhere and still look good after everyday abuse. An everyday carry field Journal should hold character, look great in all situations, and be easy to carry and write in; all while lasting generations. Unfortunately, there really wasn't much out there that fit his needs. A college ruled notebook looks unprofessional while others are simply a leather cover over a pad of paper.
With the help of his friends, McCord was able to design a Field Journal that met all of these standards. After designing and selling thousands of field journals he turned his attention to creating the thinnest and most durable minimalist wallet. Fast forward to today and you'll see he is creating many standard products and a vast variety of custom orders with interest worldwide.
Both my Refined Field Journal and Rugged Minimalist Wallet from StoneGrain Leather are works of art. What I love about my field journal is all the natural markings you can see on the leather. The flap, which McCord told me he uses as a bookmark, has rough edges (called a raw edge cut) and has all these characteristics that can only be found on my journal because the leather used was cut from one particular hide. Meaning, the cover of my field journal will never be duplicated. Add in the deckle edged paper and you have a classic looking Field Journal that will be special to me for the rest of my life.
The wallet is just as detailed as the journal and is very sturdy. Unlike some minimalist wallets I have come across, the sides are hand stitched and can be in any thread color you choose. McCord told me that it takes a couple of weeks for these wallets to form to your EDC and that the leather will start to patina after about one month! Looking forward to that!
More products from McCord include a black cuff with brass hardware and a Cavalry Belt. I love both products and the cuff is opposite my watch most days. The belt is something truly unique and makes for a great dress belt that stands out without being heavy or ridiculous looking.
The belt has two parts in order to wear it: you size the belt with the double prong strap and then hook the beautiful lock through the holder. If that is confusing it is because I do not really know how to explain it! It did take me a few tries to figure it out but once I did the result was breathtaking.
I wear it one of two ways, first with the hook just being visible and the second being that both the hook and double prong strap attachment is visible. Both parts flank my pants fly and one is able to clearly see more of the beautiful belt hardware. The thinner width makes it ideal with dress pants but I have also worn them with jeans just fine. Who knows, maybe I'll wear this belt at my wedding next year!
About the Brand:
Crafter: Andy Mock
Andy has always had a knack for being creative as he comes from the professional world of Graphic Design. He got into leathercrafting when his friend showed him his workshop and taught him some of his skills. As Andy's new hobby grew, he improved by continuously teaching himself the tools of the leather trade. Eventually, he decided to start Blackthorn Leather. His love for leather working grew and grew so much so that in November of 2017, Andy quit his job as an art director for a publishing company and make Blackthorn Leather his fulltime gig. He told me:
Blackthorn Leather is one person (Andy). I do all the design, production, shipping, branding, and marketing. I started the brand officially in 2009. It (leather crafting) has been amazing doing something you have a passion for.
Over the last couple of years, I have acquired a small collection of Andy's products (he even made my groomsmen gifts which were custom key fobs). Thanks to him, EDC items never go missing (well, almost never) because I throw them in my hand tooled, custom Valet Tray. Another product I have is my own custom key fob in natural vegetable tanned leather complete with my initials. The key fob has seen some considerable patina develop over the last couple of years.
Out of all my Blackthorn Leather Goods, I would say that the The Brogued Rover II: Minimalist Wallet is my favorite.
It is a beautiful wallet that has a money clip that doubles as a very handy bottle opener. The color is called "Antique Brown" and is hand dyed and tooled is by Andy. The leather itself is vegetable tanned and is so strong that it actually takes a bit for the wallet to stretch out to hold more cards. I like to carry it in my front pocket, which is slides easily in and out of. Despite having the money clip, the wallet does not feel too bulky and I hardly notice it is there.
The tooling on the wallet is second to none and really makes it such a unique piece. What makes it even more special is that it is completely customizable; from the designs to the color. In addition, you can swap out the money clip/bottle opener for a pen pocket instead. Truly a remarkable work of art.