New Products

Craft & Caro logo and nylon strap

Evolution is the process by which a species adapts to its environment, in order to thrive. It happens in small steps. It is catalyzed by chance. Each successful variation endows a lucky creature with new or improved abilities, ensuring the strength and endurance of its line. Homo Sapiens is subject to this natural progression, of course, but there is something that sets us apart.

Woman with wings manufactured for human flight

For some time now, we have had the distinct pleasure of playing a role in our own evolution, thanks to our unique creative faculties. We call this kind of progress innovation. Innovation is the means by which we adapt the world to our needs, in order to thrive. It also happens in small steps. It is catalyzed by inspiration.

Vintage flying invention

Innovation is what sets us apart from the other evolvers. It is what makes us human. We get a chance to impart our ideas, our values, our tastes, and our aesthetics into our very existence. We get to stand back, square up the canvas in our sights, and contribute our own brushstrokes, even as we live them.

Our deeper values, what we might call spiritual aesthetics, inform how we choose to live. They are reflected in those brushstrokes — in all the subtle ways that we manifest beauty, elegance, and refinement in ourselves each day.

True style is borne by the graceful fusion of utility — dictated by the practical requirements of evolution — and beauty — that more elusive sense of what pleases the spirit. The care we put into crafting ourselves evinces the grace that resonates within each of us. It is how we share ourselves with the world, and in doing so, we uplift each other.

Closeup of Nylon strap of Craft & Caro leather ruckpack

That’s why we do what we do at Craft & Caro. We celebrate creativity. We cheer on the people who nudge us forward with each new innovation. We see style as something that is part and parcel of good design and good workmanship. We seek out the choicest fruits of the artisan world, according to our own heartfelt aesthetic, and collect them in our stockroom. The items we choose share the virtue of innovation, whether they are classic or cutting edge.

 Top front of leather bag

So far, this has been our contribution to the cause. Today, however, marks the genesis of something much bigger for us.

For once, we have had the opportunity to stand at the drafting board and determine exactly what shape inspiration will take. We are quite excited to announce Craft & Caro’s first ever collaborative product. 

LTHR Supply x Craft & Caro ruckpack in Bourbon

 

In partnership with our talented friends at LTHR Supply, we proudly present The Ruckpack.

 

We teamed up with Jeremy Szechenyi and Travis Tyler, the makers behind LTHR Supply, to collaborate on the new model, based on their classic Rucksack. After no small amount of consideration, we arrived at something that we are proud to put our names on.

The Ruckpack takes into account the practical demands of everyday use, and shines as an example of the subtle panache that has come to characterize our company. This is an everyday bag, to be sure, but a bit more distinguished — sophisticated, simple, durably built and enduringly stylish.

Side view of Craft & Caro Ruckpack rolltop

This redesign is all about the details. It is in the details that you will find those very sparks of inspiration that excite the senses.

We chose softer leather for a more luxurious feel. The edges of the rolltop are unstitched and unfinished, allowing for increased flexibility and more casual styling. Eventually, the raw leather edges will develop their own unique patina.

Backside of Craft & Caro leather Ruckpack

High-quality nylon straps, designed to stand up to long-term stress, replaced the leather ones. They feature a slide loop instead of a belt buckle system, allowing for continuous adjustment. The design does away with loose strap ends for a cleaner look and function. They’re stitched right into the bag, instead of being fastened with a lot of metal hardware.

Backside of leather ruckpack

Overall, the bag has fewer structural rivets and more stitching. The remaining rivets and fittings are made of aluminum instead of stainless steel. The result is a lighter, more comfortable pack. The bag also has an increased capacity, making it ideal for the urban commuter, the casual outdoorsman, or the thrifty vacationer. The minimalist design makes for a wonderfully simple functionality.

LTHR Supply x Craft & Caro leather patch

To commemorate the series, each bag bears a handsome, manually-stamped leather patch, featuring the respective LTHR Supply and Craft & Caro labels, as well as our collaborative tagline, “everyday goods, timeless designs.”

This first limited run comes in two colors, Bourbon and Walnut. And of course, every single component, from the full-grain steer hide and the bonded nylon stitching, to the aluminum clips and rivets, was produced in the USA. The Ruckpack was designed and assembled with pride in Boston, Massachusetts.

Leather ruckpacks by Craft & Caro

Thank you for giving us a chance to share this little moment of evolution. We will continue to step forward, to inspire and be inspired, and to champion the work of makers across the globe. Their workshops are where the magic is happening. Our collective passion for progress is what keeps them at it. Here’s to much, much more.

Vintage Jet Pack man

Check out the Ruckpack here!

