Category Archives: Work Apron

Sharp-Looking Aprons by Koda Organics: Made in USA

I came home this evening and Kathy showed me an apron she purchased as a gift from Koda Organics. Koda was founded by Mario Matos, who, if you take a moment to read the company bio, started-off working in a sewing factory and went on to create Chameleon USA. Koda is an offshoot of that company and what sets it apart is the use of organic materials. Everything is handmade in Koda’s Georgia facility.The apron Kathy purchased was called the “Wescott,” which is made from a combination of 100 % organic cotton and organic vegetable-tanned leather. It came in attractive packaging, perfect if you want to send a direct gift.The Apron is very sturdy and Koda Organic uses rivets and grommets to provide added strength in key areas.

 They come in a variety of styles from full bib to a short bistro style and can be ordered in a wide array of colors.Most aprons feature at least one pocket or multiple storage compartments. The full size  apron has comfortable load-bearing cross-over back-straps that really allow you to dial in the fit.The Tanoak bistro apron shown above is made from full grain leather.

Looking for a more personalized apron? They can add your name and a logo for a nominal charge.

According to Kathy, her only suggestion to Koda Organics would be to offer a petite size for short-waisted women. She would not be able to wear the apron herself, because the chest section is too long for her torso. Other than that, we both really like the design and quality.




Sturdy Brothers: Made in USA

MasterOrvilleToolRollWTOOLS+(11+of+19)I recently interviewed half of the Sturdy Bothers‘ team, Benjamin Young. Located in Thomasville, GA, Benjamin and his brother Spencer have created a company based on products they themselves have a need for, like a dopp kit, apron and tool roll. They wanted to make things that could handle day-to-day use and stand the test of time. The brothers aren’t interested in trendy products; they favor functional items that are quality-made and showcase their craftsmanship.

In part, they are looking to recapture the quality and craftsmanship that were synonymous with manufacturing in the early 1900s. An example of this: the number 9 copper rivets that are used in their products are all hand-hammered.HR9A8784The name of the company came about when the brothers were looking for durable material to use for an apron. After  deciding on waxed canvas, they let the material dictate the name, “Sturdy Brothers.” That apron got them launched on Kickstarter last February, which Ben said was a great experience.

HudsonDuffel+(19+of+22)Their waxed canvas products are durable and don’t require a lot of maintenance. Just be advised that the aprons and tool rolls will get dirty and, given that waxed canvas isn’t easy to clean, be ready for your apron  to collect its own unique patina/characteristics that reflect your craft. If the wax coating breaks down over time, the brothers will work with you to recondition the it and do repairs.

HR9A8562The Sturdy Brothers’ workspace in Thomasville is sectioned off so that the front third serves as a brick and mortar shop. In addition to their own goods, they carry products from other local businesses and try to promote a sense of community. If you are ever in the area, stop by, check-out the finished products and ask for a tour of the work space…you won’t have to walk very far.

Spencer still owns a coffee shop in town and Ben has relocated from Raleigh to work full-time at their company. They have one full-time employee and just hired another part-timer to meet the growing demands.FirewoodCarrySMALL 11.11.17 AMAmerican-made is really important to them. Ben told me that he wanted to have a craft/trade and have a flourishing small business supported by the public and helped by the Internet. Wherever possible Sturdy Bothers tries to source local components and materials.

I asked Ben what new products they were working on and he said that they will soon be introducing leather goods . Due to debut this week is a  snap wallet and, by the end of the year, they hope to be producing tote bags.

So who are the typical customers? Despite the emphasis on “guy-stuff,” their buyers are women. As Ben put it, “They control the money, seriously. They are buying gifts for their husbands and boyfriends along with a very popular tote bag for themselves.” Baristas also make up a large part of the clientele, due to the awesome aprons, while shop workers are frequent buyers as well.

Ben made a point of saying that they feel blessed to be in a small town where people pull together There are local crafts people all around and the brothers’ grandfathers were both handy men.

Finally, If you want to get a sense of what motivates the brothers, consider the passage on one of the tee shirts they have for sale: “Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands.”
How true.


Jones of Boerum Hill: Made in USA

Have you ever heard of Jones of Boerum Hill? Neither had we until co-owner Deirdra Jones reached out to us and told us about the aprons she and her husband Iestyn are making in NYC. Brooklyn is in our backyard so we just had to check out their site. The couple have been making aprons for the last three years.

home-slider-slide-2There is a great mix of materials, all sourced here in the USA. Starting with Cone Mills denim,  there is also canvas from suppliers in New Jersey and Montana. Twill ties are sourced from a family-run mill in Pennsylvania and woven labels are hand-cut in Vermont. 

workmanapron1_1024x1024With an impressive list of local NYC restaurant clients, Jones of Boerum Hill’s affordable aprons are gaining popularity with home chefs and, the owners hope, the weekend mechanic.

denimkyoto2_1024x1024I was especially interested to hear that the company is working on opening a retail shop in Brooklyn this fall, when they will be adding a workwear line of shirts, jumpsuits, and bags to the collection.