Spencer and Ben Young are the Sturdy Brothers. Both grew up in South Georgia, and Spencer relocated to Thomasville with his wife to open up Grassroots Coffee in the summer of 2009. After college, Ben worked in a coffee shop in Raleigh, North Carolina. The brothers both saw and felt the need for a sturdy, heavy-duty apron in their roles as baristas, so they started making their own. Almost immediately, they sponsored the 2014 Big Eastern Barista Competition by donating their aprons as prizes. They were a huge hit with the baristas and requests for more aprons began to roll in.
In order to get the funds to get their apron business off the ground, Spencer and Ben launched a Kickstarter campaign. It was successful beyond their wildest dreams, and they hit the ground running with 226 backers from Thomasville and beyond, plus over $14,000 in the pockets.
The thick, sturdy (for lack of a better word) canvas Ben and Spencer use for Sturdy Brothers products comes from Filson cuts. They hand cut the high quality leather for straps and tags, then hand stamp those, too.
They sew their heavy-duty bags and aprons, then wax them with beeswax, then dry them in a dryer. It’s a lengthy process with sweet-smelling, water-resistant results.
Their leather tags and handles and straps are all attached by hand using metal rivets. Straps are reinforced with more leather on the backside of the canvas.
Finally, when they ship out a Sturdy Brothers apron, tote, or duffle, they wrap it up into brown paper packages tied up with string and hand-stamped cards and a thank you note!
I was lucky enough to find this Snow Tote in my brown paper package, and sure enough, it’s become one of my favorite things.
STURDY BROTHERS SHOP
If you’re itching to get your hands on these awesome goods, you’re in luck. The Kickstarter campaign is over and the Sturdy Brothers website is open for business! Check their online shop for purchasing all their sturdy merch.
Or if you’re local, the Sturdy Brothers are participating in Thomasville Center for the Arts’ FLAUNT! Their popup shop on Jackson Street will be opening TODAY and will continue to be open for an entire month!
The opening party is tonight, September 5th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, and the popup shops will remain open until September 27th. Purchase tickets to any of the events online at www.thomasvillearts.org.
In addition to being Ben’s workshop to create more Sturdy Brothers goods, he will have some additional items for sale for the month as well, including a handful of beautiful knives from O&P favorite Heartwood Forge!
Be sure to stop by and visit all the amazing pop up shops in Thomasville this month. It’s worth the trip for you out-of-towners!
And if you make it by to see Ben, be sure to tell him I sent ya!
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