Filed Under: Boston, New Products, News, Travel
Bull & Stash featured image

A Companion for Life

Whether you know it or not, you are a writer. Every living, seeing, hearing, feeling, breathing person is a writer. YOUR brain is capable of an incredible alchemy. It can distill insane volumes of raw sensory input into singular events called “experience.” It can instantaneously code that experience into written or spoken symbols called “language” and transmit it to other receiving minds! It works like magic. I write “I ate chicken cacciatore at Donna’s last night” and you suddenly see chicken cacciatore in your head. You see the tablecloth. You smell the marinara. You hear the din and clink of restaurant patrons around you. I was there, now you are there. I put it in your head. Did I manage this through some trick or spell? Some hypnosis? No, I used something more powerful: the written word. I put words on the page, which project entire worlds behind your eyes. It is this unique ability to transcribe our rich, swirling sensory experience into words that elevates our species. Everyone has this ability. You might think your words and experiences are insignificant but you would be mistaken. Everyone has something interesting to share. The most mundane experience is novel to new eyes. Your words become part of the reader’s live experience, which he will share using his own words, and so on down the line. It is easily taken for granted, but it is an incredible power. All you have to do is put pencil to paper.

Bull & Stash notebooks

Such a sacred, primal craft demands tools deserving of the act — tools equally as elemental, as enduring. Enter this quintessential Craft & Caro item. A single slice of plush, naked leather, folded over a small stack of pure white paper. A little untouched landscape awaiting the creator’s hand. The notebook is a sensory experience in itself — gorgeous leather, soft to the touch, richly tanned, with that pure, earthy scent. The pliable material happily conforms to your grip, your pocket, your bag or briefcase. No hard edges, no stiff spine, no cardboard or pleather veneer to tear or crease. In fact the notebook improves as it journeys with you. The leather distresses gracefully, absorbing the same moments and impacts that you do, so you weather together. The lines on your weary brow, the dust under your fingernails, the myriad scuffs on your notebook beside you all become fine layers of detail in the experience you share in the pages. Take notes. Make lists. Sketch the birds, sketch the mountain face. Draw maps. Chronicle your hike, your traverse of the high pass, your ride on the commuter rail. Write a poem for the pretty girl in the seat across from you. This is her stop. Do you fold it up and give it to her? Keep a journal. Capture the suspense, the romance, the heartbreak.

And there is no end. You keep on living. So does the notebook, because its pages are replaceable. Instead of binding, a pair of aluminum screws function like rivets to hold the pages in place. More to say? A few quick turns and you can pop in a brand new pad. Mail the full one, laden with your dreams and your grocery lists, home in an envelope marked “CONFIDENTIAL.” Swiftly now — the boat to New Delhi is boarding. There is more ahead.MSCT Bullet Pencils openOf course you’ll need something just as suited to adventure to write it all down. Craft & Caro furnished this field reporter with a clever little piece of nostalgia for the purpose: the bullet pencil. Apparently, late-nineteenth century British soldiers in Africa started jamming used pencil nubs into spent rifle cartridges to write. (What a deliciously practical repurposing of two used up commodities!) It caught on. Get-rich-quick scavengers collected shells from the battlefields and shipped them back to England as souvenirs. They were replicated, then re-designed a little, so the pencil could be flipped around and stored inside the shell for safe travel. Princess Mary included these second-generation bullet pencils in care packages for her soldiers in the trenches during World War I. From here the trick made it back to the States and bam! The bullet pencil flourished in a post-war wonderland of commercial mass production. Mid-century car dealerships and industrial fertilizer companies gave them out as promotional keepsakes. They fell out of style eventually, as petro-plastics became ever more popular and the cheap disposable pen replaced the pencil. Hope you’re taking notes.MSCT Bullet Pencils sectioned

The timeless utility of this bullet pencil is inherent. A pencil nub is jammed into a metal cap resembling the actual bullet that’s at the tip of a round. The cap is threaded on both sides, so it can be screwed onto the cartridge facing either way — with the pencil encased inside the protective metal jacket or facing out, ready to scribble. Closed, it’s simply a bullet a few inches in length, easily pocketable, mess-free and non-threatening to other important equipment in the area. Pull it out, flip it around and now you have a pleasingly weighty, solid, full-sized writing utensil. Perfect for adventure. It will take the beating alongside your notebook and live to tell about it.

 

MSCT Bullet Pencils all

 

The question is not are you going to write, or even what are you going to write, but when are you going to start? Your world is filled with juicy details. Your head is percolating with ideas. You pulled out of the station a long time ago. Don’t let another mile slip by. Even as you’re reading this, you probably have something to say…

 

Bull & Stash and Bullet Pencil

Sportes MITI with bacon

The English name “Swedish Log Stove” or “Swedish Fire Torch” is actually a rough translation from the German word “Schwedenfeuer”. Why a German name for a supposedly Swedish invention? During The Thirty Years’ War of early-mid 17th century Europe, Swedish soldiers pioneered the method of using a single, split log as a heat source and cooktop. The simple process of splitting a log and lighting the center worked on freshly cut wood, allowing soldiers to cook and have a source of light and heat without searching for and hauling firewood. Fast forward almost 400 years and the time-tested technique still holds true, and has finally been improved!

