- Buyer's Guide
5 Minutes with Würkin Stiffs (and Giveaway)
A lot can happen in 5 minutes: games can be won or lost, discoveries made and more importantly, awesome interviews conducted and giveaways served up with a smile. In today’s ‘5 minutes with’, we spoke with Jonathan Boos, the CEO of Würkin Stiffs. A family business born from a single idea: magnetic collar stays. And now, Würkin Stiffs have got their paws into everything from clothes to carry and we had a quick chat about their würk and what makes ’em tick…
1) What key insights drive your stuff?
My background was in automotive fabrication as a teenager…from coming up with design concepts, working with metal and airbrushing paint schemes. I love the headaches of stripping down and creating products with a twist, while making them radder (is that a word?) than imagined. The driving force of Würkin Stiffs has always been to question a product’s existence. What can we bring to the table to make it function better? Another key element is packaging a product in a creative way and having no regrets with how we present things. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we take our business very seriously.
2) Who else is doing rad things in the world of carry and why do you think they’re important?
There are some cool things happening in Japan. What am I saying? There’s always something cool happening in Japan. With that said, there is a brand we’ve been talking to called Headlockz. They are doing some seamless bags as well as interesting waterproofing techniques. Their designs and fabrication are simple. Yet, they utilize some fantastic technology for their execution and construction. There are some early stage collaborations with some new designs we’ve been developing. I think anyone who takes the old and makes it new again by using the latest technology is very important in the things we develop.
3) Are there any things other brands do that you think are great or could be improved?
I’ve always loved Paul Smith for their design, but disliked the high price points. Will Snyder always had a cool take with J.Fold, but it seems to be a little different than what it once was. Those are the kind of worlds which I see Würkin Stiffs falling in between. High quality textiles, great craftsmanship, while enhancing our goods with a “tech element” with our RFID blockers, all at a decent price. I see huge opportunities with store brands, which we would love to partner with, such as J.Crew, Banana Republic and Cole Haan. They could be swinging their “carry” in a soooo much better way.
4) What’s next for you guys?
We have designed lower price-point wallets and bags by utilizing different textiles, to attract the younger male audience. They’ve got pops of color and are simple in design. Those should debut early 2015. Also, we have different styles of wallets which will be released later this year within our small leather goods collection. It’s very cool and the few who have seen them have geeked out. I’ll say this, it’s us introducing brown leather with a twist. And there will be a briefcase too…not your father’s or grandpappy’s briefcase…but a briefcase nonetheless. I see a slight shift with guys getting back to work in a more chic way and I believe we will deliver.
5) What do you carry daily and how?
I carry my trusty notepad, MacBook Air and in case of an emergency, one ThermaCare HeatWrap (bad lower back from a not-so-cool injury) everywhere I go. Here’s where I’m gonna sound like a total D.Bag. I carry it in my Würkin Stiffs backpack! I don’t carry it just because it’s mine. I truly love the darn thing and I was never a backpack guy. My favorite feature is the flat umbrella hidden inside. So I never worry about getting caught in a rain shower, which is essential in Florida because you never know when the heavens are gonna open up and dump gallons of water on your head within a moment’s notice.
Lastly, off script…I truly love what I do and never claim to know what I’m doing. No matter what you love carrying around, carry it with swagger. If you love something, say something to the guy or gal who designed and/or developed it…it makes a positive difference. People need to get emotional about the little things which will help drive creativity and ultimately make products better!
*this Giveaway is now closed. Big thanks for all of your entries.