Paul Bond likes concrete. He started crafting skateboarding obstacles out of it in his 20s, moved on to a job in composite concrete flooring, and eventually created an industrial-looking (but ultrapractical) ­concrete coffee cup. The cups consist of a ceramic liner coated with a thin layer of concrete. “Handcrafting the cups has sparked a creative streak in me,” he says. “Eventually I want to grow my business into something more concrete.” Pun intended. $18, concretecoffeecups.com



In spring 2011, long-distance sailor and architect Kai Schwarz teamed up with opera-singing marketing manager Anne Corning to launch ShelterKraft Werks, a Ballard--based company that constructs sustainable homes from repurposed shipping containers. Eighty percent of the materials in every cargo home are recycled, reused, or repurposed—and if that’s not green enough for you, ShelterKraft can also add alternative energy like solar power and ecofriendly water-saving toilets to each structure. Stock models start at $35,000, shelterkraft.com
 

When Tom Bihn was 10, all he really wanted was some cool outdoor gear to take on his Pacific Northwest adventures. His parents’ response: Save your money, or make your own. Young Bihn chose the latter and now, nearly 40 years later, he and his 35-person crew produce briefcases, laptop bags, and luggage—like the Tri-Star bag—designed to make containing and transporting life’s many accessories as easy as possible. The ultimate carry-on has hideaway backpack straps, an optional laptop pocket, and three additional compartments. $280, tombihn.com


Seattle’s oldest outdoor outfitter and manufacturer, Filson, moved into new digs this June—57,400-square-feet worth to be precise. The SoDo HQ features a state-of-the-art factory, a rustic-modern showroom, and its trademark Americana atmosphere. While apparel manufacturing will remain at Filson’s Fourth Avenue location, luggage and travel accessories—like this travel tray that snaps shut to store small personal effects—will be handmade in SoDo. $26, filson.com


 


Craft cocktail wiz Mike McSorley (find him behind the bar at Tavern Law) and fashion designer Malia Peoples first combined their skills in 2009 with the launch of the McSology Lewis Bag, a traditional bartending sack used to make crushed ice for specialty drinks. The bag’s popularity and durability led the two to design the -Bartender’s Tool Roll. The canvas rollup has 15 pockets for storing strainers, muddlers, bar spoons, and the like, giving cocktail enthusiasts and serious bartenders an organized way to get the party started. $175, mcsology.com


 

 

 


Burned out on bulky plastic iPhone cases that hide the device’s sleek design, Central District resident Erick Waldman rented a laser cutter and carved a simple wooden adhesive phone skin for himself. Friends and coworkers placed orders, design blogs picked up the story, and what started as a modest side project became Lazerwood, a business with customers in over 40 countries. Before long Waldman had left his design firm job and recruited his wife, Apryl, to handle the business side of things. Most recently the couple added headphone covers and custom computer keys to their product lineup. iPhone covers $18–$30, lazerwood.com





Published: August 2013

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