Sportes MITI contents

The MITI Swedish Log Stove makes it even easier to create a stable, reliable cooktop in the bush. Just as those soldiers did centuries ago, cut a log 7.5” to 9” in a diameter and 12” to 14” high. Quarter the log vertically, creating four even sections. Arrange the four sections with 1” of space between them, and place the MITI on top so that the metal dividers lie in the spaces. Slide each of four stabilizing rods into the appropriate eyelet, then spread the base at a slight angle to secure the structure into place. Finally, use kindling or accelerant to light the center.

Sportes MITI Instruction manual

As the flame grows, it pulls air in through the spaces, generating a steady-burning flame well suited to cooking. Boil water in a pot, make coffee in a percolator, fry bacon in a pan, pop corn in a kettle. This stove will work with anything you’d put on your home cooktop! For more advanced backwoods chefing, use several simultaneously just like a multi-burner range.

 

Sportes MITI cooked shrimp

 

 

Start enjoying the romantic simplicity of cooking over a traditional Swedish Log Stove today with the MITI by Sportes. Made in Canada, available at Craft & Caro: bit.ly/MITILogStove

 

 

Sportes MITI log flame

 

 

Filed Under: New Products, Travel
WP Homemade Gin Kit

Ever been curious about making your own spirits? Wood-firing a shiny copper still, pouring clear, almost pure alcohol into barrels, then later tapping those barrels to release caramel golden brown Oh Be Joyful. It’s so romantic! It is, but it’s also a ton of not-unskilled work, a significant investment, and potentially risky on several fronts. For those who aren’t looking to start a craft distillery but are still intrigued to try your hand at homemade booze, we’re here to help!

Homemade Gin Kit components

 

The Homemade Gin Kit is, of course, perfect for gin enthusiasts! It includes everything you need to turn vodka into “ridiculously delicious gin” right at home: two glass bottles and corks, stainless funnel and strainer, juniper berries, and an expertly balanced botanical blend. It’s super easy, too. Just add the juniper and botanicals to any vodka of your choosing, wait a bit, strain them out again, and you’re done! That’s a slight simplification, but you get the point. In the end you’re left with an unfiltered gin that holds up with the best of them.

The Barrel Aged Spirits Kit

 

The Barrel Aged Spirits Kit is even simpler than the Gin Kit and can be used with a wider variety of spirits. It consists of just two components: charred oak staves and some cheesecloth. The life of any spirit begins the same, as clear distillate. Be it rum, whiskey, brandy, or any other dark liquor, it’s the aging process that gives color, and more specifically, the barrel itself. Matter from a charred oak barrel slowly leaches into the liquid, changing a white liquor into a dark one. The concept with the Barrel Aged Spirits Kit is to replicate that leaching process, but instead of filling an entire barrel and waiting months or years, we’ll put the barrel in the bottle and wait a matter of days. That’s right! All you have to do with this kit is drop the aging staves into any bottle of light-colored alcohol – white rum, vodka, gin, etc. – wait until your desired amount of aging has occurred, strain through the cheesecloth, and enjoy. You’ll have created something entirely unique. Wowed dinner guests guaranteed.

Barrel Aged Spirits Kit Flavor Meter

The best part about these kits is the infinite possibility for creating unique concoctions. Add your own ingredients and see what happens. Play with starting materials, aging time, and cocktail recipes to discover what hits your palate just right. Heck, take the gin you make and barrel age it! Before long you may be rethinking that craft distillery afterall 😉

Check out these fantastic gifts right here at Craft & Caro: bit.ly/WPatCC

Filed Under: New Products, Relax
Craft & Caro keychain

 

Fiddle no more with traditional keyrings! Craft & Caro’s got you covered, with the easiest keyring ever designed, now in our Travel collection.

Such a simple innovation: add a bend in one section of the ring to create leverage, allowing the user to press down on one side, raising the other side so that keys can be added easily. No need to fumble around with troublesome split rings anymore. No need to break nails or teeth. No need to gouge yourself. This simple system makes it so easy to put keys on and take them off, you’ll never want to use the old kind ever again. I cringe when I see them now.

Exotac FREEkey frontThis ingenious little set was designed in Sweden by Drosselmeyer, an industrial design firm made famous by rave reviews from the likes of Oprah. Manufactured under license in the USA, these high-grade stainless steel pieces will last a lifetime. A soft matte finish, rounded edges, and flat ring design give it a unique, luxurious feel and aesthetic. Three included mini rings allow for organization and grouping into your on-and-off needs, such as home, work, and car, so it’s quick to exchange sets depending on the day’s activities.

Exotac FREEkey w/keysWho knew a key ring could be so great? Check em out here in the Travel collection alongside our selection of other high quality, American made keychain accessories: bit.ly/CCkeychains

Filed Under: New Products, Travel